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Getting ready for labor is one of the most important parts of preparing for your baby’s arrival.
Practicing relaxation during your pregnancy is an excellent way to prepare for natural birth. Champion athletes use visualization to see themselves winning – you can use the same techniques to see your ideal birth. Good childbirth education has been proven to help women have more success with natural birth.
Remember that doing a quick read-through of a book or watching natural birth videos online isn’t the same as a good childbirth class. You’ve heard that breastfeeding is natural, and that women still need support and may want guidance as they nurse their babies. I’ve created a checklist of practical natural pain relief suggestions so you can move past discomfort and focus on working with your baby during birthing.
Urban and rural folks alike need to prepare for natural disaster emergencies, the article includes information on foods and equipment needed to survive up to a week in emergency situations. Preparing for the unexpected falls into two categories: emergencies that permit you to stay at home and those requiring immediate or delayed evacuation. Download the SmartMom App.Over 150,000 moms use SmartMom to get great advice and make friends. Photo by Andria LindquistChildbirth is something that women have been doing since the beginning of humanity, yet when we go into it as first time mothers, it can be scary and so full of unknowns. Read Up!Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth is one of the first books you should dig into when you want to start learning more about the childbirth experience, what to expect, and how to approach it naturally. You wouldn’t run a marathon or climb a mountain without doing some training, and birth is an athletic event just like that.
You may be surprised by just how close your baby’s birthday comes to what you’ve been picturing! Reading the experiences of other women who have birthed in many different places and situations is empowering and inspiring. I’ve reviewed and attended a lot of childbirth classes and they’re not all created equal! Stock up and familiarize yourself with survival equipment and first-aid books beforehand. Prepare for Natural Disaster EmergenciesTornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, forest fires, mud slides, power outages, toxic leaks—no area of the country is immune to natural disaster emergencies.
There are an overwhelming number of books available on pregnancy and birth, so be selective and try to educate yourself with quality, well reviewed materials.

Is natural childbirth just a matter of trusting your body, or are there more ways to prepare? But you can overcome those things with positive conditioning, such as prepared birthing classes, reading birth stories, and watching videos of great drug-free labors. Visualizing what you want is important, too – it’s a free practice session for childbirth!
I’ve found relaxation and visualization to be simple, yet very powerful, tools in my birth preparation.
All of us, countryfolk or urban dwellers, should acquaint ourselves with the types of emergencies most likely to occur where we live, and make some advance preparations.Preparedness for long-term catastrophies, such as famine, drought, or nuclear war, requires more extensive information and planning than I'll cover in this article.
Preparing your body and mind for the experience will take you far in achieving the birth you desire.
Search the internet for positive (only positive!) birth stories to inspire you!Take a ClassHypnobabies, Hypnobirthing, and The Bradley Method are three popular approaches to natural childbirth. I'm going to focus here on short-term, yet potentially life-threatening, emergencies that last from a day to a week.Getting prepared for natural disaster emergencies is not expensive. Read books that support your choice to have a healthy, aware pregnancy and a natural birth.
With the exception of food, warm clothing, and a good first-aid kit that we already had on hand, my husband and I obtained our emergency gear for less than $70 by buying a kerosene heater and lamp, propane cookstove, fuel tanks, a battery-powered AM-FM radio, and insulated underwear at yard sales and flea markets.Learning From Disaster ExperienceNatural disaster preparedness means becoming well informed, establishing a plan, and accumulating items for basic comforts ahead of time.
This paid off for us in the late winter of 1983 when we spent two days without electricity during a huge snowstorm that crippled the Southeast. Hypnobirthing and Hypnobabies focus on meditation (self hypnosis) and positive visualization to calm and relax your body to naturally manage pain and birth your baby with confidence.
We closed off all rooms and moved into the kitchen during the day, where our second-hand kerosene heater kept us a toasty 72 degrees Fahrenheit, even at its lowest setting. The Bradley Method focuses on teaching you the mechanics of birth so you’re involved and informed – and also gets your birth partner involved in the experience. Our two-burner propane cookstove provided quick, hot meals, and the kerosene lamp was a blessing when darkness fell. We listened to weather reports on our battery-powered radio, played cards, and read.But not one of the neighbors in our quiet residential community was prepared for even this small, short-term emergency. We opened our home to them for warmth, while our propane cookstove moved up and down the block. Sitting on a birth ball to apply counter pressure can feel really relieving during contractions.

There are also many different positions for labor to help the baby move down more easily depending on his position and your body.
Canned meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, and instant food requiring minimal preparation are best, particularly those that can be eaten unheated if necessary. This way, when your doula says squat, you’ll know what to do!Prep Your BodyWhen your body is active and healthy, it can help you to have a more successful labor with a faster recovery time. Continue to exercise (safely for your stage of pregnancy) daily, as well as stretching and staying hydrated. Be diligent with eating a balanced diet with healthy proteins, leafy greens, healthy fats, and your prenatal vitamins. Toward the end of your pregnancy, drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea can help strengthen the uterus to give you more efficient contractions.Find A Good Support SystemBeing surrounded by medical professionals, family and friends that will support and encourage you to have the birth you want is your goal! Interview midwives or doctors until you find one that proves they encourage natural birth unless emergency presents itself, and discuss your birth (and baby care after birth) preferences to see if you’re on the same page. Know that you’ve prepared, so now you can drop your expectations and take the experience as it comes.
No matter how healthy we are or how many copies we print of our birth plans, we will still be surprised by how it all really happens! Would you do it again?For the mommies who had to get stitches after a natural birth how long does it take for this pain to go away? My first was a c section, wondering what my chances are of being able to do the next one natural?I really wanted a natural birth. I wish I could have been strong enough to do it, but once the broke my water I just couldn’t take it. But I’m so glad my baby is here and is healthy.How many of you moms had natural birth? How big was your baby??For anyone who had a natural birth what did you pack for the hospital?

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