What natural labor techniques should I use?
Real Mom Problem
“I want to have a completely natural labor but I am unsure of how to go about things. I'm nervous about it but I have faith that I will be able to make it through a completely natural labor.”
- 1. Read books about natural birth to prepare, including titles by Robert Bradley, Henci Goer, and Ina May Gaskin
- 2. Natural birth methods recommended by moms include the Bradley method and HypnoBirthing
- 3. Consider a water birth for a more relaxing natural birth experience
- 4. Make sure your partner is prepared and ready to help you cope through your contractrions
Real Mom Solutions
Are you considering a natural birth? From HypnoBirthing to water birth to the Bradley method, see what techniques these moms used to get through their labors naturally.
Prepare Yourself for a Natural Birth
Read, read, read...prepare yourself so you will recognize the stages you are going through and change your breathing accordingly.
My tips for natural child birth are to prepare as much as you can. Learn what to expect out of a normal labor so you won't be afraid when your body starts doing "weird" things. Have a good partner. That was key for me getting through my first natural labor. My husband helped me remember my coping techniques and kept me focused. With my second labor he zoned out the whole time and it was much harder. Read "Husband-Coached Childbirth" by Dr. Robert Bradley.
I always recommend Henci Goer's book "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth." She looks at the most common interventions, such as epidural and constant fetal monitoring and saline drips and assesses the merit of each one through the eyes of reputable studies. This book started my natural birth journey. I also recommend the movie "The Business of Being Born."
I think just listening to the body helps a lot. I just did what my body told me to do, whether it be jumping, groaning, etc.
Prepare yourself by reading books that focus on childbirth without fear, as well as staying healthy and relaxation techniques. Books by Ina May Gaskin are great for changing a fearful or negative perspective on the birthing process (and pregnancy and parenting as well). Staying in shape and yoga helps too.
I took all the classes available at my hospital. I wanted to feel prepared and I learned a lot. Met some friends too!
Try These Ways to Manage Your Pain
Do not stay stationary. That just makes the pain worse. Move around. Get in the shower with warm water beating on your back.
Look into HypnoBirthing. It prepares you very well for the big day. It truly gives you the tools to have a nearly "pain-free" birth. I had an amazing experience!
It was the most normal thing to do: strip and get right into the tub, honestly! I felt weightless, and could roll and wriggle, baby could move down with gravity as I was soothed and calmed. I stayed in and delivered in there, really ideal! (Note: Women have stronger and more painful contractions when they get out of the water!)
I used nothing but water and my body told me what to do. I paid special attention to the needs of my own body. When it said push, I pushed; when it said new position, I went to another position, etc. Breathing: if it helps to moan (it helped me, because just breathing I would forget) I would inhale right before a contraction and let it out in a low or high pitch -- whatever I felt at the time and it made sure I breathed correctly, did not pass out, and the pain was more bearable.
I took Bradley Method classes, and they really helped a lot. The key to the method is complete and total relaxation. When a contraction comes on, try to relax every muscle in your body. Even when the contractions are light, practice relaxing into them so that when they are stronger, you can do it more easily. But the most vital part of it for me was learning the birth process and certain things that help labor progress. Knowing that what I was experiencing was absolutely normal was very helpful for me. When a strong contraction came on and I was able to remind myself that it would only last one minute, I could stand anything for one minute, right? Then I just constantly told myself that we were so close, almost there, it wouldn't be much longer. I was in labor for a total of 18 hours, but only spent the last 3 in the hospital. If it's your first baby, know that the average length of labor for a first is 15-19 hours. Don't rush off to the hospital at the first sign of labor.