So you’ve watched The Business of Being Born, you are totally up on your Kegels, and your birth ball is already getting a daily workout. What now? If you’re planning for your ideal natural birth, follow the six easy steps below and take charge of your birth.
1. Own your birth
In order to accomplish a natural childbirth in a culture where the majority of births are now scheduled, doctor-directed, full of interventions and viewed as a medical emergency, it is important to first begin to view birth as a natural human process. This means that you trust your body and believe in your own ability to birth your baby naturally.
2. Educate yourself
Because only five percent of babies born in the United States today are born naturally, you must take the time to educate yourself and become your own birth advocate. Very few obstetricians are dedicated to helping women birth naturally and despite 75 years of routine hospital birth in this country, there are no studies that prove hospital birth is safer than homebirth with a skilled midwife.
3. Find a care provider and a birthing facility with a like-minded birthing philosophy
It is not always easy to find a care provider who shares your view of birth, but this may be the most important step in your journey toward natural birth. If you do not see eye-to-eye with your practitioner, it is very likely that you will receive medical interventions during your labor and delivery. This is important to avoid because the more interventions used during childbirth, the more dangerous birth becomes, and the more likely it is that you will experience complications
4. Write your birth plan
Once you’ve found a like-minded care-provider, sit down together and discuss your birth plan. You may want to use one of the excellent birth plan creators available online to help your process.
5. Take a birthing class
There are many excellent natural childbirth classes available. Bradley, Birthing From Within and HypnoBirthing are some of the most well-known options. Do not assume that your local hospital’s birth class will prepare you for natural childbirth. Hospital birth classes tend to teach women how to be good patients and to accept inductions and other medical interventions.
6. Make room in your heart to accept your birth for what it is
No matter how well you plan for natural birth, there are some factors that are simply out of your control. Placenta previa, uterine rupture, failure to progress, malposition of the baby and cord prolapse are just a few of the true medical complications that can happen during labor. Birth is the first lesson in the School of Motherhood, where we learn that despite our best intentions, things do not always go our way. Be proud of your birth journey — whatever it may be — and own your baby’s unique birth experience.