What You Should or Shouldn’t Do If You Want to Have a Drug-Free Childbirth
Having a natural childbirth can be quite a challenge nowadays whether you do it at the hospital, home or birthing center. This is even more so if you choose hospital as the place of having a baby since hospital views birth as a medical event and tends to manage more. Thus, rather than focusing on letting the woman to labor freely and supporting this process, hospitals often focus on ‘what can be wrong’ and assume that women need helps medically in order to give birth.
Unfortunately, these helps often turn into a disaster since these helps change the course of natural labor and make it hard for woman’s body to cope with.
If you planning for a natural childbirth, it is wise to prepare for the natural childbirth properly and do the right thing on D-Day (when you feel you’re in labor). This means, there are things you should or shouldn’t do during labor (depending on your birth setting) if you are to maximize your chance of having an unmedicated birth.
Natural Childbirth Tips ~ Preparation
In order to have a natural birth, it’s best to prepare for it. Childbirth is simply hard work, natural or not.
Your possibility of having a natural birth increases if you prepare for it. Here are some preparation you can do ahead of time (the details of natural child birth preparation can be found here)
1. Choose the caregiver and birth setting carefully.
2. Most people don’t really give much thought in choosing the caregiver and birth setting for their birth. Little they realize that both can make or break your birth experience. If you really want to have a drug-free birth, choose those two carefully. Once you choose your caregiver, make a birth plan and go through it with your caregiver. You may also want to hire a labor partner or doula to help you with labor. The presence of a doula has been recognized to increase the chance of having a natural child birth.
3. Read best pregnancy books on natural childbirth and educate your partner.
5. Watch natural childbirth videos.
6. Stay low risk by having a good pregnancy diet and performing pregnancy exercises.
7. Don’t forget to go to your prenatal check up to make sure.
Natural Childbirth Tips ~ What You Should/Should Not Do When You’re in Labor
The followings are more tips on what you should (or should not) do the minute you feel you have regular contractions
Call your labor partner and your doula (if you decide to hire one). Make sure they are around to support you throughout your labor.
Labor as long as you can at home, especially if you are planning to have a natural childbirth at hospital. This is very important. Don’t go to the hospital too early for one reason: hospital has their own policy on ‘how long you should labor’. If you turn out to be a woman whose labor is long (or too long for hospital standard), then the staff at the hospital may induce you or break your water bag to speed up your labor.
It is also important to understand that one thing which can halt a woman’s labor is stress, fear and uncomfortable environment. Hospitals, as cozy as they can be, are not home. Some women can deal and adjust to a new environment pretty quickly and hence their labor are not hugely affected by the change of environment. However, some women are sensitive to these changes and hence feel unsafe or uncomfortable at the hospital. The feeling of unfamiliarity can create a stress which in turn halts a woman’s labor. Therefore, it is not surprising that contractions can stop or slow down the minute a woman gets into the hospital.
Don’t bring any person you are not planning of bringing to the hospital or birthing center. On the same note, avoid inviting any person you are not planning to be with to your home during your home birth.
Think this way. Even with supportive partners and environment, labor itself is a challenging process for you to go through. Any ‘unplanned person’ that you bring can turn out to be an unsupportive labor person. For example, instead of supporting you with encouraging words during labor, this person may persuade you to accept painkillers when she/he sees you in pain or belittling your wishes, hence jeopardizing your plan on having a natural child birth.
Remind your partner about your wish of having a drug-free birth and give your labor partner your birthplans. Stick up a copy of your birthplans in your delivery room.
Eat. As weird as it sounds, you really need to eat when you start having a contractions because you never know how long you are going to be in labor. Labor is hard work and it can be long. So eat whenever you can. It is important to note that most hospitals will not allow you to eat during labor. So eat before you go to hospital if you decided to give birth there. If you are at home or at a birthing center, make sure you have snacks and drink on hand to nourish your body during labor.
Make yourself feel comfortable at home once you’re in labor. If you are planning to give birth in other place outside your home, make yourself comfortable at the hospital or birthing center. Your doula or your partner should be able to coach you to make yourself relax. Natural child birth is easier to achieve when you’re relax.
Good luck !