Determined to give birth naturally? Keep these tips in mind as you prepare for the big day:
- Educate yourself. Know what will happen. Choose a health care provider and birthplace carefully.
- Read up on what to expect. Attend natural childbirth classes, meet with moms who birthed naturally, and don’t feel influenced by experiences you may hear about from others. Every delivery is different.
- Consider working with a doula. A doula can support a laboring mom by providing information and education before and during birth, planning support systems, and offering physical support during labor and postpartum—sometimes including breastfeeding expertise.
- Find out what your health care provider will allow. Clear all birth plans with your health care provider before you go into labor. Each health care provider has different “rules.” For example, some providers won’t allow you to eat anything except ice chips, others want you to eat chocolate for the calories and energy they provide.
- Sometimes interventions are necessary. Do not feel defeated if medication or an intervention is needed for your or your baby’s safety. Following the advice of your trusted health care provider is the best choice you can make.
- Rest in early labor. To stay strong for the long haul, sleep between contractions if you can, take a warm bath to relax, and eat small amounts of high-energy foods like applesauce.
Erin Bernard is a New Jersey mom of two.