Does the mere thought of giving birth petrify you? Well, the good news is, you’re not alone!
Most women love children and the idea of pregnancy thrills them to no end. But when it comes to childbirth, well, that is a different story altogether! Anecdotes about labor and delivery can scare any woman carrying a wriggling baby in her tummy! But the baby has to come out, right?
Typically, many pregnant women opt for elective c-sections just to escape the horror that is labor. Now, there is no problem what so ever with c-sections, in fact, they save millions of lives every day. But one cannot run away from the fact that a c-section is a major surgery and requires days of recovery.
So, whether you are looking for ways to avoid a c-section or just researching to find the best way to give birth, we have good news. Here are certain pregnancy tips for normal delivery of baby, one that is not a nightmare!
Normal Delivery Vs C-Sections – Pros And Cons:
The whole purpose of childbirth is to ensure a healthy baby and healthy mom. Childbirth is not a competition. But if you want to weigh in your options and want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly of childbirth, here you go!
Pros Of Normal Delivery:
Scary as it may be, the fact is that there is a lot going for normal deliveries. Here are some of the pros of a normal delivery for both mother and child:
1. Short Hospital Stay:
Labor can be painful and exhausting, but once you are done, you are done! One of the biggest benefits of a vaginal birth is that it entails a shorter hospital stay and recovery time when compared with a C-section.
[ Read: Exercises For Normal Delivery ]
2. No Major Surgery:
As mentioned above, a C-section is a major surgery. So, if you can get a vaginal birth, you’ll not only escape going under the knife but also the numerous health risks associated with it including severe bleeding, scarring, infections, reactions to anesthesia and pain.
3. Better Breastfeeding Relation:
Women who have a normal delivery may have an easier time when it comes to breastfeeding their newborns.
4. Quicker Bonding:
Skin to skin exposure is a great way to bond with a newborn. With normal delivery, it is easier for the mother to hold her baby and start creating a bond quicker.
[ Read: Breathing Exercises During Pregnancy ]
5. Lower Chances Of Lung Problems:
The muscles working to push the baby out during a normal delivery can also squeeze out fluid from the baby’s lungs. That is why babies born via normal delivery are less likely to suffer from breathing difficulties.
6. Boost For Baby’s Immune System:
Did you know that a normal delivery can be a boon for your baby’s immune system? Well, a baby gets a dose of good bacteria when she is traveling through the birth canal, which can protect the baby’s immune and digestive system.
Cons Of Normal Delivery:
But all is not perfect with normal deliveries! There are numerous reasons why women run shy of a vaginal birth:
1. Vaginal Tear:
One of the biggest fears women have while giving birth, apart from labor pain, is vaginal tear! And the fear is not unfounded. Many women suffer from various degrees of vaginal tears during delivery. Some are so severe that they require stitches.
2. Harm Bodily Function:
Many a times, the simple act of giving birth can lead to several health issues. Many women suffer from pelvic injuries, incontinence, and bowel issues due to a difficult labor and delivery.
[ Read: Diet Chart For Pregnant Women ]
3. Perineum Pain:
Many women also complain of lingering perineum pain. The perineum is the area between the vagina and anus.
4. Injury To Child:
A particularly difficult labor process can injure the baby. A bruised scalp or fractured collarbone are the most common injuries babies may experience during childbirth.
Pros Of C-Section Birth:
So, what is so great about a C-section birth? Have a look:
One of the biggest benefits of a C-section is that it is convenient. You can schedule a C-section according to your convenience. But it is important to remember that a C-section makes sense only when you need it.
2. No Labor Pain:
This is the most obvious benefit of a C-section birth! For women with a low threshold for pain, C-sections can be a blessing.
Cons Of C-Section Birth:
Unfortunately, there are too many negatives associated with C-sections. Here are some of them:
1. Longer Hospital Stay:
Women, who undergo a C-section, have to stay in the hospital for an average 2-4 days.
[ Read: Recommended Positions For Labor ]
2. Increased Recovery Time:
Women take longer to recover from a C-section compared to women who give birth normally. It can take as much as two months for women to get some sense of normalcy back into their bodies after a C-section.
3. Chronic Pain:
Many women experience chronic pain and tenderness at the site of the C-section incision.
4. Blood Loss:
C-section is a major surgery and involves a bigger risk of blood loss.
[ Read: Breathing Techniques During Labor ]
5. Risk Of Infection:
C-sections also increase the risk of infection for the mother.
6. Risk Of Injury:
Many women end up with an injured bowel or bladder due to a C-section surgery.
7. Breastfeeding Difficulties:
Women who go through a C-section are more likely to experience difficulties while breastfeeding.
8. Repeat C-section:
A woman undergoing a C-section is more likely to need a repeat surgery to give birth in the future.
According to studies, women are three times more likely to die during a C-section than during a normal delivery.
[ Read: Benefits Of Perineal Massage ]
10. Problems For Baby:
C-sections are also a problem for babies. Babies born via C-sections are more likely to suffer from breathing difficulties, obesity, and injury.
20 Tips For A Normal Delivery:
What is rather apparent is that a normal vaginal delivery is the best way to give birth, both for mother and child. But is there a way for you to ensure that you get a vaginal delivery? Well! Yes! And here, we list some steps to ready your body for a normal delivery:
1. Move Your Body:
Yes, pregnancy is hard on the body. You are exhausted, every inch of your body hurts, and all you want to do is sleep. But if you want your body to go through a normal delivery, you’ll need to move around a little!
Exercising is the most important trick when it comes to preparing your body for a normal delivery. Some of the exercises you can try while pregnant includes:
- Walking is an excellent low-intensity exercise for pregnant women. So, grab a pair of good shoes and start walking.
- Swimming is another great way to stay fit during pregnancy and get ready for normal delivery.
- Nothing can beat Kegal exercises to ensure a normal and healthy childbirth.
- Go for exercises that can help strengthen your pelvic and thigh muscles. Strong thigh muscles are a must for a safe vaginal delivery. Remember, the thighs suffer a lot during labor and may be one of the reasons why your doctor orders a C-section.
[ Read: Squats During Pregnancy ]
2. Stay Stress-Free:
It is normal to feel stressed during pregnancy. But try to keep your mind as calm as possible. Stress can play a huge role in turning the process of childbirth into a nightmare and even lead to a C-section.
Some of the ways to beat stress during pregnancy includes:
- Meditation works like a charm during pregnancy. You can try any form of meditation that you feel comfortable with to keep stress at bay.
- Visualization techniques are a great way to beat stress.
- If you are not the meditating kind, you can try music to stay stress-free.
3. Breathe Right:
Breathing is something you don’t even notice. But it is the one thing that can make the whole labor process easier, negating the need for a C-section.
Here are some breathing techniques you can try which is an effective tips for normal delivery during pregnancy:
- Breathing from the chest.
- Breathing from the stomach.
- Shallow Breathing.
- Alternate deep and shallow breathing
4. Eat Right:
The food you eat can have a huge impact on your pregnancy, including childbirth. A healthy mother equals a healthy baby. A proper diet can go a long way in ensuring that your baby copes well with the process of childbirth and takes birth through a normal delivery.
Here are some points to keep in mind about pregnancy diet for a normal delivery:
- Your diet should consist of a healthy dose of fruits, vegetables, lean meat, legumes, and dairy.
- Go for dark green vegetables, a good amount of starchy food, and foods that are rich in protein.
- Your body needs extra iron during pregnancy so make sure you eat an iron-rich diet.
- Steer clear of organ meat.
- Try and avoid foods that contain retinol.
- You should consume seafood in moderate amounts.
- Sugar is another thing you should avoid during pregnancy.
- Avoid eating street food as they may contain bacteria, which can harm your health.
5. Don’t Gain Too Much Weight:
Yes, it is important to gain a decent amount of weight during pregnancy, but you don’t need to pile on the pounds. Overweight women can have problems during labor and end up with a C-section.
Here are some points to keep in mind about obesity and normal delivery:
- Obesity can make it difficult to monitor the baby during labor, making normal delivery difficult.
- If you are obese, the chances are high that your baby will be big too, which may lead to trouble during labor and delivery.
[ Read: Is Overweight A Problem During Pregnancy ]
6. Stay Positive And Avoid Negative Birth Stories:
It is normal to share notes about one’s pregnancy and childbirth. But the last thing a paranoid pregnant woman needs is to hear about a labor gone wrong.
Some points to help stay positive:
- If a fellow mother begins to tell you about her nightmare of a childbirth, walk out of the situation.
- Negative stories about childbirth can play on your mind and cause panic during labor, which can cause problems with normal delivery.
- Remember that all individuals differ, so does their story of labor and delivery. Just because your friend had a tough labor does not mean you’ll too!
[ Read: Yoga Postures For Normal Delivery ]
7. Learn More About The Process:
Knowledge is power – repeat this mantra and arm yourself with as much knowledge about the whole labor and delivery process as you can. Some things you can do to learn more about the childbirth process are:
- Consult your doctor about any doubts you have about pregnancy and childbirth.
- Surf the net and consult websites for more information. But do make sure the site you are consulting is reliable.
- There are numerous books available about childbirth and all that it entails. Buy a few today.
- Talk to your mother or other elder women in the family who can help you with their experience.
- Talk to fellow pregnant women/moms.
8. Build A Support System:
You may be going through physical pregnancy alone, but you surely need support to walk this road with comfort. It is vital that you create a support system to help you have a normal delivery.
- Make sure you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to childbirth
- You’ll also need to ensure that other members of your family support your decisions and stand by you.
- Having a support system can help take away a lot of the stress involved with childbirth and help in a normal delivery.
9. Choose Your Doctor Wisely:
It is a sad fact that many doctors look for convenience and hurry mothers into a C-section. So, it important to choose your doctor, the one who’ll deliver your baby, wisely.
- Make sure your doctor and his clinic has a good rate of normal delivery.
- Talk to your doctor about his views on normal delivery.
- If you feel that your doctor may not respect your wishes about a normal delivery, look for a better doctor.
10. Go For Regular Perineal Massage:
Regular perineal massages can help your body get ready for a normal delivery.
- You can start doing perineal massage after the seventh month of pregnancy.
- Perineal massage can help you deal with labor better and manage stress too.
- All you have to do is hook your thumb inside and gently pull the lower part of the vagina outward and forward.
11. Stay Hydrated:
How many times has your doctor told you to drink water? Water is vital for your health, more so now that you are pregnant.
- Labor is hard to the body, and you’ll need extra water to stay hydrated.
- You can also stock up on some healthy sports drink to get your daily quota of fluids. This is one of the best tips to have normal delivery.
[ Read: C Section Vs Normal Delivery ]
12. Get An Experienced Doula:
If you can find an experienced doula to help with your childbirth, that’s half the battle won!
- With her years of experience, a doula can be invaluable during labor and delivery.
- She can help you stay calm and also be your advocate during labor.
- A doula can also be of great help after childbirth when you try to breastfeed.
13. Make Water Your Best Friend:
Apart from drinking water, you can also use it to make the whole labor process easier.
- Hydrotherapy can help reduce discomfort and pain during labor.
- Fill the bathtub with water and soak in it for relief.
- Hydrotherapy can also be a great tool to beat stress during labor.
- But you need to ensure that the temperature of the water is normal to avoid harming your unborn baby.
- Do not soak in a bathtub if your water has already broken. You can use the shower instead.
[ Read: Vaginal Birth After Cesarean ]
14. Learn To Squat:
Squatting is a great way to prepare your body for a normal delivery.
- Squatting helps to open the pelvis and get your baby into the best birthing position.
- It is important to practice squatting throughout pregnancy.
- Squatting will also strengthen your leg muscles and help during the labor process.
- You can try kneeling, sitting cross-legged, perching on an exercise ball.
15. Try The Ice Game:
If you want to know how best to cope with the birthing process, try the ice game.
- This game will require your partner’s participation too.
- Take turns to hold an ice cube in your hand for 60 seconds.
- The first time around, you can try holding the ice cube while talking to each other.
- Next, try holding the ice cube while walking around.
- Finally, hold the ice cube in complete silence for 60 seconds.
- It is a great way to gauge your coping mechanism and how best you can deal with labor pain.
16. Prenatal Yoga:
Yoga is not just a great way to a healthier body, but it can also help you with a normal delivery.
- Yoga is all about breathing right, which can be a great help during labor and delivery.
- Some yoga poses are perfect for pregnancy as they help release lower back tension.
- These poses help to open up your chest, shoulders, and hips too.
It is the best normal delivery tips for pregnant lady.
17. Avoid Standing For Long Duration:
When you are pregnant, especially during the final trimester, it may become difficult to stand for a long duration. The fact is, you should avoid doing so in any case!
- Standing for too long can cause gravity to pull on your child and move her into the birthing position before your body is ready for childbirth.
- It can also tire your legs, which can cause problems during labor and delivery.
18. Eat Spicy Food:
It may be an old wife’s tale, but many women swear by this trick!
- Spicy food can make your body warmer and can help encourage a normal delivery.
- But some women may end up with a bad case of indigestion, heartburn, and diarrhea due to the spicy food. If that is the case with you, drop this trick, and try something else!
19. Include Bromelain Rich Food In Your Diet:
Bromelain is an enzyme that can stimulate labor and soften the cervix. So, ensuring a good amount of bromelain-rich food can help achieve a normal delivery.
- Fruits like mango, papaya, and pineapple are rich in bromelain.
- Always consume raw bromelain-rich food for best results.
- But do not consume these fruits in excess if you are in the danger of going into premature labor.
20. Go for Chiropractic Adjustments:
Some people believe in chiropractic adjustments, some don’t. But many women have experienced good results with regular visits to the Chiropractor, so you can give it a try.
- Chiropractic adjustments can help relieve stress.
- A good practitioner can also help provide relief from tense and painful muscles as well as pinched nerves.
- You can also find relief from back pain and strengthen your thighs and back with regular adjustments, which can be a big help during a normal delivery.
- Chiropractic adjustments can also help fix an out of line pelvis and assist a normal delivery.
- You can see your chiropractor once a month in the first and second trimester.
- In your final trimester, you can see your provider more often, even weekly.
We can’t stress enough on the need for rest during pregnancy. A rested body is more likely to withstand the rigors of labor and delivery and avoid a C-section. So put your feet up, especially in the third trimester, and let your baby conserve energy for childbirth.
Our bodies are unpredictable. No matter how much you try for a normal delivery, your body may decide to stall at the last moment. If you do end up with a C-section, don’t feel bad!
The way you give birth does not determine your mothering skills. Trust your doctor and let go of the need to be in control. The only thing you should worry about is the health of your child and yours too!
So, give normal delivery your best shot. Follow the normal delivery tips mentioned in this article and the chances are high that you’ll get your dream birth. But don’t invest too much into your birth plan. Remember, a plan is just that, a plan. The ground reality may be something completely different!
Did you have a normal delivery? How did prepare for it? Share your tips with us.
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