How To Prepare For Natural Childbirth

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE THAT BIRTH IS NATURAL, NORMAL AND HEALTHY.

? A doula at the delivery has been proven to shorten labor, improve mother's satisfaction and reduce the need for pain medications.

? Don't allow anyone at the delivery who doesn't have faith that you can labor without medication. Kick out or do not invite any "Nervous Nellies."

? Do your research by talking to childbirth educators, surfing the web and reading books on childbirth. You have to know why and what you want to make this a reality.

CHOOSE A PHYSICIAN WHO IS SUPPORTIVE OF YOUR BIRTH WISHES.

? If you will be laboring in a hospital, your doctor can make or break your experience to have natural childbirth.

? Choose someone wisely who will allow you to have your birth experience, not theirs.

? Plan ahead: Labor is too late to start talking about what you want.

? If you belong to a group of doctors and will not have your original doctor at delivery, you may need to be more aggressive with your desires.

? Be sure to have a doula, especially if you don't know who is on call for your delivery. A doula's continuous service can help achieve your goals during birth.

ATTEND A CHILDBIRTH CLASS THAT IS SUPPORTIVE OF NATURAL BIRTH.

? Not all childbirth classes are the same. Some hospital based programs promote what the doctors want them to teach, not evidence-based research surrounding the normalcy of labor.

? Some instructors don't emphasize relaxation and/or techniques to support natural childbirth.

? There are some great childbirth educators and methods (Lamaze, Bradley, Birthing From Within, Hypbirth and others) who promote natural birth. Call around and search the Internet for one right for you.

RELAXATION TECHNIQUES

? Relaxation takes away the pain of childbirth

? It's necessary to practice daily

? Take pre-natal yoga classes or a childbirth class that emphasizes relaxation.

? Relaxation and the right support help you achieve your birth dreams.

Julie L. Johnson is a wife and mother of three who has experienced every pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and breastfeeding situation there is and has lived to tell about. She is a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Certified Doula and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant practicing in Southern California. Her website http://www.birth-angel.com provides services and products to help ease the transition into motherhood.

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