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8 Tips for a Smooth Natural Birth for Expecting Mothers

Prepare for your baby’s delivery with these prenatal care tips and increase your chances of having a positive natural birth experience.

Pregnant woman with her hands on her belly and walking outdoors.

Many expectant mothers plan for a natural birth but it can be an overwhelming experience for first-time mums. The good news is, there are tips that can help make your delivery smoother, more comfortable, and less daunting.

By taking the time to prepare physically and psychologically, you can approach natural birth with confidence and ease. 

Types of Delivery

Pregnant woman lying in a hospital bed, talking to a doctor.
Your doctor’s guidance can help you make the best decision for yourself and your baby when it comes to labour and delivery.

In general, there are three types of childbirth: 

Vaginal birth 

Delivering your baby vaginally relies on your body’s ability to deliver with or without pain medication.

Assisted birth 

Involves the use of procedures and tools such as forceps or a surgical cut if you’re unable to push your baby out on your own. 

Caesarean section (C-section)  

You might choose to have a planned C-section without any medical indication or emergency. This may be due to factors such as personal preference, fear of natural birth, or scheduling convenience.

Sometimes during a vaginal or assisted birth, a risk to the health of the mother or the baby could happen, leading to a C-section. This can include foetal distress, abnormal positioning of the baby, a large baby, multiple births, or medical complications in the mother such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or a previous C-section birth.

Benefits of Natural Birth

A woman holding her pregnant stomach while a doctor attends to her.
Recovery time after vaginal birth is faster than after a c-section, leading to less time in the hospital.

A 2022 study revealed that health-related quality of life was higher for women after vaginal delivery compared to a C-section. Natural birth offers many benefits such as:  

  • Faster recovery  
  • Shorter hospital stays 
  • Higher chances of starting breastfeeding immediately 
  • Lower risk of complications 
  • Reduced risk associated with surgery such as cardiac arrest 

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) supports the natural way of childbirth, explains TCM Physician Jolene Chong.

“Mums generally recover faster and easier during vaginal childbirth compared to caesarean childbirth in terms of weeks versus months. Ladies who go through vaginal childbirth can resume normal movement one to two days after labour. They also tend to lose less blood during labour compared to caesarean childbirths.” 

TCM Physician Jolene Chong.

Tips to Promote Natural Birth

Pregnant woman lying on her back with her hips in the air.
Staying active and learning relaxation and breathing techniques can help promote a smooth, natural birth.

There are several things that you can do to increase your chances of having a natural birth: 

  1. Attend childbirth education classes. This can help you gain tips to manage pain, anxiety, and stress, making you feel more confident and prepared for a natural birth. 
  2. Practice relaxation techniques. Deep breathing, visualisation, and meditation may help you cope with the experience of labour and delivery. 
  3. Stay active and healthy during pregnancy. Regular exercises such as walking, swimming, prenatal yoga, and a healthy diet help prepare your body for birth. 
  4. Use positions and movements that promote progress during labour, such as walking and squatting. 
  5. Create a birth plan that outlines your labour and delivery preferences, so your healthcare provider knows your priorities. 
  6. Choose a healthcare provider who is supportive of natural birth. This will help you feel confident in your doctor’s ability to guide you through the process. 
  7. Avoid unnecessary medical interventions such as induction or continuous fetal monitoring since this may increase the risk of a C-section. 
  8. Relax and trust your body’s ability to give birth. Know that natural birth is safe but be open to the possibility of interventions or a change of plan if it’s needed for medical reasons. The health and safety of you and your baby are of utmost importance.  

TCM Treatments That Can Help

Bird's nest soup in a glass bowl surrounded by dried bird’s nest and goji berries.
Bird’s nest soup is a supplement that helps harmonises expectant mothers’ bodies.

TCM works together with Western medicine to track and ease the delivery process for both mothers and babies. TCM treatments ensure expectant mothers have good qi and blood circulation to help them endure contractions and have enough strength to push their babies out.

Herbal remedies 

A qualified TCM practitioner usually prescribes these remedies to help prevent childbirth complications. Consult a licensed TCM physician to ensure any remedies you take suit you and your body constitution: 

  • Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang (补中益气汤): Replenishes core energy for pregnant women and helps hold the organs in place during the strenuous pushing process.  
  • Gan Mai Da Zao Tang (甘麦大枣汤): Prepares pregnant women mentally. “It has the ability to calm the mind and spirit, allowing her to take things in her stride and at a pace which her body can accept. She’ll be able to cooperate well with her doctors and nurses and listen to her body better to process the delivery well without panicking in the delivery room,” explains Physician Chong. 
  • Gui Pi Tang (归脾汤): Builds up Spleen qi and helps stop bleeding fast. “Excessive bleeding during labour is also a common childbirth complication. In TCM, the Spleen controls blood flow and prevents excessive bleeding,” notes Physician Chong. 
  • Bird’s Nest: Rich in digestible proteins and other nutrients for both mother and child. It promotes a healthy Spleen, Stomach, and Lungs, and harmonises the body. 

Acupuncture  

Undergoing acupuncture can help your baby get into the proper place prior to birth. According to Physician Chong, the acupoints zhi yin (BL67, 至阴), yin bai (SP1, 隐白), and san yin jiao (SP6, 三阴交) are commonly used to increase the chances of natural birth. 

If you’re an expectant mother and weighing your delivery options, you may consider a natural birth. Taking the time to prepare yourself mentally and physically can make a world of difference in your overall birthing experience. 

Consider using these tips while working with your healthcare provider to create a birth plan that aligns with your goals and preferences. Share this article with other expecting mothers!

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Reviews (1)

AlberttMay 20 2023

Very good read, esp for first time expectant mums. They should take note of prep classes available to learn more, esp to overcome first time fears.

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