What every pregnant woman needs to know about a safe and healthy birth
There is an inherent, simple and beautiful wisdom in nature’s plan for birth. In order to keep birth as safe as possible, and to minimize the risk of complications, it is essential to respect the simple, natural, physiologic process of it, and not interfere in any way, unless there is a clear medical indication for such intervention. Every pregnant woman needs to know that birth is intended to happen simply and easily. Keeping in mind and implying the following six evidence-based birth practices, will make birth healthier and safer for you and your baby:
#1: Let Birth Begin on Its Own
Every day makes a difference in how mature the baby is and how well he is able to make the transition to life outside the womb.
#2: Walk, Move Around, and Change Positions throughout Birth
Help birth progress, enhance comfort, and decrease the risk of complications.
#3: Receive continuous support from a loved one or a Doula
Women feel better when cared for and encouraged by people they know and trust. Doulas have the advantage of knowing birth well and knowing countless ways of helping women find comfort and feel protected and safe during labor. This experience is a big advantage, especially in restrictive hospital environments.
#4: Avoid interventions that are not medically necessary
When interventions are used routinely, they set the stage for a cascade of other interventions, the physiologic process of labor and birth is disrupted, and women and babies are exposed to unnecessary risks.
#5: Avoid giving birth laying on your back, and follow the body’s urges to breathe down
Upright positions, including squatting, sitting, or lying on yours side, make it easier for the baby to descend and move through the birth path. Directed pushing is more stressful for the baby and is associated with increased risk of pelvic floor dysfunction. The alternative is to wait for and follow the instinctive urges to push that happen as the baby moves down the birth canal. Even with an epidural, it is safer to wait until the baby moves through the mother’s pelvis on his/her own.
#6: Keep mother and baby together
It’s best for mother, baby, and breastfeeding. Physiologically, mothers and babies are meant to be together. Mothers are less likely to hemorrhage and are more satisfied. Babies stay warmer, their heart rates are more stable, and their respiration is more regular. The benefits are so clear, that it is considered a harmful practice to separate mothers and babies, unless there is a serious medical indication for this. All the routine care for the baby immediately after birth can be done with the baby placed skin-to-skin with his/her mother.
The most important way to ensure a healthy and safe birth, is to choose a caregiver and place of birth that provide evidence-based maternity care and do not interfere with the natural, physiologic process of birth, unless there is a compelling medical indication to do so.
About the author
Inbal Sigler is the founder of Isis HypnoBirthing & Yoga. She is also a certified HypnoBirthing trainer, Yoga teacher specialized in pre- and postnatal, and a doula. Isis Hypnobirthing & Yoga is a comprehensive pregnancy and childbirth preparation course combining techniques of Hypnobirthing, Theta Healing, Chinese Medicine and Yoga. Inbal supports women on the amazing journey to motherhood in fertility, pregnancy support and birth support.