Labour and birth are natural processes through which every normal woman goes through in her life. Natural child birth was very attainable and easy during ancient times and women did not need any special skills or training for a natural vaginal delivery.
The ecstasy, the joy and the satisfaction that a woman gets through enduring labour pain and the resultant delivery and abundant enjoyment at the sight of her bundle of joy were things that were seen as God given… Times have changed now. Modern women neither have the endurance nor the capability to endure the pain of labour or go through the process of delivery. Most of them resort to C sections or medications that numb their senses and block their pain.
How ignorant are we about the after effects of medications, epidurals and risks associated with C sections! Caesarean sections have many risk factors associated with it. The chances of wound getting infected or internal organs getting injured are more during caesarean sections. Pain control injections like an epidural can cause numbness and pain which could last for several months. Babies who are delivered through C sections tend to develop breathing and respiratory syndromes immediately after delivery or at a later stage.
If you are expecting your first child and would like a natural child birth, it is important to prepare yourself for the wonderful process right from the time you know you are pregnant. Educating yourself adequately and practising certain simple techniques will prepare you for the child birth process and help you attain a natural child birth confidently.
Tips for a Natural Birth
While natural child birth can also depend on your overall health and the shape of your body, preparing yourself for a natural birth is in no way going to affect your health. Rather it would help you tremendously in attaining a speedy delivery.
Importance of Exercise and Yoga for Natural Birth
A pregnant woman must never be sedentary. The more you restrict movement, the greater difficulties you will have all throughout your pregnancy and during child birth. Exercise and yoga can help a young woman in preparing her mind and body for labour and birth. Yogic poses help in practicing relaxation techniques and in keeping the muscles and bones flexible for labour. Meditation is a good way to relax. Yoga during pregnancy must be done only under supervision. Poses that can exert pressure on the abdomen and back must be avoided during pregnancy. Correct yoga practices can relieve tensions around the cervix, and help the pelvic bone to expand fully.
Doing light exercises that help in flexing your pelvic and abdominal muscles and strengthening your back can be undertaken during pregnancy under proper guidance. These exercises will help in attaining a smooth labour and delivery. Exercises like kegels, calf stretch, squatting, sit ups, pelvic tilts, upper back stretch etc. are good exercises that you can practice during pregnancy to ease your labour.
Importance of Breathing Exercises for Natural Birth
Breathing techniques are employed for relaxation and pain management during labour. Pregnant women must practice deep breathing techniques several months before the labour process to be able to employ it successfully. Deep breathing can help you to control episodes of morning sickness and relieve stress and tension associated with early pregnancy. So starting them as early as possible is advisable for natural birth.
Sit comfortably and inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your stomach to move outward to the maximum. Hold for as much time as you can and exhale through your mouth. When you exhale, your abdomen must move inside. You can do this several times a day. However, avoid inhaling and exhaling too deep which will result in a feeling of dizziness. During labour this breathing technique will take you a long way in relaxing your pelvic muscles and allowing the baby to float through. It will also help you manage pain.
Importance of Perineal Massage for Natural Birth
As you advance in your pregnancy, you can undertake more techniques that will help you sail through the labour and delivery easily. A perineal massage is known to make vaginal birth easier and reduce the need for an episiotomy. It also reduces the incidence of perineal tears during the birth process. A perineal massage involves massaging the delicate skin between the vagina and the anus. This is usually done during the last weeks before you give birth.
A perineal massage helps in increasing the elasticity and suppleness of the perineal area, making it strong enough to withstand the pressure exerted when the baby slips through the vagina. Practicing correct relaxation techniques will allow you to push when necessary and avoid perineal tears.
Importance of Learning Labour Positioning and Movement for Natural Birth
While you are in labour, how you position yourself has a great role in deciding whether you are going to have an easy or difficult labour. So it is important to educate yourself with the various labour positions you can adopt. Practicing the techniques during the last week of your labour will give you a feel of how you can handle the actual labour with ease.
If you are not on any medicate or on drip, walking or moving around will help in controlling the pain and contractions. Even while you are in bed, you can adopt various positions that are comfortable. During the second stage of labour when you have to push, an upright position or squatting position is the best for your pelvic bone to open. However it is entirely up to you to decide which position is more comfortable for you.
Hydrotherapy and Acupuncture for Natural Birth
Hydrotherapy is fast becoming a preferred method of labour. Hydrotherapy uses water in ease the pain and relax the muscles and be in control of the situation. For this the pregnant women can use tubs filled with water that is same as the body temperature or cooler. This will keep the temperature of her body and the baby’s temperature and heart beats under control. However this is an option only for healthy pregnant women who do not have any complications that require constant monitoring.
Acupuncture is another technique used for relieving pain during the natural birth process. It uses needles which are inserted in strategic points in the body for relieving pain. If you adopt this method, make sure you have a trained acupuncturist at your disposal. Natural child birth is a gift and you must do everything possible to experience it.
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