I’ve seen so many women announce in the beginning of their pregnancy, “I’m going to have a natural birth,” only to end up getting a c-section. I think the priority in childbirth is a healthy baby. So I’m not judging women who have to undergo medical procedures in order for that to happen. However, our c-section rate is 32.8%, which is well above the recommended level.
C-Sections on the Rise
Almost every mother I know giving birth today has delivered by c-section. There are times when medical intervention may be necessary, but these startling statistics suggest we’re performing more c-sections in this country than necessary.
The Truth about Our Bodies
The truth is our bodies are full capable of birthing. Natural birth is not unnatural. Although it is uncommon. It is entirely possible and can be very beneficial to the health of mothers and babies.
Many moms I know who had c-sections started out their pregnancies by saying they wanted natural births. But natural birth isn’t something you can simply declare. It is something you must spend 9 months of pregnancy working toward. I once told my friends that preparing for natural birth was like preparing for a marathon. You don’t just show up the day of expecting everything to go perfectly. You must spend the time preparing your mind, body, and spirit for labor.
Having a natural childbirth allows the mother to be transformed by childbirth — just the way it was designed. It’s a rebirth experience that has the capacity to transform your whole self. It’s a holistic experience.
3 Things You Need to Have a Natural Birth
I’ve been through the natural childbirth experience. To prepare for it, here are 3 things you’ll need.
Natural childbirth requires energy and lots of it. When you have an epidural to numb the pain of childbirth, you don’t have to exert the same amount of energy. Contractions require that you maintain focus and remain alert enough to breathe properly and stay present in the experience.
You must get exercise in order to have a successful natural childbirth. There’s no way around this. I go walking 3-4 times a week and I do yoga at least once a week. Exercise is key to getting physically ready for childbirth.
2. Internal Balance
Fear is a common experience during childbirth. We fear the impending pain, for our health, or for the baby. At one point, I thought the baby was never going to come out or that I would die in the process. Sometimes I did a great job of breathing through this fear and moving past it. Other times, it seems to completely overwhelm me, which made the contractions worse.
Now that I’m pregnant with baby #2, I’ve deepened my spiritual practice and meditation. I know this will help me develop a greater sense of internal balance. When you’re balanced, it’s easier to stay focused on your internal strength than your fears and doubts. But it requires daily practice. If you don’t have a meditation practice, pregnancy is a great time to develop one. Here’s a great breathing exercise to get you started —> Deep Breathing Exercise.
3. Proper Support
When I was pregnant and even during labor, I was surrounded by people who didn’t believe in natural childbirth. I was convinced that this didn’t make a difference. But it really does. Whether we want to admit it or not, people affect us on subconscious levels. Fear is contagious. When the people around us have fear, it can make us more afraid. And too much fear will negatively impact a natural childbirth.
During pregnancy and labor, surround yourself with like minded people. If someone is constantly telling you everything that can go wrong or how painful birth really is, kindly ask them to stop or put some distance between you and them. Also, make sure the midwife or birthing team you hire are supportive of your desires. This is a exact reason why I hired a midwife rather than an OB.
I hope these tips help you prepare for your natural childbirth.
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