An unmedicated, natural childbirth is an entirely achievable and reasonable goal for about 85 percent of pregnant women. The other 15 percent have health complications that put them in a high-risk category, and they need certain interventions (such as a Cesarean section) to make birth safer for mom or baby. Most women think about pregnancy as a time to grow a cute bump and a cute baby. But pregnancy is so much more than that – it’s also about preparing your body to give birth to your baby (and to breastfeed after your baby is born). Taking care of yourself during pregnancy is a huge part of preparing for a safe, natural birth – birth doesn’t start with the first contraction.
Every day of your pregnancy is part of preparing for birth.
Taking care of yourself during pregnancy is a huge part of preparing for a safe, natural birth.
Have a Low-Intervention Pregnancy
Great pregnancies are not just about good luck – there are so many things you can do to prevent complications from ever happening. Taking those steps also prepares your body for birthing.
Think about this – your uterus is more than just something that holds your baby. It’s an incredibly powerful muscle. Would a woman preparing for a weight-lifting competition ignore how her diet impacted her muscle strength? She would know exactly what to eat to make sure her muscles had the energy they needed. But most women go into birth never giving their uterus a thought at all. The uterus must be well-nourished to have the strength and stamina to push your baby out.
The primary purpose of great pregnancy nutrition is to expand your blood supply, which means plenty of nutrients to:
- Grow a healthy baby
- Grow a healthy placenta
- Grow a healthy uterus
- And keep your body healthy
Exercise in pregnancy is not about weight control, it’s about mental well-being and preparing your body for birth. Giving birth is a bit of an endurance exercise for most women, so regular, light exercise is really helpful. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you plan a sensible routine:
- Do walk daily
- Do choose a routine 2-3x a week (yoga, belly dance, or a prenatal class are good options)
- Do rest when you need to
- Do eat extra if you’re getting intense exercise
- Do add a few squats into your routine
- Don’t do intense cardio or aerobic routines
- Don’t push yourself – “maintain” do not go for gains
Choosing Where to Give Birth
I realize that if you’ll be at a hospital for your birth your options may be limited to whatever doctor or midwife happens to be on-call at the time, but if you are at home or at a birthing center you will likely have more say over this matter. Choose a care provider who puts you at ease and who respects you and your wishes. If you don’t connect with someone, don’t be afraid to choose someone else. This is your birth we’re talking about and you shouldn’t stick with a particular doctor or midwife out of a feeling of obligation. If you plan to deliver in a hospital setting where your care provider is uncertain, you may want to consider hiring a doula. Doulas can offer great support during birth and can act as an advocate and a comfort during your labor.
Find a care provider you know and trust
You probably want someone who is really going to help you – and again, that takes some planning and preparation. Your birthing partner – be that your husband, your mom, your best friend, your sister whomever – can be a huge help during your birthing time.
think about professional athletes. They spend a lot of time on their “mental game” before they ever get to the real game. They spend time preparing for victory, and then spend time picturing, or visualizing, the outcome they want. They see themselves achieving their goal. Nobody jeers at athletes for doing this (in fact, modern society practically worships athletes!) – so don’t feel weird. Take time to think through what you need to do to stay healthy during pregnancy, and to prepare for birth.
More Information on Preparing for a Great Birth:
There may be a chance that you will have cesarean section due to your changing circumstances. Hence, you need to have any readiness from the past and be familiar with the things that lead to it. Among the factors that lead to normal delivery to the cesarean section:
- Mother’s blood pressure rises
- Large head of the baby than the mother’s hips
- Inappropriate placement of the baby in the mother’s womb
- Drop your baby’s heart rate
- Dropping a baby’s pairs or having a problem in it
- Premature or late delivery