The very best thing you can do is to prepare yourself. Such preparation can take many forms and should ideally begin before conception for both mother and father to be; it can start after conception if you haven't already, or it can even start a few short weeks before your due date - better late than never. However, the sooner you start preparing, the more likely you are to have a natural delivery and the more likely that delivery is to be comparatively straightforward, painless and easy.
Why do I need to prepare and in what ways do I need to prepare?
The following is a brief list of some of the key considerations for your natural childbirth preparation:
- How long to prepare for
- Preconception preparation - many people wrongly assume that preparation is only required after conception and predominantly by the female
- Pre-birth preparation - no shortage of work here for mum and dad
- Use of Birthing Better with the Pink Kit (an online course now known as Childbirth Skills for All Births) - including physical body preparation of muscle structures of female and mental/emotional preparation of both parents
- Reading; supportive like-minded thinkers
- Good music, colours, smells, social environment
Is there anything I should avoid for a natural birth?
There sure is, but please don't let any of these issues be a source of stress. The fact is that most of us have been around these "problems" our whole life, although pregnancy brings its own challenges and imperatives. For example, your body organs, such as your liver, were probably already pretty busy before the extra jobs of dealing with the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy came along and before you had to support an extra life.
Here are a few things to avoid for a natural childbirth:
- Sources of synthetic hormones, such as may leach out of plastic bottles - you and baby should be drinking out of glass, stainless steel, or porcelain (yep, stainless steel is the practical one for baby) - aluminium isn't the go either
- Cigarette smoke - you'd be amazed how many toxins are there, cadmium and carbon monoxide to name only two
- Alcohol - most people agree that total abstinence is the way to go during pregnancy, but again, don't get too stressed out if you have half a glass of something once
- Emotional upsets (sure, they're easy to avoid) - apart from the stress of it, a surprising amount of your emotional traumas (big and small) during pregnancy can translate into the disposition of your child
- Heavy content TV and music - as a culture we have become incredibly numb to violent, dark and competitive TV content, none of which is particularly conducive to your relaxation and even temperament
- Bad sitting posture (usually associated with aforementioned TV) - spinal and hip stress can be a big factor in baby's uterine position
- Home renovations - I had to learn the hard way; you definitely can rebuild your house and have a pregnant wife, but no way should you - it's much too big of a mental and emotional distraction, even if all the mess, noise, paint/carpet fumes and disruption don't get to you. One thing about pregnancy and natural birth - you've got to be there through the whole thing
- Pesticides in foods - in other words, incorporate as many organic foods into your diet as possible, particularly when they are fat-soluble ones like eggs and dairy
You also need to avoid negative or fear-based thinkers. Fear is diametrically opposed to love and love is the main nutrient baby needs. For example, some "experts" see everything in terms of risk, consequences, worst-case scenario, and avoidance of harm. For sure, you need to be informed and prepared (you can't stick your head in the sand and hope everything will be fine), but you also need to focus on perfection and to trust your body and what it can do when well enough prepared.
Guilt or low self-esteem can also be a big problem, often associated with prior abortions or unloving sexual acts, for example. Guilt is fairly ubiquitous but a bigger problem for some than others. If you are already pregnant then by definition you must be worthy. If you aren't pregnant that doesn't make you unworthy - "the great midwife in the sky" doesn't judge people according to whether they have children or not - but a successful pregnancy is nonetheless an outer sign of an internal truth.
The caution here is that you cannot easily receive what you believe you cannot receive. Yes, I know, saying, "Don't feel guilty" is at least as futile as saying, "Don't be anxious," but, by way of preparation, our guilt and self-esteem are issues to be dealt with if they can be.
When our children were born it never occurred to me that there could ever be anything else but a natural childbirth, but this is not the experience of many women who are underprepared or not fully advised.
Our first birth experience prompted me to write these fertility, conception and natural birth webpages. The birth of our second child reminded me how much of a big deal it is to be prepared properly for natural birth, after very nearly having to deliver the baby myself, so I started compiling an outline for a whole book.
Two years later, I actually had to deliver our third child while the midwife was at the movies! Another good reminder to get that book writing done. Although a lot of "life" has happened in the meantime, I am nearing the completion of that book now and getting it ready to share with you.
In it, I explore many of the same issues as on these webpages, such as what a natural childbirth is, mental, spiritual, emotional and physical preparation, how to write a birth plan, water births, use of The Pink Kit for preparation, and much more.
Nature provided a natural way for birth to occur, we (mothers and fathers) just need to learn how to prepare ourselves and avoid the mistakes that push us down the path of less natural birthing methods.
You can join a special email list now if you want to be kept up to date on the book's release.
As we know in Body Electronics, trauma can be suppressed into any body structure, particularly the connective tissue and musculature. Through a great combination of circumstances such as sexual trauma, prior birth trauma, sexual inhibition or excess, much of which may be genetically inherited, a woman may be particularly prone to suppressing such experiences into the structures of the pelvic floor. This may result in muscle spasm, numbness, loss of tone, lack of muscle control and general restriction in the areas surrounding and in the birth canal. This can make it difficult to allow the "openness", flexibility, or relaxation required to facilitate an easy and painless natural childbirth.
Birthing Better (formerly called The Pink Kit) is the only "do-it-yourself" programme I am aware of aside from Body Electronics that can make such radical changes in a woman's body, and it was developed right here in New Zealand! If there's one "product" I can recommend to help achieve a natural childbirth, this is it. In conjunction with the nutrition and emotional release methods we use in Body Electronics, it can be even better.
Now in the form on an online course, Birthing Better With The Pink Kit (also renamed Childbirth Skills for all Births) is a mixture of eBooks, audio and video content broken down into several lessons: Being Prepared, Working Together, Body Skills, Get Ready for Labour, Managing Pain, During Labour, and After Birth.
Click on the image below or the text link to visit their site and find out how you can prepare for childbirth using Birthing Better Complete Birth Skills.
Natural Preconception, Birth, and Babycare Links
I have to put the disclaimer here: the following links all offer great services - I've used some of them myself or know of them by reputation. But the real reason I've listed them here is to give you a starting point in your research, rather than as "recommendations". Please make up your own mind about what is right for you.
Aquabub - Birth pool hire and accessories, cloth nappies, baby carriers, amber teething necklaces and more.
Home Birth Aotearoa - New Zealand home birth midwife directory.
Naked Baby - natural and eco-friendly products, organic toys, nappies, craft supplies, feeding accessories, maternity clothes, personal care, household cleaners, and a wide range of organic and natural baby accessories.
If you haven't already, you can read my views on fertility and conception here...
Or, you may want to look at some of the pregnancy and childhood books I recommend.