Ana says she is preparing to have a 100 percent natural birth because she is concerned about the effect of anesthetic, pain management on child health. But she has no information on how she will do it. Think about how our mothers were born at a time when there was no surgery or no epidural.
A natural birth without medication is a fully achievable and reasonable goal for about 85 percent of pregnant women. Only 15 percent have health complications that put them in a high-risk category, where they need certain interventions, such as a caesarean section, to make the birth safe, whether for the mother or baby.
But what if 85 percent of women are in the low risk category for a vaginal birth, only about 67.2 percent of women in the US have had a vaginal birth according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 32.8 percent have delivery by caesarean section.
About 61 percent of women who have had a vaginal birth have received an epidural, 39 percent have either given birth without medication, or have used pain medication. Some of these women have "natural" births because there is no time for an epidural. Many others, however, are like Anna and do not want or need her.
If you are like Anna and are hoping to experience a completely natural birth read these seven tips:
Take prenatal lessons
Look for courses, classes that include preparing pregnant mothers for what to expect, that is, natural birth and natural pain management techniques such as breathing, self-hypnosis, relaxation and other coping mechanisms. If you do not find such classes, look for a midwife and find out about everything that awaits you during the birth process.
Choose a midwife or nurse who assists at birth
You may hire a nurse or a midwife or if you do not do so before you are in the hospital ask for a specialist in natural birth or discuss this with your doctor, gynecologist.
Try not to gain too much weight
The natural birth tends to go better for women who are not overweight. They have fewer complications and do not require much medical intervention.
Develop a pregnancy without much control
Women who do not undergo many medical examinations during pregnancy have set a precedent for a birth with less problems and interventions as well. If you do not have a particular health problem, do less tests, treatments and interventions during pregnancy. Of course, some tests are important for every mother, but many are completely optional. Whenever tests or procedures are recommended, ask why you need it if it will change or improve your health. If your doctor or midwife gives compelling reasons why you should do certain interventions, do so. They are there for good reasons, but not every patient needs everything.
Skip the onset of pain at home
You can move around, take a bath, eat and drink and go for walks. When your contractions are consistently less than five minutes apart and become stronger for at least two hours no matter what you do, you can contact your health care provider, doctor or midwife. If you go to the hospital and are not yet close to the birth process, go home.
Use water constantly
A shower, a bathtub, an indoor pool and hot tubs are Mother Nature's pain relief tools and help you relax. Spend as much time as possible in the water.
Apply your prenatal knowledge
Take a breath, meditate, rest, move, change positions, do a massage, listen to music and everything else you think helps you.