As an expectant mother, you may find the idea of a natural birth appealing but, at the same time, wish to experience the safety and convenience of a hospital birth rather than giving birth at home. Luckily, these days it has become easier to incorporate aspects of natural childbirth into a hospital delivery. Here are five ways to have a more natural childbirth in a hospital setting:
Create a Birth Plan
An important aspect of natural birth is that it empowers the mother to make her own choices about how the birth is handled. One great way to help ensure that this happens is to create a written birth plan and make sure that your birth medical team has copies of it ahead of time. A birth plan will typically include your preferences on everything from pain management to the physical position you deliver your baby in. Creating a birth plan might seem overwhelming, but luckily there are a lot of great templates online, like this one, that make it easy.
Take a Natural Birth Class
Birthing classes are critical for you and your partner. They help you know what exactly to expect during labor and delivery and can teach you breathing techniques and other ways to make the whole process go more smoothly. If you are planning on a more natural birth, it's important to find the appropriate birthing class, as traditional classes are often based around a less natural, more medicated birth scenario. If your hospital does not offer a natural birthing class, you may be able to find one in your community or at a midwife center.
Hire a Midwife
Midwives are thoroughly trained in safe birthing practices, but take a more natural "whole person" approach to childbirth than most doctors. They not only work to ensure that the birth goes smoothly from a medical standpoint, but are also concerned with the emotional well-being of the mother. Midwives also normally focus on avoiding unnecessary medical interventions or drugs.
These days there is no reason to choose between a doctor and a midwife, as many hospitals allow you to have both. In other cases, your birth can be completely handled by a midwife, with doctors and nurses simply on hand in case of an emergency.
Learn Natural Pain Techniques
Since a natural birth does not typically include prescription pain killers or powerful anesthesia, it is important to have a solid plan in place for naturally treating pain and discomfort. Some expectant mothers find that bouncing on a birthing ball, which is similar to an exercise ball, can help relieve pain. It's best to purchase the ball and practice bouncing on it ahead of time.
Taking long, slow, deep breaths can also help counteract pain. Other options include changing positions frequently during labor, receiving back massages from your partner or midwife, and using a heating pad or hot water bottle on your lower back or anywhere else you need it.
Bring Soothing Items from Home
One important aspect of a natural birth is creating a soothing environment for you and the baby, both during and after labor and delivery. In order to counteract the sometimes sterile and loud environment of a hospital, it's a good idea to bring soothing items from home. These can include an iPod with a playlist of calming music, comfy pillows and blankets, candles or other aromatherapy products (especially in a calming scent like lavender), and your favorite soft robe and slippers.
By incorporating these five tips into your hospital birth, you and your baby can simultaneously benefit from both a natural birth and a hospital birth. For more information about birthing options, visit http://www.whallc.com.
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