Prepare for a Natural Birth
Congratulations! You're pregnant and looking into your options!
If you're searching for ways to have a natural and unmedicated birth, you've come to the right place! Whether this is your first baby or you're a birthing pro, getting prepared is key. If you are committed to a natural birth and ready to put in the work, we are here to support you every step of the way.
So how do you turn this vision of a natural birth into a reality?
Research. Research. Research. I can't tell you how many people call us at 38 weeks of pregnancy saying that their doctor wants to induce labor and they don't know what their options are.
INFORMATION IS YOUR FRIEND and it will help you avoid these moments of crisis that can come at the end of pregnancy or even in labor. We highly recommend registering for a Childbirth Education class and taking our Comfort Measures Workshop. Get into the nitty gritty with the information and get hands on guidance for you and your partner with these awesome classes!
Put down What to Expect When You're Expecting (seriously, the most horrid book ever!) and go buy Expecting Better by Emily Oster or The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer. These books are a great starting off point for researching your options and putting together a birth plan that is aligned with your vision.
There are some amazing Obstetricians and Midwives out there. FIND THEM. Do not settle for a care provider that will not have your back or one that does not support your birthing goals. Interview them. Ask them hard questions like:
What is your cesarean rate?
What is your induction rate?
If my baby & I are healthy will you be supportive of me going 2 weeks past my due date?
Are you comfortable with me pushing in alternative positions?
If they give you answers that don't sit well with you or don't align with your birth plan - keep looking. Having a supportive care provider is half the battle! Ask who they share a call schedule with and try to meet them too!
Hire a Doula
Ok, ok, we're a little biased, but the research speaks for itself!
According to the Cochrane Review women who received continuous labor support from a trained professional like a doula may be more likely to give birth vaginally with neither vacuum extraction or forceps. Additionally, women may be less likely to use pain medications or to have a cesarean birth, and may be more likely to be satisfied and have shorter labors.
Your doula does not take the place of your partner or care provider. She is a vital part of your birth team and has a bag of tricks to help relieve pain, give you motivation to keep going, and be a constant source of support through pregnancy, birth & early postpartum.
The type of support she provides varies based on your needs. For physical comfort she can administer massage, counter pressure, and guide you into supportive positions. For emotional support she is a shoulder to cry on and someone who will believe in you (maybe even when you don't believe in yourself). She is your information guru who will answer your questions and assist you in making informed and confident decisions.
Birth is a marathon and you wouldn't show up at a marathon never having run a day in your life would you? We sure hope not!
Staying active through pregnancy is crucial to preparing for the physical intensity of labor. Most care providers recommend walking or swimming 30+ minutes each day. If you're new to physical activity start off with 15 minutes and build up each week until you reach a comfortable level of daily activity. Yoga is also a great option to ease the aches pregnancy can bring while opening your hips in preparation for birth. Not to mention you'll learn some wonderful breathing and relaxation techniques that you can utilize during labor. For Prenatal Yoga in Long Beach, check out one of the many classes taught by Elizabeth Clark!
We think it's amazing that you're giving natural birth a go! We believe in you and your ability to birth your baby on your terms. We know without a doubt that with education, commitment and support you can achieve anything. and we would love to be there to support you through it. If you're interested in hearing more about how Doulas of Long Beach can help you achieve a natural birth, contact us.