How to Prepare For a Natural, Unmedicated Birth

Motherhood, Wellness

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I knew before I ever became pregnant, how I wanted to birth my babies: naturally and unmedicated. (God willing!) My mom had two uncomplicated and unmedicated births with both my brother and I, and my mother-in-law had four uncomplicated and unmedicated births. I also have several friends who birthed at the hospital or at home, some in water, unmedicated. I fell in absolute love with their stories. Hearing how they gave birth, made me excited to give birth!  Despite this, I was naturally a bit nervous, too! 

Then, I became pregnant myself, and thought, “oh crap, this is happening!” I knew that to settle my fears, and lean into birthing how I desired, I needed to prepare. I quickly learned that preparing for birth was SO much more than just, “eat dates,” “exercise,” “drink raspberry leaf tea.” Although, those all have their place. What I learned showed me that preparing both my body AND my mind, would be truly key in giving myself the best shot to birth unmedicated.

Both of my births – though VERY different – were beautiful and so special in their own right. I can honestly say that I loved birthing both of my girls. It was the hardest, yet most personally rewarding thing that I have ever done. I know that I could not have birthed in the way that felt most comfortable to me, that made me feel the safest, had I not prepared in the ways that I’m going to share with you.

So if you’re like me, and desire to birth naturally and unmedicated, this is for you! While this post is solely dedicated for those who want to birth naturally, I believe that even if you’re most comfortable birthing medicated, or choose to -or must have- a c-section – these are still amazing tools and preparations that can assist you during birth, too!

I hope these tips help guide you to have the best birth experience possible!

1. Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page

From the beginning, I told my husband how I desired to birth and why, and he fully supported me! We attended childbirth education classes together, he came to nearly every midwife appointment for our first daughter, we discussed our birthing preferences openly, and practiced relaxation techniques as a team. This made me feel so safe, held, supported, and at peace with my choice.

Especially for our first daughter’s birth; it didn’t go as planned, and he advocated for me in the hospital when I was unable to advocate for myself. He was my rock, and helped to carry me through both births, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically! He helped to create such a harmonious birthing environment, truly enhancing our shared experience as partners in this incredible journey. 

natural unmedicated birth

 

2. Select a trusted birth team

Choosing the right birth team is essential. I carefully researched, asked local birth groups, and selected healthcare professionals, midwives, and a doula who aligned with my vision for an unmedicated birth. Their unwavering support, expertise, and encouragement were instrumental in creating a birthing environment that felt safe, empowering, and full of positive energy! They felt like old friends, and I love them dearly.

For my first birth, my planned home birth turned induction when my midwife caught preeclampsia at 37 weeks. Her vigilance ensured that I my daughter and I were both safe and healthy.

My first birth was during covid, so sadly my doula was unable to be attend. Instead, she helped me to hypnobirth over the phone until our daughter was born at 2:40am! About an hour after I had given birth, I looked over to see our call still connected. “Kara?” She was STILL on the other line holding space for me! Such a gift!

During my second birth, I decided to try again for a home birth. Knowing my history, my midwives provided incredible care to me throughout my pregnancy. They were truly instrumental in allowing me to safely have an intimate, redemptive birth in the comforts of my own home. 

That is the resounding theme here – ‘safe.’ I truly believe that when you feel safe and are respected by your providers, a healthy pregnancy, can lead to an amazing birth experience!

3. Practice hypnobirthing

Embarking on the journey of natural childbirth led me to the world of hypnobirthing, a practice centered around relaxation and mindfulness. I thought that I was familiar with hypnosis – but it was NOTHING like I was expecting. It was SO much better!

My doula was certified in hypnobirthing, so she taught and practiced the technique with my husband and I throughout my first pregnancy, and then gave us some refreshers throughout my second pregnancy. Together, we learned how I could tap into the power within natural unmedicated birth / hypnobirth myself to manage pain and approach labor with a calm and focused mindset using deep breathing, visualization, and positive affirmations. 

From 32 weeks on, I listened to Christian Hypnobirthing. This allowed me to release my fears, and visualize my perfect birth unfolding. My husband and I practiced together, too. When it came baby time, I was easily able to slip into a safe, positive, relaxed mindset, allowing my body to follow. I swear this technique alone made a world of difference!

Sign up for an incredible faith-filled childbirth course here! (included one month free of the app!)

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4. Share your birthing fears, and release them

Having fears surrounding birth is completely normal! It’s new, unchartered territory. You hear really amazing stories, and really scary ones. By sharing my anxieties and uncertainties with my birth team, it allowed us to work through each fear together. This emotional release not only strengthened my connection with my support system, but also freed me from the weight of apprehensions. This paved the way for a more positive birthing experience. 

Whenever I felt a fear creeping in, I’d quickly remind myself, “I am safe. My body was created for this. Thousands of women will be birthing alongside of me!”

5. Fill your mind with peaceful birth stories and videos

Protect your mind, mama! In the days leading up to labor, I immersed myself in peaceful and positive natural birth stories and videos. Watching these empowering narratives served as a beacon of inspiration. They reminded me of the beauty and strength inherent in the birthing process. It fueled my determination and provided a visual affirmation that I, too, could achieve a calm and unmedicated birth.

I tried my best to shut out negative birth stories. It is not that I was naive, but intentional in protecting my mind and think positively as much as possible to remain calm. When I let my mind drift, I felt my body tense up. I had to continue redirecting, and I kept reminding myself – that this was MY birth and no one else’s, and my story was completely unwritten!

Here are my favorite pregnancy + birthing affirmation cards that I read before, while in labor, and had strung around my birthing pool!

natural water birth

 

6. Learn and understand the beauty and power of physiological labor and birth

Arming myself with knowledge about the physiological aspects of childbirth was a game-changer. Learning how my body naturally progresses through labor, the stages of dilation, and the importance of allowing the process to unfold organically empowered me to trust in my body’s wisdom. This understanding became a source of strength, reinforcing my confidence in the birthing process. All of it powered belief in myself and in my body’s innate ability to birth, like every superwoman has before me!

I loved reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, Birth Without Fear, and Hypnobirthing (The Mongan Method) to also support me in learning! Find them here in my Amazon ‘Pregnancy Essentials’ list!

natural unmedicated birth

 

7. Have a comfortable plan B

Sometimes we can do everything right, and birth just doesn’t go as planned. Trust me, I get it. My first birth went in the complete opposite direction. I didn’t have a plan B – My plan A was my plan B. So when pre-eclampsia came on out of nowhere, and a hospital induction took the place of my planned home birth, we had to act fast. Despite the circumstances, I was still able to have a beautiful birth experience as possible, and give birth naturally and unmedicated. I truly believe that was made possible because of doing everything that I shared above. 

For our second daughter, even though she was a planned home birth, I packed a “just in case” hospital bag. I told myself, I’ll do my absolute best – and even if we have to go to the hospital again, it will all be okay. Baby will be born how baby is supposed to be born. I was at peace and prepared for either scenario! That honestly allowed me to relax much more and enjoy my last weeks of pregnancy!

Here are my favorite things to have on hand for postpartum! 

In embracing these intentional practices, I found a profound sense of empowerment, strength, and connection with the miraculous journey of bringing life into the world and birthing unmedicated. Every contraction (or wave, as I learned to call them) became a testament to my body’s resilience, and each birthing experience left me with a deep appreciation for the transformative power of birth. 

Remember, no matter how you choose to birth, or how your birth unfolds, you’re amazing mama! 

Wishing you strength, courage, and the most joyous birthing experience!

natural unmedicated water birth

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