Natural Childbirth Must Haves

By IMI blog contributor, Amanda Hammond

Natural birth is on the rise as women learn more and more about the benefits to having an intervention-free birth.  It is empowering and it is healthy.  In a hospital situation, as you can imagine, having birthing your way can be a little tricky so it is important to plan ahead and have everything with you to make it the most comfortable experience possible.  If you have chosen to give birth in a setting outside of your home this is the perfect article for you!  If you are homebirthing, go you!  Feel free to read anyway.

Here are some things you can do to make your birth space as comfortable and peaceful as you need it to be.

The Help

For the best natural birth possible, a midwife is often the ideal choice.  Nurse midwives work in hospitals.  They have less freedom than a Licensed Midwife because they practice under hospital rules and under the supervision of a doctor.  They will be more encouraging of a natural birth plan than most OBs, but are still likely to recommend common interventions like medications and breaking of the waters.  When these interventions occur, you are more likely to end up with a C-section birth.   A licensed midwife is a whole different type of birth professional.  She can operate out of a birthing center or a home setting.  She is trained in natural birth specifically during a process that takes between three to five years.  A Licensed Midwife is a holistic practitioner and is most often very in love with what she does!  This is, in my opinion, the ideal birth professional for a successful natural childbirth. 

A coach, whether it is your partner or a doula, is a huge asset.  If your partner is coaching, make sure they are on the same page as you and very aware of your birth plan.  My husband was a great birth asset for me because we took Bradley Birth classes which are designed to teach the birth partner how to coach mom through the contractions, pain and pushes.  A doula is another great choice.  They have the advantage of being experienced and emotionally neutral and can help a laboring mom feel quite safe and comfortable.

The Equipment

Arrive armed and dangerous with your birth plan- at least three copies!  Give one each to your support person, midwife or OB and the other staff to consult.  It is crucial to have a birth plan if you want a natural childbirth in a hospital setting.  Birthing centers or home settings are set up for natural birth but even so, it is still helpful to have a plan so that misunderstandings can be avoided.

A birth ball- these are great for squatting and rocking on letting you rest in ideal labor positions.  They can help you to get through the physical sensations of labor also as rocking is comforting to many.

A massaging device and heating pack are nice assets as well for soothing sore backs.

For homebirth there are more things needed like a pan for the placenta and a drop cloth for your labor space, but there is also nothing to pack since everything you need is right there.  Quite convenient!

The Wardrobe

3 or 4 Organic or 100% unbleached cotton labor gown/ long t-shirt or loose fitting nighties.

You will not stay in them the whole labor because they will get dirty, which is why a few are needed. 

Comfortable Nursing bras or nursing tank tops- pack at least 2 because typical hospital stay is two to three days unless you are both healthy and specifically request to leave ASAP.  By the way- if you are comfortable with leaving early, it’s a great idea because breastfeeding will be easier in your home than in a hospital.

Slippers

Two days worth of comfortable loose-fitting clothes.

Toiletries

Go nontoxic! Pack fragrance free items like lotion, avoid perfumes.  This isn’t something you want your brand new baby inhaling.  Try a natural cocoa butter, some Toms of Maine deodorant and toothpaste and maybe a beeswax lip balm.  Your cosmetics are absorbed through your skin and inhaled in the air.  This is doubly true for a new baby.  They just want to breath in your natural mommy scent… not your Chanel.  Fragrance is very dangerous for baby to breath in or absorb through their skin.  Please research your cosmetics on www.ewg.org/skindeep/.

Be a minimalist.  You most likely will not feel the need to apply mascara, so don’t bother.  Your joyous tears will send black streaks down your face anyway.  Just pack the bare essentials you will need to get by and feel comfortable for a few days.

The Bed

If your place of birth will allow, bring your own organic cotton sheets and blankets.  This is one of the safest materials for you and baby to spend time on.  If you can bring your own pillow, bring that too.  You will be thankful you did.  Bring your own baby blankets as well- organic fabrics are important for baby’s newborn state because their skin will absorb pesticides and bleaches/ dyes from nonorganic fabrics.  Prewash all bedding.

The Room

Music- make some birth CDs about a month before you are due and I say some because if your labor is longer than a few hours, you’ll surely get sick of one CD on repeat.  I had two and still wished I’d packed another.  Think soothing music like Yo-Yo Ma and Sarah McLachlan, whatever will keep you Zen… or … sort of Zen. 

Flameless candle lights- Hospitals and most birthing centers don’t allow candles, so these are a great option and will give the same tranquil feeling. 

Dim lighting- make sure to ask for dim lighting.  Hospital lighting is stressful for us and for new babies.  Birthing centers are very accommodating and there should be no trouble requesting this.  Hospitals have varied amounts of flexibility with labor procedure.  Many will be okay with dimming the lights though. 

The Food

Your birth partner will need food and you will be hungry after labor.  It is hard work and most times hospitals will not let you have much to eat until baby has arrived.  Pack quick energy filled snacks like fruit, granola, nuts and seeds, dried fruits, etc. If possible, organic and non-gmo is the way to go.

The Attitude

Of course, the most important must-have is a positive spirit and confidence that you can do this because you absolutely can!  We are designed for the act of birth and babies are designed to be born.  It almost always works perfectly if we embrace the challenge of natural childbirth.  Know it.  Believe it.  Own it.  Work for it.    You are doing a great service to your baby by choosing natural birth.

About Amanda Hammond

Amanda Hammond, IMI blog contributor,  is the founder of Ready Or Not Baby Planning Services in Wisconsin.

http://www.readyornotbabyplanning.com/

 

Several medicaments are antifungal medicines. No doubts, the list is quite large. What is the most important information you should read about Viagra sample? It may have divers brands, but only one ATC Code. Usually, both men and women are affected by sex dysfunctions. Sexual problems as a rule signal deeper diseases: genital contagion or erectile dysfunction may hide a heavy soundness problem such as heart trouble.