Home Birth Preparations
Pregnant women are often told about the benefits of a home birth environment. Knowing where to begin can be confusing. Here is what ladies need to know if they are interested in a natural home birth experience. Included are eight steps to simplify the process:
1. Do Your Research
Although home birthing today is safer than ever, it isn’t right for everyone. Higher risk pregnancy may be a reason a woman might opt for a hospital birth. A good candidate for home delivery is typically healthy, under age 35 and carrying only one child.
If a woman does not meet that criterion, she needs to consider having a doctor and medical staff present. If the female had complications during a previous pregnancy having her baby in a home birth environment is not advised. With that said, most pregnancies should qualify for a fairly safe home birth experience if proper protocol is followed.
The decision to have a home delivery of a baby is deeply personal. It should be a decision discussed with the doctor, father, and mother. The mother must consider the pros and cons to determine if it is right for her and her baby.
2. Attend Home Birthing Classes
One of the major steps in preparing for a natural birth at home is getting educated. At a birthing, class teachers work with their students to prepare them for the road ahead. Giving birth can be excruciatingly painful.
At a birthing, class teachers will give their students tips on managing the discomfort to come. They will teach them Lamaze breathing techniques. This will show them how to breathe in a way that will alleviate some of their pain. For couples who can’t find the time to go to an in-person class, online courses are available.
3. Interview And Select A Midwife
Having a midwife is an essential to creating a safe home birth environment. A midwife will provide medical care to her client during pregnancy, labor, birth, and breastfeeding. Although having a midwife is important, pregnant mothers don’t have to go with the first one they find.
Different midwives will vary in their level of experience as well as their preferred birthing techniques. Things to check for include credentials, cost, and experience. Mothers also need to consider how well their personalities mesh. Does the midwife understand and respect her wishes?
Will she give her honest advice? Is she committed to providing hands-on care such as massages? How thorough is she? Will she give out instructions on supplies such as disinfectants, vacuum cleaners, and sheets? These are all things to consider when hiring a midwife.
4. Prepare The Birthing Environment
The next step is to prepare the birth environment physically. This is when parents need to utilize the supply list given to them by their midwife. Natural disinfectants are one of the must-have items that usually make the list. If the mother plans to give birth in her bathroom, the tub needs to be thoroughly cleaned.
Vinegar is a common cleaning agent that is often recommended. Vacuum cleaners are also crucial to maintaining a healthy birth environment. The mother will need to practice her breathing exercises and to breathe in dust is not healthy. Sometimes the midwives will make recommendations on the best vacuum cleaners for home sanitization.
In case she doesn’t, her client’s should do their research on popular vacuum cleaners. The mother having a coughing spree during contractions from labor is disruptive to the birthing process. That’s why dusting, vacuuming, and removing allergens such as plants or pets is stressed to pregnant parents.
5. Hire A Doula
Midwives are responsible for the medical aspects of pregnancy care. A doula is in charge of the emotional parts of giving birth. A doula will understand the mother’s birthing plan and be a birthing companion. She will oversee the delivery environment and identify stressors.
It’s common for doulas to bring fragrant candles to utilize aromatherapy relaxation techniques. Doulas also prepare their clients mentally for the possibility of an unideal labor. She’ll make sure her clients have a plan b and a plan c.
6. Get The Right Supplies
The supplies the expectant parents need will vary based on the type of birth they are planning. Water births, bed births and standing births all require unique supplies. A few of the constants are dusting rags, sanitized towels, vacuum cleaners, and natural oil.
Organic olive and coconut oil make great massage oils to use before and during labor. Disposable waterproof pads are also recommended. Hopefully, scissors won’t have to be used during the birth, but just in case sterile scissors are necessary. Soothing music and scented candles are also good to add to the list.
Soft music and lavender or peppermint scented candles can promote relaxation as tensions can run high. The birth environment should be prepped before the mother entering labor if possible. Sanitized supplies should be stores in an accessible, clean place within the home.
7. Mentally Prepare
When a person knows they are about to experience lots of pain, they tense up. It’s the body’s natural reaction to impending discomfort to get the fight or flight defenses up. The problem is anxiety can be a huge distraction while giving birth.
Getting sidetracked by pain or fear of pain can wear a mother down while giving birth. She’ll require all the strength she can get for pushing her baby out. It’s up to the mother and the doula to find proven strategies to prepare mentally for labor.
8. Get Physically Fit
Women without midwives often think of pregnancy as a time to eat whatever they want and relax more. This shouldn’t be taken too far even though maintaining her figure is no longer an issue. Being in good physical condition can make gestation a smoother experience overall.
Clearly going through labor calls for a lot of muscular exertion. This is something a midwife will discuss with her client early on in her pregnancy. Midwives can perform a physical exam to see how much activity her client can handle. A tool she might recommend is a birthing ball. Birthing balls are safe for any mother not on bed rest. Mothers should attempt to prepare physically especially the last three months before their due date.