Top five tips on how to prepare for a natural birth is inspired by my passion to educate and support women in pregnancy, birth and motherhood.
I hope these tips are useful for you or someone your know.
Tip 1 – Exercise is Key for a Natural Birth
So the first tip on how to prepare for a natural birth is all about exercise.
Many women exercise in pregnancy and feel really good for doing so.
A common question is: How long is it safe to exercise for in Pregnancy?
In discussions with Anita, from Fitfor2, she encourages women to exercise right up until they have their baby if it is safe to do so.
If you have a low risk pregnancy or it’s deemed safe for you to exercise, continue to do so.
Continue to exercise right up until you give birth to your baby.
The importance around continually exercising is to maintain your physical strength.
The cool thing is that it also supports and strengthens your mindset as well.
Exercise is incredible for supporting both mental and physical aspects.
So continue exercising as long as you can, however remember your exercise must be done in a safe way.
You can seek the support of a qualified pregnancy safe trainer, which is an amazing way to support your body and prepare your body for birth.
We need stamina in birth.
We need both mental stamina and physical stamina in birth.
And so exercise is an amazing way to support your body, in every aspect to be ready to birth your baby.
Birth is and can be very tolling on the body, depending how you cope.
If you have been active, continually exercising up until the day you give birth, it has been shown that women who are fit and have been exercising, find birth easier.
So that’s just one tip I wanted to share with you.
Don’t be afraid to continually move your body, just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you are disabled.
You can still do certain things safely.
Walking is amazing, and there’s certain exercises and strength training that you can continue to do in a very safe way.
For more information on safe exercise you can visit Fitfor2.com.au for some great tips.
So the first tip is continue exercising.
Tip 2 – Pelvic Floor Exercises will help you prepare for a Natural Birth
The second tip I have for you, on how to prepare for a natural birth is around pelvic floor exercises.
Now I say this specifically because it’s so important.
Your pelvic floor plays such an important role in pregnancy but also plays such an important part through birth.
In pregnancy we want to strengthen the pelvic floor.
You want to do those exercises to bring strength, however, in birth, we want our public floor to be able to relax.
A relaxed pelvic floor makes way to support the baby to come out with ease.
So pelvic floor exercises are key in pregnancy, however, you can check with a women’s health physio to see if your pelvic floor is hypertonic.
Now, a hypertonic pelvic floor struggles to relax, it’s always in that heightened position, and women with a hypertonic pelvic floor can struggle in the birth process.
So it’s a good idea to get yourself checked by a women’s health physio, and they can inform you as to whether you have a hypertonic pelvic floor or not, you then, know how that potentially could affect you in birth.
If you struggle to relax the pelvic floor in birth, it does make it difficult for the baby to come out.
So if in pregnancy you know you have a hypertonic pelvic floor, you can do the necessary exercises to support relaxing of the pelvic floor, hence preparing yourself.
So make sure you get that checked out.
If you are an anxious, nervous, tense person, often but not always, you may be more prone to having a hypertonic pelvic floor.
You may hold a lot of tension in the body, so it is advised to find out if you have a hypertonic pelvic floor if this is the case.
A women health’s physio will advise what you need to do in order to prepare your pelvic floor for birth.
Make sure you check to see where your pelvic floor is positioned, and if there’s anything else you need to do to prepare yourself.
So the second tip is continue your pelvic floor exercises and get a pelvic floor check as well.
Tip 3 – Perineum Care in Preparation for a Natural Birth
The third tip I have you is thinking about doing some perineum care.
Your perineum plays such an important role in birth because when the baby’s head crowns, everything has to stretch.
This is when the tearing and other things may occur.
If you can be doing some perineum care preparation before birth, make it a priority as it is a really great way to support your body in the birth process.
The first thing you can be doing is perineum massage.
Whether you’ve heard of this or not, it is quite common, potentially something that’s not spoken about a lot with your care provider, but you can easily find information by doing a little search online and you will find more as you research for yourself.
So perineum massage is a great way to start to support the stretching of the skin.
It is said that perineum massage supports the ability for the skin to stretch when the baby comes out.
So what you can be doing is you can make up an oil solution and start to apply it over the perineum.
Now, I personally just put the oil on there.
I just placed the oil on there and got lots of benefits that way as well.
If you choose to do the massage, then potentially you’ll get even more benefits.
Perineum care is key and anything that can assist in an easier, less traumatic birth process is worth the effort.
Tip 4 – Have an Open Birth Plan
Tip number four is to have an open birth plan.
Make sure you sit down with your partner and put your wish list on paper.
Then talk to your care provider about what it is you want from your birth.
Make it really, really clear as early on as you can.
If you don’t want intervention, make that clear.
If you don’t want an epidural, make that clear.
But then, be open to having the conversations around your wishes if needed.
Many women go into their birth experience with a very closed mind.
“This is what I want and this is how it must be” – type of attitude can lead to trauma.
If you have an open birth plan, the care provider knows what you’re trying to achieve, and will work with you to meet your goal.
Your partner is the keeper of your birth plan. and it is his role to protect your wishes.
However, you both need to be open if complications arise and you need to do certain things that are not on your wish list to protect the health of mum and the health of baby.
If you are open with your care provider early on, and you have your wish list together you can do all the things you can do to create the most amazing birth experience.
You come in relaxed and ready to give it your best shot and your mindset is in the best place it possibly can be.
You’ve done all you can to reduce fear and anxiety.
Then you’ve really done so much to create opportunity to get those wishes met.
If you don’t come in prepared and educated, that’s when things often go wrong, however, every birth is different and every woman’s body is different, and every experience, preparation, situation and circumstance is different.
You can have a low risk, medium risk, high risk pregnancy all of which can influence what happens in the birthing suite.
All I wanted to say for this tip is that a birth plan is essential.
Make sure your partners all over it, that he totally understands your wishes, and he’s going to be your biggest advocate in birth.
This is going to support you mentally because you feel secure.
You will feel heard and you will feel supported, so having an open birth plan is extremely important to contributing positively to your birth experience.
Tip 5 – Mindset on How to Prepare for a Natural Birth
The fifth tip I have for you is make sure your mindset is exactly where it needs to be.
Labour, giving birth to a child is more about mindset than anything else.
It is a mindset game.
It is a game between your mindset and pain!
Will pain win or will you win?
And so preparing before moving into that birth process is so, so important and you must have your mind and your attitude in the very right space, because that’s what’s going to keep you going.
And that’s what’s going to get you through the birth process.
Mindset is absolutely key!
There are tools you can employ before going into the birth phase to help your mindset and help your body relax.
Our blog 5 easy Tips for a Normal Delivery in Child Birth provides some great information to help with mindset in birth.
You need to be in a calm, relaxed state, which will help relax your pelvic floor as well and this is going to help your mind to be relaxed and able to get into the zone of birth.
Some tools that really supported me in terms of calming, grounding, working with the anxious feelings, the unknown, the fear around birth is I personally used essential oils.
I would roll them on my wrists.
I would place them on my feet.
I use clary sage as a beautiful, natural way to support my body just before bubba was born.
And these are great tools to have to support practising breathing techniques.
You may think about doing calm birth or hypnobirthing techniques in your birth practice.
Practice the techniques with your partner before you go into birth and use your essential oils, is a great way to bring the body into relaxation and calmness.
They will work wonders and they will support you so well in that space, and they really do help reduce those anxious feelings and fear and all that tension in your body before going into that birth phase.
Recap on 5 Tips on How to Prepare for a Natural Birth
Just to recap on the five tips on How to Prepare for a Natural Birth:
Number one: is to continue to exercise.
This will help you both physically and emotionally prepare for your birth.
Number two: continue those pelvic floor exercises and make sure you get a pelvic floor check by a women’s health physio which will help you identify whether your pelvic floor is hypertonic or not and if it is ready for giving birth.
Number three: is make sure you do some good perineum care. Think about using perineum massage with some oil solution to prepare yourself as much as possible for birth. You can also use another tools called an Epi-no, which you may like to consider as well.
Number four: is make sure you have an open birth plan that you have fully documented. Document your wishes and share it with your care provider and your partner so they know exactly what you want to achieve and your goals around your birth.
Make sure that your partner is the keeper of that birth plan. He will be your biggest advocate and he will make sure he protects you and your birth wishes in labour.
Number five: is make sure you have invested in your mindset and that you have done the work you need to do to set yourself up for success and make sure you use the tools that are available to you, such as essential oils. Utilise breathing techniques like calm birthing, or hypnobirthing.
There’s so many techniques these days that can be beneficial on how to prepare for a natural birth.
Hope you have found these tips on how to prepare for a natural birth to be helpful.
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