So you want a Natural Birth, or you are at least are interested in learning more about what a Natural Birth looks like. You are one of many North American Women who are intrigued by letting your body follow their natural course through labor, just as you did throughout your pregnancy. By choice, or by circumstance you will deliver at the hospital, and although it seems as if you can not have the best of both worlds, you can!
What is Natural Birth?
Natural Birth can be defined differently by different people. It can include any of the following, alone or in combination:
• Vaginal Birth, with or without the use of pharmaceutical drugs
• Birth without pain-relieving drugs
• Birth without drugs whatsoever
• Birth with only select interventions allowed, according to the mother's birth plan
• Birth with the fewest interventions possible to support the health of the mother and baby
For many of these women Natural Birth includes spontaneous labor (unaffected by induction practices), at one's own pace (without augmenting drugs), and utilizing one's own power (without anesthetics). For some few mothers and babies, medical attention is required. For these women, a natural birth means the most natural birth possible. However, when complications arise and even a single intervention is performed, statistically others show to follow. This proven effect is called a Medical Cascade.
3 Simple Steps to an Effective Birth Plan
Step 1: Dream the birth
Dreaming..... Let go of all the 'shoulds'. Discard any preconceived notion of what birth is, let go of any outside voices, and tune into your inner voice. Sit down and give it serious thought. Meditate, journal, draw, create what your ideal birth experience looks like to you. Use all of your senses in this process. What does the lightening look like? What do you hear? What smells good to you? Are you in water, squatting, standing, or swaying? If you have a partner, you will likely want to do this together as a healthy sharing experience.
Step 2: Plan the whole Birth
Not just the medical part, but the personal parts too. Share with your closest confidents on your desires, fears, needs at your birth so you can process the many feelings you may be having. Are you one who gets strength through others support? Or are you most content when alone to find your own strength?In essence, you will want to decide who you want to attend your birth. You can often look towards past experiences for guidance here. In times of struggle or success were you best suited alone or with others? Looking upon past rituals or ceremonies can also provide insight into your emotional, mental, and spiritual outlook on situations which can be helpful as you enter yet another transition into motherhood.
Step 3: Write your medical birth plan and share with your medical staff
Now that you've dreamed up your ideal birth, and reflected on previous experience to provide guidance, you are ready to write your birth plan. This written document is geared towards providing detailed information for your birth team. It should accurately reflect your needs in order to provide a safe, supportive, and in control setting for your birth. Some birth plans can be as simple as...
"Dear Health Providers, please help me achieve the most natural birth possible. I am so grateful for everyone's support on this special day." Clear, concise, and sincere. If you wish to expand on areas such as induction, breaking water bags, delaying medications, or direct skin to skin contact, I would include these details. Remember to keep the language positive so everyone is most likely to respect and honor your needs.
Every birth is unique, just as every woman is unique, and every situation is unique. Having an empowering birth plan ahead of time can allow you to have the most Natural Birth possible. A supportive birth team are there for you and your needs, creating a memory you will never forget. Let's make it a positive one!