• Posted by Pregnant Stories
  • 03 Jun 2011

If you are choosing to have a natural birth without pain medication, here are some tips from Lamaze International to help you have a smooth and natural birth. Talk with your support person beforehand to let them know what your plan is for the birth. Remember to listen to your body’s cues and rhythm. Having a natural birth can happen, but make sure that you are prepared for medical intervention.

1. Find a place that will support your choice of a natural birth. Whether this is at a hospital, home, or in a birth center, choose a place that supports your choice of birth.

2. Look for a healthcare provider that will support you in your choice of having a natural birth. Many women have found that the care provided by midwives and doulas includes more labor support and less medical intervention.

3. Do not request or agree to induction of labor unless it is medically necessary to do so. It is a good idea to let your body go into labor on its own, because that is the best sign that your baby is ready to be born. Give your body time to find its own pace and rhythm during labor and don’t focus on the clock. Don’t use any medications such as Pitocin to speed your labor.

4. Try moving during labor. You will be much more comfortable if you are able to move around freely, and your labor will progress much quicker. If you stay upright and respond to the pain of your labor by changing positions, your baby will move through the birth canal easily. Try different positions such as rocking, straddling a chair, lunging, walking, and slow dancing with a partner.

Labor & Delivery

5. Aside from your partner, consider who else you want to support you during labor and birth. You might want to hire a doula to give you and your partner emotional and physical support.

6. Ask that your baby’s heartbeat be monitored intermittently instead of all the time so that belts, cords, or wires do not tie you to a machine or a specific place.

7. Follow your instincts and eat and drink as your body tells you. If you drink plenty of fluids during labor, it will give you energy and keep you from getting dehydrated.

8. Try to use non-medical pain management strategies. Many women like to get into a warm bath and showers to relieve pain. Practice using birth balls, massage, hot and cold packs, aromatherapy, and focused breathing to help you deal with painful contractions.

9. If you can, avoid giving birth on your back. Use an upright position such as sitting, squatting, or standing to give birth. This will increase the effectiveness of your contractions and enable you to work with gravity. Push when your body tells you to and ask your support persons to give you only quiet encouragement.

10. Have your baby with you right after you give birth. Skin-to-skin contact keeps your baby warm and helps to regulate your baby’s heartbeat and breathing. Staying with your baby in the same room will help you to get to know each other, and it lets you respond to early feeding cues and get breastfeeding off to a good start.

If problems arise, ask questions about the risks and the benefits of any recommended intervention. Understand that sometimes labor and birth don’t go as expected. If you’re involved with decisions about your care and have good labor support, you’re more likely to be satisfied with the birth, even if medical interventions are necessary.


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