Natural birthing tends to get a pretty bad rap. It seems that everyone we meet tells us to “get the drugs” which leaves us feeling discouraged and weakened, feeling like I am not strong enough to get through this process. What if I don’t want the drugs? Can’t someone just for once tell me that I am strong enough to do this thing!
Because while, yes, giving birth does hurt; I also believe there is also beauty to be found in the pain.
I recently came across this quote about childbirth from Pam England’s “Birthing from Wiithin” and found it immensely inspiring:
There are 3 things that are a given about birth: it’s hard work, it hurts a lot, and YOU can do it. That’s the bottom line. All the rest you learn is just icing on the cake.”
As your due date approaches, your mind and body begin to prepare for birth on many levels. And, the reality is that giving birth is a major undertaking that will forever change your life. So, as you prepare for your natural birth, try to keep these few things in mind.
Don’t Do This Thing Alone
As you prepare for your natural birth, consider the people that you are surrounding yourself with. Be sure that your community is supportive and in tune with your needs. As the mama, your needs and wants should always take priority over those around you. Don’t let other people bully or pressure you into decision that you aren’t comfortable making. After all, this isyour body that the baby is passing through. So, be upfront with those closest to you about how you foresee your birthing experience.
While giving birth is your experience, it can be improved upon by having supportive people to turn to and seek guidance from. Don’t feel like you are doing this alone. There are lots of support groups and online forums for natural birth that you can become involved with. Don’t be afraid to seek advice from people who have also have similar birth plans. The more positive guidance you can receive, the more you can emotionally and mentally prepare for your journey ahead.
If you’re choosing to have to a natural birth in the hospital, be sure that your partner is on board with you. It will be important to have someone in your hospital room who can not only act as a support system, but who can also advocate your intentions to the nurses and doctors.
And finally, (and this one might be a little tough for some of us, but…) as you prepare for your natural birth, limit the amount of people that you actually discuss your birth plan with. Your choice of labor is personal and should be respected. So, only share these intimate details with people whom you can count on defending you and encouraging you.
Read Inspiring Birth Stories
It’s important to surround yourself with encouraging reading materials prior to your natural birth. Reading birth stories from other women has the ability to open your mind to the reality that in birth, anything is possible. Additionally, reading inspiring stories can help get you pumped up for the experience ahead.
Yah, that’s right, I said, “pumped up.” Giving birth is a physical activity, after all. So, the more you can get your mental mindset in the place to take on a physical challenge, the better off you will be. Reading other people’s stories makes you think, “Yes! If all of these other women did it, so can I!”
As you begin your own natural birth, many of the stories that you have read will come back to your mind, acting as a tugs of inspiration for you to get thrive during your own experience. Sometimes, even the smallest words or phrases become lodged in our subconscious and can be pulled out when we need them the most. It might be a good idea to write down inspirational thoughts and have your partner read them to you during birth. Hold on as long as you can to these small tidbits of advice and lean in to them when you need them the most.
A great resource for inspiring birthing stories is Ina May Gaskins’s Guide to Childbirth. In it you will find all sorts of birthing stories from all sorts of women. So, get pumped up and look for stories of inspiration.
Maintain Your Healthy Lifestyle
It’s an easy temptation to use your pregnancy as an excuse for unhealthy habits. But the truth is, during your pregnancy it is essential that you maintain your healthy lifestyle. As you prepare for your natural childbirth, just remember that the better physical condition you are in, the better you will be able to handle the challenges ahead. Like we said above, giving birth is a physical challenge.
To best prepare for this physical challenge, be sure that you are exercising on a healthy and normal schedule. This regular exercise will help you to build your stamina and increase your energy levels. Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you have to be stagnate. If you aren’t sure what types of exercise you should be doing, then talk to your chiropractor. They should be able to help you with ideas about safe and effective modes of exercise to practice during different stages of your pregnancy.
Also, be sure that you keep up with a healthy eating schedule. I know it’s hard to plan with the onset of hormonal cravings, but be sure to be mindful about what you are putting in your body. Be sure that you have a healthy balance of lean proteins, leafy greens and healthy fats throughout your day. And as a good rule of thumb, don’t forget to stay hydrated! Drinking ample water is essential during your pregnancy!
So, are you feeling ready to take on your natural birthing experience?
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