By Louise Bastarache, CNM, NP, MS
Natural childbirth is gaining momentum as women want to take control of their births again. Labor is a normal, healthy process for the mother to experience. Embracing labor, spurred on by the challenge it brings, makes it a breath-taking passage to motherhood. The exhilarating emotion of feeling your baby leave your body and then come into your arms is a phenomenon like no other.
There are many authors from the earlier years who continue to try to alleviate the negativity associated with natural birth. Reading books like Ina Mae Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth, or Childbirth Without Fear by Grantly Dick-Read, Birth Without Violence by Febdrick Leboyer, and many more authors, such as Sheila Kitzinger, Penny Simkin, Michel Odent, to name a few, can subdue the fear and promote power from within. Unmedicated births enhance the bonding between mother and infant at the birth and through the first days. Breastfeeding initiated with skin to skin contact at the birth is most successful when the mother has not had epidural anesthesia. These statements are facts and evidence based.
Most importantly, to achieve the best birth, a pregnant woman should start by taking care of herself from the beginning. She must eat a nutritious diet with plenty of water, no alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs -- even over the counter ones, moderate exercise/activities that move the body aerobically, but safely, and find inner peace with her life's situations -- either through religion, meditation/yoga, or counseling. Stressors create havoc with the mothers' health and the baby's growth and development. Taking time prenatally to work on these will help tremendously in the early postpartum days.
Also, participating in childbirth education classes are helpful. Lamaze, Bradley, BACE, and Hypnobirthing are the most popular. Each provides tools to help the laboring couple during the different phases of their labor.
With the mother's motivation, her childbirth education tools, and midwifery care, she will achieve the natural birth she desires and deserves!
Louise Bastarache, CNM, NP, MS
Wareham Nurse Midwives…
Empowering Women to Birth NATURALLY
Wareham Nurse Midwives, PC
332 Main Street
If you would like to make an appointment or for more information, please call (508)295-3088.
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