Monday, June 7, 2010

10 Tips for a Normal Birth

Photo courtesy of "Business of Being Born"

1. Choose a place that supports normal birth, a place where you'll be comfortable. This may be at home, in a birth center or hospital.

2. Choose a health care provider who supports the practices that promote normal birth.

3. Don't request or agree to induction of labor unless there's a medical indication for doing so.

4. Plan to move around freely during labor. You'll be more comfortable, your labor will progress more quickly, and your baby will move through the birth canal more easily if you stay upright and respond to your pain by changing positions.

5. Consider hiring a doula or professional birth/labor supporter.

6. Ask that the baby's heartbeat be monitored intermittently, rather than continuously, as this restricts your movement in labor.

7. Eat and drink as your body tells you to give you energy and prevent dehydration.

8. Use non-medical pain management strategies, such as focused breathing and comfort measures such as warm baths and showers, massage, and birth balls.

9. Don't give birth on your back! Upright positions (sitting, squatting, or standing) on all fours or on your side enable you to make use of gravity to push when your body tells you.

10. Keep your baby with you after birth. Skin-to-skin contact helps to regulate your baby's heartbeat and breathing and helps get breastfeeding off to a good start.

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