The Dos and don’ts of natural birth

Here are some tips for a successful natural birth. By Licia Selepe

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You’ve heard that natural birth is best for both you and your baby, but you’re just not sure if you can make it through labour without help. Not only is natural childbirth a great choice, it’s also totally doable for most moms.

Here are some tips for a successful natural birth:

Do pick a supportive practitioner
The last thing you want to do is see a medical professional for the whole nine months of your pregnancy and then find out that they lean more towards a medicated birth or C-section. You should rather surround yourself with people who support your decision full-force from the beginning, and who will be an encouraging presence throughout the birthing process.

Do find an appropriate birth environment
If you’re choosing a hospital setting for your birth, there are plenty of hospitals that offer birthing wings where the mother is encouraged to labour naturally. You also have other choices for birthing naturally, such as a home birth, a midwifery clinic, and a birthing centre.
Do your research both online and offline, early, so that you’ll have plenty of time to visit these places and speak with the personnel there to go over what your wishes are for your child’s birth.

Do consider a doula and/or midwife
These two birthing attendants are your best bet for a safe and natural labour and delivery. Both are trained specifically to help and support the mother along her journey of delivering naturally.

Do your research
Pain is inevitable with childbirth, and while all of us deal with and experience pain in different ways and levels, know that it will be present during labour and that finding ways to cope with it will help you a lot. Talk to others who have given birth naturally, and talk methods over with your doctor or midwife.

Do prepare yourself
After you’ve researched and discussed your options for a natural birth, you’ll want to prepare yourself as best you can – both mentally and physically – for the experience. Try out some of the recommended breathing and meditative exercises, and start working with a birthing ball, so that you can get a feel for a birthing tub. Being prepared, mentally and physically to give birth naturally, is half the battle.

Do believe in your body
Understand that birth is a natural process, and it’s painful and tiring, but your body is made to get through it, and that the pain will go away when your baby is born. Your body knows how to release the baby, just as it knows how to release air.

Don’t watch or listen to horror birth stories
It’s important for you to develop a confident mind-set that birth is normal and healthy.

Don’t think about the post-delivery state of your vagina
As unbelievable as it may seem at the time of giving birth, your lady bits were made for this, and will heal fully within a matter of weeks. And they won’t necessarily look like an elephant.

Don’t forget to involve your birth partner
There are lots of benefits to having a birth partner, and midwives and obstetricians are encouraged to get birth partners involved in the birth. Evidence shows that if you have continuous, one-on-one support, you may cope better with labour, and be happier with your birth experience.

Don’t rush to hospital
Consider waiting at home as long as possible, because there’s no place like home. Some experts suggest staying until you think you can’t handle it anymore. Remember: It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before making any decisions.

Don’t declare yourself a failure when things doesn’t go as expected
Understand that your end goal is the birth of your beautiful child, and things may not go according to your plan, so be prepared to be flexible – in more ways than one.

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