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Every mother-to-be wants what is best for their child and therefore many are opting for a drug-free delivery. Assuming there are no complications, this goal can be accomplished with a little preparation.


Read & Research

The portrayal of childbirth in the media often builds misconceptions and fear in many women. Taking in information through books, videos, personal experiences, etc. can help a woman overcome such fear and feel capable of giving birth naturally. Popular books on the subject include “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” written by esteemed Midwife, Ina May Gaskin and “Active Birth: The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally” by Janet Balaskas.  “Orgasmic Birth” and “The Business of Being Born” are informative videos on the subject. Another helpful source of information can be the experiences of others; tapping into this source can be done through online communities or friends and family members who have given birth.

Healthy Habits

Caring for one’s body is essential while pregnant and can aid in the process of giving birth. Most mothers-to-be are aware of the need to maintain healthy eating habits while pregnant, but not to be overlooked is the need for moderate exercise.  Some women engage in Yoga and find it valuable for relaxation, strength building and an awareness of one’s body. Belly dancing can provide similar benefits of strengthening the abdominal and pelvic muscles, relieving back pressure and helping to maintain good posture.  Other helpful work out regimens include swimming, cycling, walking and low-impact aerobics. A healthcare professional should be consulted before beginning a new workout routine.          

Support System

Whether a woman has supportive companions attending the birth of her child can make a difference in achieving a natural, un-medicated childbirth. Those attending the birth can be of assistance by communicating with healthcare professionals, providing encouraging words and attending to the birthing mother’s needs. A significant other, relative and/or close friend can fill this role; however, doulas are trained in providing labor support and have proven to be invaluable assets to helping women achieve the type of birth they desire for their child.

Childbirth Classes

Childbirth classes can also help prepare a woman to give birth naturally. Many hospitals provide classes, but some women opt for a program that gives instruction in a certain technique such as: Hypnobirthing, Lamaze or the Bradley Method. If attending a class in person is not feasible there are online classes and classes via video which can be viewed whenever is convenient.

No woman can plan exactly how her experience will be, but preparing for the birth you want can help increase your chances of achieving it.                                                

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth: Updated With New Material
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(price as of Apr 26, 2015)