8 Tips for a Smooth Natural Birth for Expecting Mothers
Published | 5 min read
Prepare for your baby’s delivery with these prenatal care tips and increase your chances of having a positive natural birth experience.
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
In general, there are three types of childbirth:
Delivering your baby vaginally relies on your body’s ability to deliver with or without pain medication.
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
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 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.
Tips to Promote Natural Birth
There are several things that you can do to increase your chances of having a natural birth:
- 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.
- Practice relaxation techniques. Deep breathing, visualisation, and meditation may help you cope with the experience of labour and delivery.
- Stay active and healthy during pregnancy. Regular exercises such as walking, swimming, prenatal yoga, and a healthy diet help prepare your body for birth.
- Use positions and movements that promote progress during labour, such as walking and squatting.
- Create a birth plan that outlines your labour and delivery preferences, so your healthcare provider knows your priorities.
- 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.
- Avoid unnecessary medical interventions such as induction or continuous fetal monitoring since this may increase the risk of a C-section.
- 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
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.
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 preventsexcessive 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.
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
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!
- PLOS ONE. 2022. Comparing the effect of childbirth preparation courses delivered both in-person and via social media on pregnancy experience, fear of childbirth, birth preference and mode of birth in pregnant Iranian women: A quasi-experimental study. [Online] [Accessed on 21 February 2023]
- Frontiers in Psychology. 2019. Cesarean Section or Natural Childbirth? Cesarean Birth May Damage Your Health. [Online] [Accessed on 21 February 2023]
- PLOS Global Public Health. 2022. Caesarean section or vaginal delivery for low-risk pregnancy? Helping women make an informed choice in low- and middle-income countries. [Online] [Accessed on 20 February 2023]
- BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2022. The effect of mode of delivery on health-related quality-of-life in mothers: a systematic review and meta-analysis. [Online] [Accessed on 20 February 2023]
- StatPearls Publishing. 2022. Vaginal Delivery. [Online] [Accessed on 20 February 2023]
- BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2022. Childbirth fear, birth-related mindset and knowledge in non-pregnant women without birth experience. [Online] [Accessed on 21 February 2023]
- Electronic Physician. 2018. Comparative study of teaching natural delivery benefits and optimism training on mothers’ attitude and intention to select a type of delivery: an educational experiment. [Online] [Accessed on 20 February 2023]
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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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