Preparing for Natural Childbirth
This is part of a series of posts I’m writing on preparing for natural childbirth. By natural, I mean medication and intervention-free, maybe at a birth center or at home where drugs won’t be available (I understand this is not everyone’s choice, but I love this method and this post is for those of you who are interested in learning more about preparing your body and mind for that!). In early December my second daughter will be born. This will be my second natural childbirth (and probably second waterbirth) at a birth center. There are no drugs available, and interventions are minimal. Moms labor and give birth in whatever position they choose, unless the midwives see a significant reason to move. The rate of C-sections in hospitals is much higher (33% in the US right now! Read about why in this article) than one study found for birth center births in 33 states (just a 6% C-section rate). In many cases, one intervention (pitocin, epidural, etc.) creates a cascade of interventions as the body’s normal functions are disrupted and the body has trouble progressing normally. Watch “The Business of Being Born” on Netflix for a closer look at that cascade.
I am so excited to experience labor and delivery again. Is is hard? Yes. Is it incredible? YES! Our bodies were created to give birth, and they know how to do it without excessive “help” from someone else. If that’s hard for you to imagine, you’re in the right place! The books I mention here include countless natural childbirth stories for VBACs, breech babies, large babies, and other unusual situations.
Knowledge is Empowering!
You can learn so much to prepare for childbirth – knowledge is empowering, so take the time to read and learn new things. I’m always surprised by the number of moms who tell me they never took a natural childbirth class or got any info on natural childbirth before going into labor! That would seriously freak me out – the more I know, the calmer I am. And a calm, relaxed momma usually has a smoother delivery. Feeling worried or tensing up those muscles won’t help baby get out!
I love reading all kinds of birth stories, usually written by moms shortly after giving birth. They’re beautiful, inspiring, tear-jerkers! And I’ve picked up little tips and tricks from birth stories (like asking for counter pressure on my low back for pain, or on my hips to widen my pelvis) that I’m so glad I’m aware of. In this series, I’ll share ideas for preparing both your body and mind for labor, since both are equally important!
Embracing Birth: A Collection Of Inspiring Birth Stories by Jessica Levesque
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize
Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth & Babies by Stephanie Fritz
Count It All Joy: Birth Stories with Lessons for Life by Judy Kay Jones, CPM
What books do you recommend reading to prepare for natural childbirth? I’d to love to hear your birth story/stories! Comment to share them with us!