Monday, February 14, 2011

So, you want a natural birth.....

You've officially decided -- The Golden Vagina Award is in your future.  What next?

1.  Figure out why you want a natural birth.
Do you want to lower your chance of having a c-section?  Are you in search of the 'birth high'?  Do you feel that an unmedicated birth is the best way to bring your child into this world?  For me, it started out with "I know I can do this" and then evolved into the realization that my body was designed to give birth and there was no need to control the natural process of childbirth.

2.  Decide where you want to give birth:  hospital, freestanding birth center, or your home
I'm the first one to admit that I am biased to homebirth if you want a natural birth.  But, hospitals and freestanding birth centers are perfectly good options too.

3.  Find a care-provider supportive of your natural birth goals.
You can automatically assume a homebirth or birth center midwife is natural birth oriented.  But, it isn't so easy with an ob/gyn or a hospital based CNM. Be prepared to ask lots of questions:  to name a few, what is your c-section rate?  epidural rate?  will I have freedom of movement during labor?  am I limited to the lithotomy position for pushing?  -----> And, if you aren't happy with the answers, find a new provider!

4. Read.  Read.  Read.
Read everything you can get your hands on about normal natural childbirth.  Learn the ins and outs of the stages of labor and the emotional signposts accompanying each stage.  Learn how your body is perfectly designed for birth.  Read a million and one natural childbirth stories online.  Read Ina May Gaskin's books , Henci Goer's Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, Jennifer Block's Pushed and pretty much any book about normal childbirth.  And, even though this isn't something to The Business of Being Born.  It is a must.

5.  Hire a doula.
I've said it once.  I've said it twice.  I desperately needed a doula during Liza's birth.

6. Know that you CAN do it!
And, if your confidence wavers.....give me a call.  I am always glad to give a peptalk.


What do you think?


What are the chances?

A favorite blog posted a link to "So you want a VBAC" tonight....

Great minds think alike.


*So you want a natural birth - pt. 1 - The basics of planning a natural birth
*So you want a natural birth - pt. 2 - Is your ob really naturally friendly?
*So you want a natural birth - pt. 2 - Hospital natural birth talking points


TheSandersFamily said...


BrownFamily said...

love this post! I had a hospital birth full of interventions and an epidural with my 1st and deeply regretted it afterwards. It just wasn't fulfilling. With my second I had a natural birth with a midwife at a birthing center and it was absolutely incredible. I would do it a million times over!

Kissey said...

while i'm not exactly ready to have kids at the moment, i love the info i get from your blog! i already use nfp - why not a natural homebirth?

Laura said...

Glad yall like it!

BrownFamily - Your story sounds just like mine :)

Kissey - Agreed. You trust your body not to get pregnant. Why not trust your body when you are pregnant? And, if you are still in Oxford when you do have a baby, you can talk to Mandi (The Sanders Family) about the midwifery clinic she used out of Memphis!

Kaitlin @ More Like Mary said...

I would say that having the doula was the single best decision we made. I don't know if Ted and I could have handled such a looooong labor without her reassurance and support.

And she's from Oxford-so you can use her too someday Kissey!

Ted Dearman said...

I really don't want to engage in this conversation but I love my daughter-in-law. She knows her mind; she is a wonderful mother and a good wife. And she takes great photos of my super precious Henry and Liza.
P.S. She just needs to bring them to see me more often

Alix said...

I found your blog recently, and love it!
I had an unassisted homebirth last June (first baby), and it was wonderful. I never saw a midwife, doctor, or anyone during pregnancy, and didn't have anyone medically trained at my birth. It was extremely stress free.
I would also recommend the Bradley Method book to anyone interested in natural childbirth.

Tara said...

Having a natural birth was the best thing I have ever done. There were so many factors that happened during my birth that a conventional dr. would have loved to "intervene" in (baby was 14 days late, meconium in water, baby was in the wrong position during labor, I had to push for 2 hours) We had intended to deliver at a birthing center, but because of the lateness of baby we had to deliver in a hospital. My midwife had delivery privledges there, so we didn't have a doctor. The midwife was there through it all, calm, collected and with her bag of suggestions and tricks we were able to get Sadie to move into the right position and I delivered a beautiful, healthy 10lb 3oz baby with no drugs, and no tearing.
My husband tells me that at the time of delivery a small congregation of nurses came into the hospital room with one doctor, who was telling them, "see, this is how it should be done." I didn't notice... I was too busy pushing the baby out:) Thanks for the great post today... I think it is good to encourage anyone who is considering a natural birth to do it.

Angie said...

Great advise on this post and part 2!  Hiring a doula is so darned important, especially if you are having a hospital birth.  As a labor nurse I love when a patient has a doula. Sometimes in my job it is a struggle to get what needs to be done per "protocol" and care for my patient the way that she deserves, knowing that a trained doula is there makes it feel like there is a team of patient advocates there even if the worst OB is on call.