Most expecting women will go out of their way to prepare for a healthy baby and to ensure the safest and healthiest birthing experience. However, today epidurals are de rigueur, and many women mistakenly believe that a hospital birth is the best – or only – option. The fact is, for most women a natural birth is statistically safer than a medicated or Caesarian birth.
When it comes to having a baby, the least amount of intervention is best, assuming there are no complications. Ideally, a birth would take place at a free-standing birth center, or in your own home, with the care of a certified professional midwife (CPM) and a doula for support. CPMs are some of the best trained professionals for non-medicalized births.
Other options include, in order of most hands-off to most intervention-driven, certified nurse midwives, family practice doctors and OB/GYNs. Your chances of having an instrumental delivery go up just based on where you go.
If you want to have a healthy, safe, and natural birth, there are a few steps you should take to prepare yourself:
- If you aren’t convinced that attempting a natural birth is right for you, educate yourself on the risks of epidurals and Caesarian deliveries to your baby and yourself. For example, epidurals increase the risk of a forceps delivery and of vacuum extraction, both of which can negatively impact you and your child’s health.
- Take child birth education classes to prepare for your big day.
- Hire a doula to comfort and care for you.
- Make sure your partner is prepared and supportive – this can come in many shapes and sizes.
Sometimes, due to complications, women cannot always deliver their baby naturally. However, education and preparation through simple measures during preconception, as well a professional midwife and doula, greatly increases the chances of natural birth. If an epidural is necessary or preferred, there are steps new mothers should take. Ideally schedule an appointment or two with Dr. Naumes before your birth and then another one in the first week after delivery so that she can help support you during this healing process.
Keep in mind that although natural birth may be painful, it is worth it. Giving birth is a peak life experience, and normally the discomfort you will feel during a natural birth will be outweighed by the euphoria and love you feel after you deliver your baby.