How to Prepare for a Natural Birth
First of all, I want to say that it’s more than okay to have a preference for how you want things to go during labor and delivery of your child, but birth is so unpredictable. It’s equally as important to know that.
I don’t think I did a good enough job of preparing myself for that fact. Everything ended up going smoothly, but if it hadn’t I don’t know how I’d be feeling about my birth experience today.
However, I did do a good job of preparing myself to give birth naturally like I wanted, and I want to help you do the same if that’s the way you want to go too!
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RELATED: My Son’s Positive Birth Story
Be Open With Your Birthing Partner
Have an open discussion about what you want and what you’re not willing to compromise on (baring an emergency).
This is so important because your support person is going to be the one advocating for you while you’re in labor and may not necessarily be readily available for every question from hospital staff.
I had so many people tell me during my pregnancy that there may be some points where I’m completely out of it, but I was completely aware the whole time. It really just depends on the labor, but you want to be ready for anything.
Birth is an amazing experience, but a traumatic one. Stay positive with an open mind, and let your birthing partner in on all your wants for your experience, and any fears and worries.
There’s lots to do to prepare for your baby’s birth, it can be hard to remember everything! Check out the New Mom Survival Kit for Pregnant and New Moms! These awesome printables will help you stay on track with absolutely everything you could need, from hospital bag checklists to postpartum and baby prep!
Be Open With Your Doctor/Obstetrician/Midwife and Ask Questions
The more knowledgeable you are, the better prepped you will be to make decisions when necessary.
Being open about exactly what you want with your birthing team OB/Midwife/whoever is helping you give birth also helps them make decisions in how to best prepare for your labor and delivery, and how to handle certain situations.
I had the most amazing hospital staff for my son’s delivery, and my OB and the nurses were super open to whatever I wanted, as long as it was safe.
The important thing to remember is that whoever is helping you is there to support you, knows what they’re doing, and has yours and your baby’s safety in mind.
That being said, you also know your body best. So, listen to their concerns and be very open about yours!
Prepare Your Body
A simple Google search will show you that there are so many ways you can ‘prepare’ your body for labor and delivery.
I totally think that these things will most likely help. For example, pregnancy massages and chiropractors can help realign your body from all that heavy baby carrying, and relax you.
There are lots of exercises you can do, lots of things you can eat, etc.
However, your body knows what to do. The best way to prepare is to relax, take care of your body, and enjoy your pregnancy as much as you can.
Eat Well and Exercise Throughout Pregnancy
This goes hand in hand with preparing your body.
It’s amazing the impact some healthy food and a little yoga or walking will do for your body.
That’s not to say don’t indulge on this pregnancy cravings and relax lots… but if you have the energy eating right and exercising will give your body the stamina it needs to continue growing your little one and later giving birth.
Take a Parenting/Birth Class
Like I said before, knowledge is power! I learned so much in my birth class, and felt so much more prepared and relaxed knowing what can and will most likely happen when I give birth.
There are lots of online ones you can take, or try and find one in your community. It was so much fun taking a class with other expectant moms and dads.
In any birthing class you will most likely learn how labor/birth works, different ways you can give birth, and how your birthing partner can best support you throughout.
Have a Birth Plan (or not)
I was told both things during my pregnancy – have a birth plan, and don’t bother cause you never know what’s going to happen.
Ultimately, everyone has some kind of expectation for how they want their labor and delivery to go. Whether you write that down and plan every detail is up to you.
If everything goes well, there really shouldn’t be any reason you can’t have what you want, but our bodies do crazy things and our babies have minds of their own.
So, in my opinion it’s totally great to have a rough plan as long as you are open to possible changes, while picking a few things that really matter to you to be really firm on where possible.
RELATED: A Natural Birth Plan
Be Open to the Possibility of Changes
This brings me to my next point, being open to possible changes.
Personally, this was hard for me. I always imagined I would give birth naturally and the thought of doing anything else would have broken me.
I tried really hard to be open to the fact that emergencies happen, but ultimately I had a vision for my experience and was heartbroken at the fact that it could go completely wrong.
I know it’s hard, but I challenge you to take a minute to think about what you’d like in certain situations, not just how you want things to go.
Don’t dwell on it too much, because you don’t want to worry yourself when there’s no need. Just be reminded that a little flexibility is a good thing! It keeps you and baby’s safety at the forefront of everyone’s mind, because that’s all anyone wants.
I hope you take a few of these tips and they help ease your mind about your labor and your child’s birth!
Child birth can be a scary thing to think about but it’s an amazing journey to having your beautiful baby in your arms.