Ideally, a normal delivery is the best way to give birth to a child – it is the way nature has designed a baby to be born, and is the safest for both mother and the child. However there are some circumstances beyond our control, and sometimes, we might have to go in for artificial ways of giving birth. We can at least, prepare our minds and bodies for a natural birth! Learn how to have deliver a baby vaginally, normally.
1. Believe in your body:
Though it is sometimes tough to believe that your vagina can squeeze out a fully grown baby, remember that your body has been designed to give birth naturally, and that millions of women around the world have done it. And so can you!
2. Exercise and eat well:
Keeping yourself healthy and fit will assist you in your goal of having a normal delivery.
3. Educate yourself:
Learn about the entire process of pregnancy and birth, so that you know what is right for you and your body, and you can decide on how to move ahead for a normal birth. It is easier to understand doctor's advice, choose birthing techniques, and know what to expect at each stage of pregnancy and delivery.
4. Attending birthing classes:
Attending childbirth classes is an excellent way of preparing for labour and delivery. They equip you with information on the process of birth, dispel your doubts and fears, and help you take charge of your body, preparing you physically and emotionally for the process of birth.
The main types of birthing classes are:
1. Lamaze Technique:
Very popular in the US, this technique teaches you to approach childbirth as a natural phenomenon. They'll help you trust your body, create confidence in yourself and make informed about all options, so that in any event, the mother can make informed decisions about her labour and delivery. They teach different labour positions, relaxation, breathing techniques, medical procedures, and postnatal care.
2. Bradley method:
Stresses on the fact that women can give birth without pain medications and medical intervention. It is also called husband-coached birth, as this method involves the father too, and prepares him to support and coach the mother during birth. It dwells on the importance of diet and exercise during pregnancy, and also teaches the mother to manage pain using deep breathing and relaxation techniques.
3. Prenatal yoga:
Yoga classes with a focus on pregnant women – they teach yoga positions and stretches that are good for the reproductive organs. The yoga positions involve stretching, which improves flexibility in the pelvic area, helping in natural birth. The breathing techniques and relaxation is an integral part of prenatal yoga, and can help you keep calm and manage your pain during labour.
4. Local birthing classes in hospitals:
Sometimes hospitals offer a mix of techniques. Before signing up, do check if the coach is certified. Also check if the classes include information on Diet, Exercise, Relaxation, Information about childbirth, birthing techniques, and counselling.
During the actual birth, there are some birthing techniques for a smoother delivery.
Is a process where you soak in a bath tub, and let water soothe your body during labour. It helps ease some of the discomforts of labour. Birthing centres have special tubs for these, which are larger and deeper. The water has to be at room temperature, or at body temperature or lower. Hot water is not good for either the baby or you.
Water relaxes your muscles, and can help reduce pain and worry. For some people, it can even be a substitute for pain medications!
However, hydrotherapy is not suitable for everybody, especially women who need constant monitoring. Women whose water is already broken might be at a risk for infection too.
A shower is also soothing in case you cannot soak in a bath.
Known as hypnobirthing, this method is based on the premise that most of the labour pain is because of fear and anxiety. By using relaxation, mediation and visualization techniques and auto-suggestion, fears are replaced with the confidence of a painless, comfortable birth. This is largely self-hypnosis, and is taught in classes - it involves breathing, visualizations and positive affirmations. The result is that the focus is entirely on the process of childbirth, and free from distractions, it progresses smoothly, and even quickly.
Being massaged by a partner or a professional relaxes the muscles, soothes the body, and might reduce the perception of pain. A professional trained in prenatal massage knows exactly where to apply pressure at what times in your labour and delivery. But if there is no professional around, even the loving touch of a dear one can do wonders. You need to let them know where you want the massage, and at what pressure. Sometimes, you might not feel like being touched – and that is alright too. Hot and cold compresses (not laid directly on the skin) also provide comfort to many pregnant women, and make labour easier.
8. Listening to music, perfumed candles, darkened rooms:
Are the other ways you can make your birthing environment relaxing, and conducive to giving birth.
Not all hospitals and birthing centres might offer these options, so do your research.
Get your body and mind ready for labour, and hopefully, delivery will be a breeze for you!