“Birth is the beginning of life; the beginning of mothering, and of fathering. We all deserve a good beginning.” Sarah Buckley, MD
We all dream of having the perfect birth don’t we? Why does it seem like some people seem to have the best birth, yet some birth stories you hear are far from that? You may think for some it comes down to “luck”, or is it something else? Here are some tips that may help towards a natural birth:
Preparation and education
Okay, this is a big one! We all know knowledge is power, and this is no less true for childbirth. The hospitals do run antenatal classes, but these tend to focus on the rules and interventions of the particular hospital. To really get educated, it is highly recommended to seek out independently run classes by a childbirth educator. These classes will off a non-bias education helping you understand your choices.
Choose health care providers and birthing environment wisely
Whether they are a private obstetrician, public hospital, midwife program, or private midwife and birthing from home. Know all the facts, and intervention rates of your provider. You want to make sure that they have the same ideals as you.
Your birth support
The people you have around you during labour will also make a big difference. Whether it is your partner, your mother or a doula, make sure it is someone who will be your voice for you when you may not have one, and someone that will keep you calm. Again, education for them is the key! If it is your partner, get them along to your childbirth education classes.
Listening to positive stories only
How many horror stories out there have you heard? It is really important to surround yourself with positive thoughts, so if you find someone telling you about all the bad things that can go wrong, either ask them politely, to stop or block them out! It is for your benefit.
Preparing the body during pregnancy
Along with having a strong mind, we need to have a strong body. Exercise through pregnancy will help tone your muscles, keep you strong and improve your endurance. There is evidence that shows regular exercise can help improve pregnancy and labour outcomes. Eating right will not only provide your baby with the right nutrition, it will give you clean fuel to help run your body to the maximum.
It is imperative to be involved in all the decisions of your birth. As the rates of interventions are rising, we need to question why? Always ask- what is the benefit and is there any harm to your child otherwise? One study found the rate of interventions from 2000-2008 has increased up to 10% in that time period, and that when interventions were introduced, the rate of interventions in that labour increased; a “cascade of interventions” (Rates of obstetric intervention among low-risk women giving birth in private and public hospitals in NSW: a population-based descriptive study; Dahlen et. al, BMJ Open).
With all of this in mind, we must remember to TRUST our body, and importantly TRUST our instincts during pregnancy and labour, we ARE designed to do this!