Childbirth is a very natural process and a woman’s body is designed to give birth. Therefore, most of the doctors suggest vaginal delivery owing to its many health benefits for both the child and the mother.
Most of the women wish to have a natural childbirth except in some cases where women go through the C-section either because they are of afraid of the labor pain or they were recommended a C-section by a doctor only for commercial reasons.
Nevertheless, it is evident that a normal delivery is the best way to give birth.
But, since, pregnancy has the potential to put the strain on the human body, there are chances that you could face some complications forcing medical intervention in the form of C- section, in which case, it becomes unavoidable. So, what can you do to prevent those complications and give birth naturally to a healthy baby? Based on our research, you could follow the below tips which are a mix of living a healthy lifestyle, following a diet, dealing with stress, and getting the necessary education & support to prepare yourself to achieve a normal delivery.
Proper development of a baby depends a lot on the mother’s physical fitness. Exercising during pregnancy helps increase blood supply to your lower body and improves flexibility of pelvic joints and thigh muscles, thus facilitating a shorter and less painful normal delivery. What’s more? Exercising also helps turn a breech fetal position into normal position.
Here are some exercises that you can do to stay active during those nine months
Walking during pregnancy is a safe and complete body exercise regime. It enhances your cardiovascular health, increases flexibility and tones your hip muscles, preparing you for labor and normal childbirth.
Besides reducing stress, walking also lowers risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and other complications.
Kegel exercises are effective in strengthening pelvic floor muscles around uterus, bladder, urethra and rectum, thus helping you during labor and childbirth. Furthermore, these exercises also help prevent or cure hemorrhoids and incontinence.
Indoor cycling on a stationary cycle is great during pregnancy as it doesn’t put pressure on your joints and doesn’t even require balancing. Besides, it helps you stay active and tone your muscles, thus making labor and childbirth easier and faster because your body is already prepared for the stress required to give birth.
Squatting is one of effective exercises for developing lower body strength. Expecting women can incorporate squats into their weekly exercise routine. Squatting will help open the pelvis and move your baby into the best birthing position. It will also strengthen your leg muscles.
Stretching during pregnancy helps you loosen up tight muscles and relieves pregnancy aches and pains. It also improves your body’s movements and prepares you for strenuous childbirth.
Since abdominal muscles undergo a lot of stretching during pregnancy in order to make space for a growing fetus, it is essential to keep them in shape. These exercises also strengthen your pelvic muscles and improve your control during labor.
Besides, strong core eases lower backache and speeds up recovery post childbirth. One such abdominals exercise which you can try to stay active and to build core strength is standing crunches.
Swimming is considered one of the best exercises during pregnancy as it supports your additional baby weight, making you feel as light as a feather. Besides, it also strengthens your muscles, reduces inflammation, promotes sleep and builds endurance.
Tip: Make sure that the pool is chlorine-free and the water no warmer than 32 degree celsius.
Note: Please make sure that you get a green signal from your doctor before performing any of the above mentioned exercises and take professional guidance if necessary.
Yoga is good for expecting moms as it leads to increased sleep, reduced stress, and improvement in strength, flexibility & endurance of muscles needed for delivery.
Besides, yoga may also help relieve common pregnancy discomforts like nausea, lower backache, headaches, insomnia, and shortness of breath. So, if normal delivery is your goal, yoga is one thing you need to practice daily.
Here are some yoga asanas beneficial for expecting moms
Safety tip: Avoid positions that cause you to overstretch or overbalance. Don’t practice yoga or any other physical exercises without the proper guidance of a professional.
A common misconception amongst pregnant women is that they must gain a good amount of weight during their nine months. However, the recommended weight gain for pregnant women is as follows:
Moreover, if you are considerably overweight, the chances are high that your baby will be big too, which may be a concern during labor and childbirth.
Regular perineal massages after the seventh month will prepare your body for a strenuous labour and childbirth. It will help increase elasticity and reduce the risk of tearing of your perineum during delivery.
The perineum is the area between the vaginal opening and anus. A number of expecting women choose to avoid the risk of perineal trauma by practicing this technique.
The importance of a healthy diet cannot be stressed enough during pregnancy. A proper diet can go a long way in
Note: Please consult your doctor for medical advice on what foods to eat, to avoid, and for a detailed nutritional chart to meet your needs.
Stress is going to be a regular guest during pregnancy, be it physically or emotionally. So, the better you manage your stress and the more at ease you are, the better you will be able to deal with the challenges of labor.
Importantly, you will learn to become calmer which will help to keep your muscles primed to push.
Here are a few tips that will help you to stay calm until the day of your labor and prepare you for a smooth normal delivery:
Music is one of the best therapies for reducing stress during the course of pregnancy. Studies have proven that expecting women who listen to healing music around 30 minutes a day, are significantly less prone to anxiety, depression, and stress.
This includes nature sounds, classical music, children’s songs and lullabies. Additionally, soothing music is known to reduce pain responses during labor and childbirth. Try to avoid music that is too loud or disturbing.
Books are a great source of positivity during pregnancy, especially when you’re going to be spending the most of your time in bed. Remember, besides food and physical activity, your thoughts will also determine the qualities, attitudes, and behaviour of your baby.
Reading inspirational books will help you shape your thoughts to a large extent.
Here’s a list of 5 positivity-infusing books that you need to add to your shelf during those nine months:
Meditation aims at increasing the life force in the body. It makes you emotionally stronger and prepares you for the upcoming labor and childbirth.
Various meditation practices that you can try during pregnancy are
Tip: Various incredible apps like HeadSpace, Buddhify, Calm, Positive Pregnancy, Mind the Bump, and Expectful will help you practice the art of guided meditation effortlessly.
Also Read: 10 ways to ease labour pain during delivery
During the process of childbirth, you will have to hold your breath from time to time. So you must begin practicing the breathing techniques right from your pregnancy. This will assist you in concentrating and performing better at the time of labour.
Breathing also controls stress and maintains energy level in one’s body. You can try various breathing practices like counted breathing, shallow breathing, alternate deep, shallow breathing, and so on.
How you feel during pregnancy is completely in your hands. Learning about someone’s pregnancy and delivery experience is good as long as it is encouraging and helpful. Steer clear of any scary labour stories as they will rob you of your positive energy and peace of mind. Remember that each pregnancy is unique.
Here are 5 tips for staying positive during pregnancy
According to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, women who slept fewer than six hours during the last month of pregnancy had Cesarean sections four times more frequently than women who slept seven hours or more.
So, expecting women must get at least 8-10 hours of undisturbed sleep.
Pregnancy education and counselling is essential for attaining the goal of normal delivery and healthy gestational weight gain. This education and support can be provided by your mother, physician, gynecologist or any experienced woman.
Alternatively, there are a few things I have shared below which you can do to empower yourself during those nine months.
When you are planning to go for a normal delivery, choosing to attend childbirth classes along with your partner is a great way to gather all the necessary information and lessen your anxiety.
Lamaze is one of the most popularly taught childbirth classes Internationally, including in India. Lamaze classes aim to boost a woman’s confidence in her ability to give birth naturally. The philosophy behind this type of childbirth is that women possess an inherent right to give birth without regular medical interventions. However, Lamaze also educates expecting women so that when medical interventions are required and/or pain relief medication is preferred, women are able to provide true & conscious consent.
Some of the most common things covered in a Lamaze class are
A regular Lamaze class comprises of around 12 hours of instruction and consists of up to 12 couples. Expecting women are suggested to begin a class around the onset of their seventh month of pregnancy.
For more information on where you can find a Lamaze class in your city, you can check Find A Lamaze ChildBirth Class
Having a support system of family and friends who encourage you throughout is very beneficial when you are planning to have a normal delivery. Another way is to make a self help group of all other moms in your community going through the same phase and regularly communicate about your challenges and encourage each other.
Plan a girls’ day out with the community members and indulge yourself in a shopping spree or a pampering session at the salon. Do every bit to enjoy your pregnancy because when the baby arrives, you will not have a lot of spare time.
It is a disheartening reality that many doctors opt for convenience and hurry mothers into a Caesarean section. Therefore, it becomes vital to select such a doctor who will deliver the baby wisely and not just timely.
Ensure that your doctor and his clinic have a good rating and many cases of normal delivery. Don’t be hesitant in speaking to your doctor about his views on normal delivery.
Every pregnancy is different and at times, no matter how hard you try, C-section might be the only option. Remember, the best birthing process is the one that ensures your and the child’s safety and the way you deliver your child has nothing to do with your motherhood skills. Trust your doctor and let go of the need to be in charge all the time.
Were you blessed with a normal delivery? Don’t forget to share your tips with Baby Destination Moms.
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