Updated: Sep 15, 2021
I can't tell you anything that will absolutely change the labor and delivery game for you, but I've come up with a list of the things I believed helped me get through an unmedicated labor and delivery.
1. Attend a childbirth preparation class. I know it sounds ridiculous in the age of the internet, but this will give you the base knowledge you need to understand what is going on. Our doula and childbirth educator Bria has classes available, so check those out here.
2. Make a plan, but with that it's also important to remain flexible because birth is always going to surprise you. Making a plan helps you know and understand your options so in the event that something doesn't go as planned you know and understand the other options as well.
3. Find alternative ways to deal with the pain. This is where a birth doula can really help you, we have all sorts of tricks to help get through contractions. Explore touch, different birthing positions, scents, etc.
4. Stay active and healthy throughout pregnancy. It might be the last thing you want to do some days, but it will be a game changer! Pregnancy is a marathon not a sprint, build your endurance now. Prenatal yoga and other fitness classes are great. If you were active before pregnancy, you can continue your workout routine as normal with modifications as needed (always talk to your medical provider about any concerns).
5. Stay mobile and active while in labor, gravity is your friend! Rest in early labor, but as things progress it's great to go for a walk, do lunges on the stairs, or hang out on the birth ball.
6. If your water doesn't break before you arrive to the hospital, wait to have it broken or don'thave it broken at all. Having your water broken is not necessary (most of the time). Make sure to ask your doctor "Why do you want to break my water?" "What are the benefits of breaking my water?" "What happens if I don't break my water?"
If you had an unmedicated birth, what do you think helped you the most?