By Monica Eleazar-Manzano
My last birth experience is the single most transformative mind and body process I had ever gone through in my life, so far. I highly recommend a conscious and natural birth to every single mother-to-be, and to fight tooth and nail for it because it is so worth it!
What is natural birth?
Wikipedia states: “Natural childbirth is childbirth without routine medical interventions, particularly anesthesia. Natural childbirth arose in opposition to the techno-medical model of childbirth that has recently gained popularity in industrialized societies. Natural childbirth attempts to minimize medical intervention, particularly the use of anesthetic medications and surgical interventions such as episiotomies, forceps, and ventouse deliveries and caesarean sections. Natural childbirth may occur during a physician- or midwife-attended hospital birth, a midwife-attended home birth, or an unassisted birth.”
Is natural childbirth for you?
Warning: Yes, there may be blood and poop but all births are that way anyway! It was never meant to be clean or easy. Take this time to re-learn what birth really is and how your body is naturally designed to birth your baby.
Here are some personal guidelines to help you prepare for a natural birth:
#1 Plan accordingly
Women plan a year or more in advance for their perfect wedding day. Why should birth be any different when this epic moment is also one of the most important times of a woman’s life? Each pregnancy lasts about 10 moons. There is just enough time for you to psyche the mind for what you perceive your ideal birth scenario is.
#2 Work it!
“We get the birth that we deserve.” Many mothers do not realize this important lesson: We don’t get the birth that we want or dream of, we get the birth that we prepare and work for. It is said that birthing is like a marathon because you may labor for long hours. Some mothers do even up to three days of on and off labor. Thus, you need to be physically strong and have the endurance to “leave your body to fetch the soul of your child from the stars above.”
#3 Educate yourself
It is best to educate yourself on all the possible scenarios, techniques, and tips to achieving a natural birth. The following titles are highly recommended:
- Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
- Hypnobirthing by Marie Mongan
- Birth Without Violence by Dr. Frederick Leboyer
- Placenta: The Forgotten Chakra by Robin Lim.
#4 Move it!
Remember that movement helps facilitate optimal birthing position for your baby so keep moving! Walk, dance, squat, and do some yoga while waiting for your baby’s arrival. You will be glad you brought a yoga mat or a stability ball to your birthing room to keep your hips moving in between surges.
#5 Find your tribe
It is crucial that you get your chosen health care practitioner (doctor or midwife), doula, and husband to be on the same page as you when it comes to your vision for your birth. Be very precise with your birth plan and think positive thoughts and feelings about the upcoming birth. Here is a mantra to keep: “Thoughts become things.”
#6 Nourish yourself
Birthing may take long so you will need proper nourishment to keep your energy levels up. Prepare healthy snacks like dates or honey sticks in your labor bag. If opting to birth at home, you can have access to nourishing home cooked meals in early labor and immediately after birth.
If you feel that you can follow these guidelines for the birth of your baby, then you will be getting a much deserved natural birth experience which you will treasure for a lifetime!
Monica Eleazar-Manzano is a yoga teacher, co-founder of FLOW Retreats, and a mother of two. She had a traumatic C-section birth with her firstborn and then decided to go for a VBAC (Vaginal birth after c-section) home water birth with her second child. Follow her mindful journey into motherhood at @dharmadreamsbig on Instagram.