In a previous post I wrote about why you would want to give birth to your children naturally. Now I am going to give you some tips on HOW to achieve this goal.
1. First, you need to find a doctor that will support your decision to not be medicated during your delivery. It will be harder for you to get information, ask questions, etc if your doctor is not supportive of your decision.
2. Educate yourself. I cannot stress how important this is. It is not enough to read a book on pregnancy and childbirth. Read several books on Natural Childbirth, watch videos on Natural Childbirth, take a class (not a prepared childbirth class but a Natural Childbirth class there is a difference between the two) talk to people who have been successful. Some great books to read are Husband Coached Childbirth by Dr. Robert A Bradley and Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon.
3. Stay healthy and in good shape during your pregnancy. Exercise, eat properly, and get a good amount of rest to make sure your body is prepared to give birth.
4. Have a well educated, supportive coach who can respond to your needs and when necessary communicate them to the hospital staff.
5. Put your birth plan in writing. It doesn't have to pages and pages long. It can be just a few things that are very important to you that you want the staff to know without having to explain it to everyone that comes in the room.
6. Conquer your fear. Whether it is fear of the unknown (first baby) or fear of the known (more then one baby) fear can be your biggest obstacle. Educating yourself about what is going on inside your body is a great start, but some people may need more than that. Recently I read a great book called Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize that talks about promises that have been made to us in Scripture and how to deal with fear during pregnancy and delivery. When you are nearing the end of Stage 1 in childbirth you will usually get a panicky feeling. Relax and know that feeling comes when you are close to the end. Soon you will be able to push and you will not feel pain any longer. When it is time to push it doesn't hurt anymore.
7. Try out some different relaxation techniques to find out what works best for you and use them. When I was having Chelsea the nurses wanted me to do Lamaze breathing. It made me uncomfortable and it did not relax me. The more you can relax the less amount of pain you will be in, and the faster your labor will go.
8. Remember we are women and were made to have babies. We have done it for centuries with no pain killers and have been very successful. Labor is hard work, but at the end you will have a wonderful reward.