Preparing For Birth

We were given this at a Couples Yoga Workshop on Preparing For Birth we attended back in June and I wanted to share it and save it for the archives.

15 Tips For An Empowering Birth

By Nancy J. Price and Betsy Bailey

Think birth is something that just happens to you? Not true! Here are some things you can do to make your labor and delivery experience the best it can be.

  1. Educate yourself.
  2. Find a pregnancy healthcare provider – whether a doctor or a midwife – whose birth philosophy closely matches yours.
  3. Ask questions. When possible, avoid making decisions until you feel well informed on any given issue.
  4. Hire a doula. Women supported by this kind of specialized birth caregiver during labor have been shown to have a 50% reduction in cesarean rates, a 25% shorter labor, and a 60% reduction in epidural requests, among other benefits.
  5. Educate your birth partner and have him (or her) advocate for you.
  6. Surround yourself with people who support you and your choices.
  7. Create a birth plan or birth statement of your goals. Have your plan clearly in focus.
  8. Be flexible: Your labor may not go exactly the way you expect – maybe not even at all the way you expect.
  9. Don’t just say that won’t be me and skip learning about things like cesarean sections, episiotomies and the signs of postpartum depression.
  10. Be prepared. Have childcare arrangements in place, labor bag packed, admission paperwork complete, phone numbers ready, route to the hospital planned – so you don’t need to stress out when labor starts.
  11. Learn and practice coping techniques.
  12. Don’t have your labor induced unless for a medical reason.
  13. Be patient: To avoid unnecessary interventions (not to mention frayed nerves), don’t go to the hospital until you’re in active labor. Contractions will get progressively longer, stronger and closer together.
  14. Get moving! Don’t labor on your back if you can avoid it.
  15. Have faith in your body. It built this amazing baby already, right? Your main goal should be to help it do its job!

Original version:

Published 19 August 2011