How to Prepare for Natural Childbirth: I did it and so can you!

As I planned this hub, I had to make a decision: I could either make this personal and express my feelings throughout the hub in a subjective manner, or I could be entirely objective and pass on information that I have read in books or heard from friends who have children. The truth is that I am not a doctor. Rather, I am a mother with the experience of four births behind me and am now moving into the future with the hope of another baby. I cannot speak from a medical perspective, though I can speak thoughtfully from experience.

Some women, often particularly first-time mothers, don't appreciate information being presented from the point of view of personal experience. If this is you, please feel free to move on and seek out a more medically-relevant article or books on the subject. I have recommended several books and some web sites that I feel will be of importance to those who are planning the birth of their baby.

Whether you have six children or are expecting your first, this information is intended to encourage you to explore your options and to make wise choices about what is right for you and for your baby.

Childbirth is a Natural Process
Childbirth is a Natural Process

Pregnancy and Childbirth are Natural Processes

It is an unfortunate situation in the United States in particular that we are beginning to treat pregnancy and childbirth as though they are illnesses rather than the natural biological processes that they are. Where women once worked the fields until the day they gave birth (and then headed back to work afterward!) American women are more and more submitting to medicated pregnancy and childbirth.

Why?

Pregnancy isn't always pleasant. Sometimes it is downright ugly! Your body is growing and changing, there are fluids that weren't there before, hormones change the way that the hair and nails grow and for most women, pregnancy starts out with feeling sick (morning sickness, headaches and other aches and pains).

At this point in our history, we have been treating pregnancy for generations. My family didn't understand, at first, when I told them that I wanted an unattended pregnancy and a free birth. We are a society of convenience, and medicine often seems like the convenient way to handle the pain and general "ickiness" of pregnancy.

Pregnancy, however, is a natural process. It isn't always enjoyable and yes, sometimes it is nasty. The truth is that the female body was created to be able to handle every change that pregnancy brings about. In most cases, a pregnancy will not be saved by medical intervention and medicine can only make us more comfortable. Pregnancy is not a condition that must be cured, and there only is one cure: birth.

The truth of the matter is that childbirth is painful. While I have, myself, read several articles about the possibility of painless or eve "orgasmic" childbirth, every one of my four labors have been painful. There is a very high possibility that you won't be able to escape the pain of childbirth.

The best thing that you can do in order to move past the pain and have a healthy and joyful birth experience is to arm yourself with knowledge and prepare yourself for what is coming!

Having a good labor coach makes a difference! T-shirt available at: http://www.rosemarycompany.com
Having a good labor coach makes a difference! T-shirt available at: http://www.rosemarycompany.com

Informing the Important Parties

If you have decided to have a natural childbirth, there are several parties who need to be informed of your wishes.

Your Husband/Partner: Particularly if your husband or partner plans on being present at the birth, he needs to know of your desire to have a natural childbirth. Most men don't like to see their partners in pain and he will appreciate your giving him time to process the choice you have made.

Your Labor Coach: Your labor coach might be your husband, but could also be your mother, sister, or a close friend. Your labor coach needs to know that you have chosen natural childbirth. Remember that this person is your advocate during the process and needs to be aware of every decision you have made so that he or she can pass your wishes on to your attending doctor or midwife (if you have one).

Your Doctor or Midwife: Whether you have chosen a doctor or a midwife to deliver your baby, he or she will need to be informed of your decision to have a natural childbirth. You should complete a birth plan and sumbit this to your attending (doctor or midwife)

Understand the Risks vs. the Benefits of Common Interventions

I am not an expert, as previously stated. I would far prefer to point you in the direction of Hencie Goer, the Author of The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth (available at right). This book is an invaluable resource for American women who are hoping to have a natural childbirth in a country in which a full quarter of all pregnancies end inĀ  Caesarian section. This book will arm you with the facts about various interventions, including IV fluids and glucose, the most common intervention during labor!

Be Prepared!

If you are planning on a natural childbirth, you need to know what is coming. Be aware of your body and the process of childbirth. A class is highly recommended, but a good doctor or midwife will be more than willing to inform you of each step of the process, from the beginnings of labor, through transition, right down crowning and birth.

If you know what your body does during labor, you will be far more ready to experience it!

I would also like to mention that sometimes something goes wrong. With my last pregnancy, I had to be induced. Failure to induce my labor when we did would have resulted in the death of my daughter during the birth. Induction itself is an intervention (for another hub), but my main point is that pitocin will make labor hurt more. I've done this four times and have never experienced anything like pitocin! I was very, very close to asking for an epidural after three natural births.

Every birth is different, and there is no shame in taking the epidural if you feel that you need it. Labor is an exhausting experience, and the main thing is that you have a health baby in the end!

More by this Author


Comments 13 comments

Paper Moon profile image

Paper Moon 7 years ago from In the clouds

As a proud father of four, having been closely involved in all of them, I couldn't agree more. My first child was born at home, naturally, with a midwife. She was the greatest thing to happen to our pregnancies (excepting the babies of course). She armed us with more information on the first one, than all of the doctors combined for the other three. Unfortunately, midwives were (may still be) illegal in VA for our second child. They wanted to "Plan the date" of our 2nd ones birth (oh how convenient) and the whole thing was a fiasco. I actually knew more about what was happening then the attending nurse, but wont get into that. It is a beautiful natural process and if armed with information, is wonderful. Thank you for this hub. It is great!


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Paper Moon -- Scheduled inductions are getting more and more common and it's sad! I'm sorry about your experiences! Ane of these days I'm going to share my last three birth stories and you'll understand why we are freebirthing the next time!


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

When having your children at home, you learn so much more than when having them at a hospital. You have to, because ultimately, your in charge. Three of my births had no one outside of the family there. I was the only 'attendant' at my nieces birth.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

That is my hope for our next one, Ivorwen! Thanks for commenting!


packerpack profile image

packerpack 7 years ago from India, Calcutta

Well I never have to face this but the day my wife (yet to be found) has to face it, these advice will be fruitful. I guess it should be read by all ladies here especially those who are yet to become mother.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

packerpack, it isn't the only option, of course. I highly recommend that all women who are pregnant or intend to become pregnant read The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth. I swear this book saved my life when I was pregnant with my second child. Armed with knowledge, I was able to refuse an IV with children 2 and 3. #4 was an induction and the IV was required, darnit!


LoveLiveLearn profile image

LoveLiveLearn 7 years ago from NYC

Before I had my son I had planned on having a natural birth. But then once the pain set in I asked for the epidural. Maybe that was due to ill preperation, or not having a doula there (which I had wanted). Who knows.....but next time, if there is a next time I plan to try the natural route again. --- Very informative.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Thank you, LoveLiveLearn. Try Bradley -- I didn't know it, but that's how I was getting through my contractions!


askthedoula 6 years ago

I am so glad to find a hub written from a mom! Thank you! I am trying to lead our community in bringing awareness to our community that you do have OPTIONS, and just because your pregnant you don't have to be like your sister, friend or mom. You own your birth, and you should educate yourself about everything out there, that there is to know. Thanks for sharing, well written! Fellow mamma and doula.


Karen Wilton profile image

Karen Wilton 5 years ago from Australia

Inductions were around a long way back and they are probably as intensive now as they were thirty years ago. My first pregnancy was induced because the doctor thought I was wrong with my dates and they were right. Turns out I was right, my baby was born two weeks early but only because of the induction.

I was determined with my next pregnancy to go full term and to do things as naturally as I possibly could. Yes, it was hard work and there was much preparation but the labour was so much easier and the recovery time so much faster.

My third delivery was an emergency caesarian, totally out of my control but the only way for my baby to be born alive so I had to accept it and acknowledge that there are many options.

Your writing from a mother's perspective was absolutely spot on, I am so glad you shared your experiences.


Kahlan 5 years ago

Excellent article!!!! I'm glad there are more and more women who choose a natural childbirth.This is s very good choice,I fervently encourage and approve it. The modern "civilized" socety treats pregnancy and childbirth as disease,you're right! They can't imagine,that it's POSSIBLE to give birth at home,without lying on that ginaecological "bed",your feet tied,and being flat on back,which is the worst position(of course, they don't care about it!!! :| )

But by natural childbirth,you're absolutely free and comfortable :) at home is much wonderful than in hospital,I assure it!!!


Kahlan 5 years ago

I'm proud that I'm not submitted to over-medicalized "gynaecology",as if I don't go the hospital,I will die,I will suffer to death,my womb and breats will destroy.But in the time when all that stuff didn't exist,women were able to live perfectly without any "gynaecological" visits,doctors and modern obstetrics!!! Our bodies are able to do everything naturally.


mojefballa profile image

mojefballa 5 years ago from Nigeria

Wonderful and excellent information you shared in here.Since you did it and am trusting you that you stated exertly the steps here,i will give it a trial following your steps and i guess it will work for me too.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working