Natural Birth Tips
By Freida Miller
Thanks be to God; natural birth has made somewhat of a comeback from what it was 60 years ago. Back in those days, fathers were not permitted to be with their wives during labor. Women were knocked out and often delivered with forceps. Almost all babies were formula fed. So, it is a blessing that those things for the most part have changed!
So, what exactly is "natural" birth? In medical terms, if a baby is born vaginally, it is considered a spontaneous or natural delivery. Sadly, the rate of c-sections in most US hospitals is now around 35 %. But how many of the remaining 65% are truly spontaneous and natural?
Inducing labor is considered a very normal procedure among many doctors. There seems to be a dearth of doctors and of the general public who believe birth is a wisely thought out process that usually works very well if left alone.
Sadly, the rate of epidural deliveries in most hospitals is in the 90% range. Along with the epidural, there is usually a fetal monitor, an I-V with synthetic hormones added to stimulate harder contractions, and often an antibiotic. Eating or drinking is rarely permitted. The woman needs to stay in bed, as her legs are too numb to hold her up. That cannot honestly be called natural, can it?
Why are so many women willing to have their labors managed in this way? Given, there are going to be situations where medical intervention is needed. But for 90% of American women??
Who created the female body and made it capable of carrying and delivering children? Have we simply become so unhealthy that our bodies don't work, or might we need to be educated better?
Pregnancy is a natural part of life for most females and should not be treated as a sickness unless it has become problematic.
Let's start with some simple tips for keeping pregnancy healthy:
1) Eat a wide variety of wholesome foods, including 80 to 100 grams of protein a day. Salt your food to taste. Both salt and good proteins have been shown to lower the incidence of pre-eclampsia. Complex carbohydrates are needed too. But watch the carbs! Most of us get more than we need. Dark green leafy vegetables are an excellent daily food choice. Add some proteins to the salad, like sunflower seeds, boiled eggs, cheese, or meat. Some fermented foods are a great addition to your diet. It is very good for your gut bacteria.
2) Drink to thirst, which is generally about 2 to 3 quarts of water daily for a 150-pound person. More is needed if you weigh more. It is best to drink most of your water between meals. Chlorinated or softened water are best avoided. Make water your main liquid, adding herbal teas like red raspberry, nettle, and alfalfa if you like. They are excellent iced in the warmer months. Juices should be kept to a minimum, especially if you tend to have large babies. (Even pure fruit juices with no added sugars are high in fruit sugar)
3) Take prenatal vitamins, preferably with folate, not folic acid, as some of us have a hard time absorbing the synthetic folic acid. Calcium carbonate is also hard to absorb and may hinder absorption of other nutrients as well. If your prenatal vitamin does not include essential fatty acids, add some.
4) Walking 20 to 30 minutes a day is a good way to stay in shape, get fresh air, and get your lymph system working well.
5) Find things to be thankful for each day. "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." (Prov. 17:22) Babies pick up on your attitudes.
Some Common Pregnancy Complaints and Simple, Safe Remedies
1)Eat small meals or snacks frequently, avoiding sweets so as not to spike blood sugars because after the spike comes a drastic drop and you feel terrible. Proteins help keep your blood sugar more stable.
2) Take probiotics and/or enzymes to help with digestion.
3) Squeeze the juice of half a lemon in half a glass of water and drink first thing in the morning.
4) Herbs that are good for the liver may help, such as milk thistle. Doing a liver cleanse prior to pregnancy may help. Once pregnant, cleanses are best avoided so as not to stress the tiny baby who now receives everything you take in.
1) Avoid standing still or sitting for long periods of time. Rock on your feet or walk in place if standing. Use rugs on cement, and supportive footwear on your feet.
2) Keep your bowels moving well. Eating more high fiber foods helps, as well as drinking plenty of water.
3) Put your feet up a few times a day. If the offending veins are way up high, do knee chest exercises a few times daily. Sometimes it can help to wear a maxi pad to apply counter pressure to bulging vaginal varicosities.
4)Some helpful supplements: white oak bark, butcher's broom, citrus bioflavonoids (3000 mg), Vitamin E (400 IU). Note: The white part inside green peppers and oranges are high in bioflavonoids. Many herb companies carry combinations good for healthy veins.
5) Topicals for relief include calendula or comfrey salve, cypress, or frankincense essential oil, diluted in salve or oil, natural apple cider vinegar mixed with water half and half, applied as a compress. (First apply a cream or salve so as not to dry the skin out too much)
1) Pick up things by bending your knees and keeping your back straight.
2) Do pelvic rocks every day.
3) Use bone meal or calcium citrate instead of calcium carbonate.
4) MSM might help
5) Maternity support belts can help
1) Make sure you eat enough protein and drink enough water.
2) Take herbs such as cramp bark, black haw, and wild yam if you have a tendency to miscarry or go too early
3) Using 300 mg bioflavonoids daily can help strengthen your cervix
4) Avoid activities that put stress on the pelvic area, such as heavy lifting, pushing or pulling, or bouncing around.
5) If you carry your baby low, lie on a slant board for 20 minutes a few times a day to take pressure off the cervix.
High Blood Pressure
1) Eat healthy, with plenty of protein and do not avoid salt. But do use quality salt, such as Himalayan pink salt. Drink pure water.
2) Walk daily.
3) Add half a lemon to a quart of water daily
4) Eat plenty of onions, garlic, and cucumbers.
1) Stay away from sugar and starch.
2) Wash with vinegar water
3) Take probiotics
4) Drink plenty of water.
5) Wear only white, cotton underwear. Wash clothes with gentle soap and rinse in vinegar water.
And now, tips for a successful natural birth!!
1) Find a practitioner who believes in natural pregnancy and birth, supports, and teaches good nutrition and healthy lifestyles, has a reputation for being non interventive, and does not treat you like an accident that is about to happen.
2) Talk to people who share your birth ideals, and do not listen to horror stories and people who fear birth. Fear and distrust of your ability to birth are very crippling.
3) Study how your body works, and generally know what to expect during labor (although labors vary!) Focus more on trusting God than on knowing everything there is to know - there is such a thing as information overload in this day and age!!
4) Especially in the last month, stay out of easy chairs and recliners. They tend to encourage babies to be in a posterior position, which can make for a more difficult labor.
AND NOW FOR THE ACTUAL LABOR!!
Especially for the first baby, pace yourself. This can be a lengthy process and you need to rest in the early stages as much as possible. Be sure to stay well fed and hydrated. Use the restroom frequently. It is best to somewhat ignore the labor as long as you can. If you are still in early labor and are finding it hard to relax and let go, try a warm bath, perhaps some tea with relaxing herbs such as herbal calcium or red raspberry. Lavender oil can be relaxing. So can foot rubs and soaks.
As labor gets more intense and contractions come for frequently, be sure to focus on letting go. Keep breathing normally. Special patterns of breathing are not necessary. Simply focus on breathing evenly and in a relaxed manner. It is very important during contractions to keep the breath going. Holding your breath tends to make you tense. Your exhale needs to be paced - not a quick breath. This is something that takes a lot of concentration! It is very helpful to focus on relaxing all your facial muscles, as a relaxed face correlates to a relaxed pelvis. It is fine to breathe quietly but is also fine to moan with contractions. Low pitched sounds help you relax; high pitched sounds make your muscles tense and taut and it will hurt more!
If your back hurts, it is usually best to spend your time on hands and knees. If you are very tired, fix a big pile of pillows on the bed and let them help support you in a restful position. Another technique that can alleviate back pain is to do a belly lift during contractions. Going into the shower on hands and knees can also be very helpful. Birth balls are quite handy to lean over.
Moving frequently during labor can be very helpful for encouraging the baby to maneuver its way through your pelvis in a timely manner. Good pressure on your cervix can help you dilate more readily. But relaxing and letting go is your most important tool. A dark and quiet room is much better than bright lights and conversation of any kind where you need to respond. Labor is not a time to think deeply - it is a time to fade into almost a subconscious state of mind. A good midwife will recognize the importance of not interrupting the deep relaxation mode of a woman in active labor. It is a sacred time to be respected. For me, I love to listen quietly and know when a woman is ready to push just by being attentive to sounds and actions!
The pushing stage is so exciting, especially after a long labor. The time to meet Baby is almost here! Once again, a focus on letting go is best. Focus on opening up those pelvic muscles, making yourself big as a house, release, release, release. Push as your body tells you to. At the end, you may need to hold back a little so as to give your perineum time to stretch. Warm compresses can be soothing and helpful to prevent tears.
Oh, what relief and joy as your precious baby emerges! There is much value in being free from drugs during birth because whatever Mom is getting, Baby is getting too. Drugs can compromise baby's immune system long term. Much study is being done on the value of the intact cord giving Baby continued nutrients and stem cells. (It is good to wait to cut the cord until it is done pulsing)
The microbiome of the vaginal secretions and also of the mom's skin which baby should have access to immediately is very good for the baby's immune system. It is good for babies not to be bathed for a week. The skin comes with a protective coating that is a shame to wipe off.
And the colostrum and subsequent breastmilk - chapters could be written on the benefits of it. Truly it was designed by a Master Designer!
© 2020. Used by permission