Preparing for Natural Childbirth
Congratulations! You have decided on your method of childbirth; now it's time to prepare.
Every woman should start her preparation with a birth plan. Make sure that you will be giving birth in the right environment, with the right caregiver, with adequate support, and with a working knowledge of childbirth and coping techniques.
Natural childbirth is possible in a hospital, but you may also consider using a birth center. Some mothers even give birth at home. Again, it is about finding the right fit for you! If you do use a hospital, make sure you have an open line of communication with your caregiver. Find out what interventions are typical at the hospital you are going to and if you can deliver without them. Certain protocols, such as IV's and continuous electronic monitoring, may inhibit your ability to move around and hinder some of the techniques you have learned in order to deal with the pain.
Some women elect to bring a midwife or doula with them to help them through labor and delivery. These individuals are trained to help you cope with an un-medicated delivery. It is also important that you select a childbirth educator that is experienced in natural childbirth. Along with your childbirth educator, select the coping techniques that are best for you. Some common coping techniques are breathing exercises and visualization, one-to-one labor support, positioning and movement, hypnosis, massage and touch, hot and cold therapy, hydrotherapy, and acupuncture.
One last word of advice: No matter how well you prepare for this birth, it is possible that you may not have the ideal birth that you imagined. If a natural birth becomes impossible due to complications, it is important not to be disappointed. This is one of the most important moments of your life, and accepting the reality of your own labor may be your greatest strength on that day.