Choose a practitioner.,
Ask questions before you decide on a practitioner.,
Create a birth plan.,
Designate a birth advocate or birth partner.,
Inform your midwife or healthcare provider of your wishes.,
Take a class on natural childbirth.
Before you go any further with your plans to have a natural birth, you should choose your team. An obstetrician (OB/GYN), certified nurse-midwife, perinatologist, or family practitioner are all qualified to help you deliver your baby. Each one has a different level of training and specialization, so it is important to consider your situation before you choose. Some differences to consider include:OB/GYNs are doctors who can deliver your baby as well as provide surgical care if necessary.
Certified nurse-midwives are qualified to deliver your baby and they will call on an OB/GYN if complications arise.
Perinatologists are doctors who are qualified to deliver your baby and who provide care for high-risk deliveries, such as women over 35, women who have STDs, and women who have diabetes.
Family practitioners are doctors who are qualified to deliver your baby, but they are not specialists, so they will call on an OB/GYN if complications arise.
, As you consider who will help deliver your baby, make sure that you ask questions to determine whether the person will be supportive of your plans to have a natural childbirth. Some questions to ask include:How do you feel about natural childbirth?
How many natural births have you been involved in?
Would you be willing to help me have a natural birth?
, Every expecting mother should have a birth plan that expresses her needs and desires for the birth of her child. You should work with your support team to create a birth plan. Ask your doctor, midwife, or doula to assist you in writing a birth plan. Your birth plan should include:Where your baby will be born
Who will deliver your baby
Who your main support person will be
Who else may be present during labor and birth
Types of support that you want during labor
Any pain medications that you want during labor
Details about the umbilical cord and blood
Will the baby stay with you or in the nursery after birth
Any special traditions you would like to observe
Who to tell first if there is a problem with you or the baby
Anything else you want your healthcare provider and support team to know
, For most women, it is easier to maintain your decision to have a natural birth if you have a partner or advocate. This person should be someone who will remind you of your reasons for a natural birth and who will be there to support you during the birth.If you give birth in a hospital, a vocal advocate or a professional doula may help you stand up for your wishes if medical staff seems resistant to your plan.
Having a birth advocate or partner can also help give you the encouragement and support you need to have a birth free of interventions, medications, or surgery.
, Deciding in advance to have a natural childbirth will allow your healthcare provider and birth assistant time to plan for your safety and that of the baby. It will also enable you to ask questions and arrange for your preferences to be accommodated no matter where you give birth.
, Learning about natural birth from women who have experienced it and even facilitated it for others can be the most informative and helpful preparation for your own natural birth experience.Discuss your fears, anxieties, and hopes with other women in the class. In many cases, women who have delivered naturally before can set you at ease about pain management and medical safety.