Almost every other pregnant woman out there would say that she wants a safe, vaginal birth. In spite of modern day technologies offering plenty of alternative options for childbirth, most women (and doctors) still opt for vaginal child birth, i.e. a normal delivery.
Vaginal birth has many advantages when compared to other methods of delivery like the C section. The very idea of a natural childbirth is very soothing to mothers who fear the effects of surgery and the anesthetics and medications used during the procedure on their health and the health of their baby.
In addition to the experience and joy of being active during the delivery, vaginal birth would enable the mother to bond with her baby instantly (watching your baby being born is one of the greatest gifts you can ever get). Vaginal birth would also enable the mother to nurse her new born baby immediately after the delivery. This would often not be possible during surgeries where the mother would be sedated before the procedure.
Vaginal birth would also be less taxing on the body of the mother afterwards wherein she would be able to regain her strength and stamina pretty quickly (the body would take time to heal after a C Section). And to top it all off, vaginal births would ensure fewer risks of birth defects in the newborn.
Simple and Effective Steps to Ensure a Vaginal Birth
Although many women wish to have a vaginal birth, not many of them know the prerequisites and precautions they need to follow in order to prepare themselves (both physically and mentally) for a normal delivery. Here are some effective tips that would help an expecting mother prepare herself for vaginal birth.
Stay Healthy and Energetic
Health and energy play important roles in a normal delivery, i.e. vaginal birth. An expecting mother should both be healthy enough to carry her baby to term (complications in between could lead to a potential C Section) and energetic enough to endure the pain of a normal delivery. In countries like India, a delivery is often considered as a second birth for the mother owing to the harrowing and painful experience she has to go through while giving birth to her child.
Therefore, issues like malnutrition and low energy levels would never help the mother get through vaginal childbirth safely. Women wishing to have vaginal birth should definitely strive to remain healthy and energetic till the end of the pregnancy term. And this can be achieved by eating properly, exercising properly, taking adequate rest at regular intervals throughout the day and staying safe from all kinds of health related ailments that could pose a threat to the pregnancy.
Eat for Yourself and Your Baby
Pregnancy is no easy task. And vaginal childbirth is no different. An expecting mother would need to have the strength to push her baby out during vaginal birth. In order to do that, she would need to eat for herself and her baby.
In addition to eating regularly to satisfy her hunger pangs, an expecting mother should fulfill her body’s nutritional needs (which would increase tremendously during pregnancy) by following the diet recommended by her gynecologist or nutritionist. Vaginal birth can also be taxing on the body’s nutritional stores wherein the mother would lose plenty of vital nutrients like calcium and iron along with a lot of blood during the delivery. Eating properly would ensure that the mother has enough back up to tackle this loss during delivery.
Sleep and Take Proper Rest
It is considered essential to remain active during pregnancy in order to have a vaginal birth. It is also considered essential to take proper rest at regular intervals throughout the day in order to let the body relax after a tiring day. Pregnancy can cause extreme fatigue.
Added to this are symptoms like dizziness, nausea and vomiting that can be both physically and emotionally draining. Taking rest at regular intervals would enable the body to recover from these symptoms. An adequate sleep of at least 6-8 hours a day would also keep the body active and energized. This in turn would increase the chances of vaginal birth to a great extent.
Consume Plenty of Water and Fluids
Drinking plenty of water and juices every day can be beneficial for both the mother and the baby, and increase the chances of vaginal birth to a great extent. The sac that houses the baby is filled with amniotic fluid which would be replenished effectively with the water and fluids that are consumed.
This can help during delivery as low levels of amniotic fluid in the sac can pose complications (which would possibly warrant a C Section) during childbirth. Drinking plenty of water every day can also keep the baby healthy and energized, thereby facilitating vaginal birth. Therefore, it is considered wise to drink at least 10 glasses of water every day to increase the chances of vaginal birth.
Be Active and Mobile
Pregnancy comes with its own share of risks and complications. Prenatal conditions like back aches, water retention and varicose veins etc. can cause undue complications during delivery. Staying active and mobile during pregnancy can prevent these problems and increase the chances of vaginal birth. Expecting mothers are therefore urged to continue with their normal work on a day to day basis without being confined to the bed or a particular area. Save for a few strenuous activities that need to be avoided, all other forms of work or activities are considered normal and very effective for women wishing to have a vaginal birth.
Opt for Prenatal Exercises
An expecting mother would usually be asked to start doing prenatal exercises as soon as she crosses the second trimester. These exercises would target the various muscles of the body (including the vaginal muscles) and keep them healthy, flexible and prepared for the delivery.
One of the most recommended prenatal workouts for expecting women is the Kegel exercise which focuses on the pelvic floor and strengthens it for vaginal birth. Expecting mothers can also opt for perineum massages which would increase the strength and elasticity of the muscles and tissues situated on the pelvic floor. This in turn would prevent tearing during childbirth.
Various forms of pelvic exercises can also help an expecting mother tone her vaginal and pelvic muscles during pregnancy. This in turn would enable her to push her baby out easily during a vaginal birth. Stretching exercises, yoga and meditation can help the body deal with vaginal birth better (both physically and mentally). It is considered wise to check with the doctor before opting for these exercises in order to prevent overexertion and injury.
And finally! Get an Epidural
Many women feel that asking for an epidural or pain medication would attract frowns and disapproving nods from others. However, there is nothing wrong in asking for an epidural during childbirth. In addition to reducing the labor pain to a great extent, an epidural would enable the mother to relax and concentrate on the delivery instead of being overwhelmed by the pain. This in turn would increase the chances of her having a vaginal birth instead of a C section.