In my opinion, pregnancy and birth are two of the most beautiful things in this entire world. From finding out for the first time that you are going to be parents, to seeing your belly grow into a beautiful shape, feeling flutters grow into kicks, and then seeing your perfect baby for the very first time in your arms- there is nothing more special.
Along with pregnancy and the birth process comes the beauty of physical growth and emotional growth for the mother. Because of this, one thing I encourage all expecting mothers to do is to sit down with your partner and discuss what your “dream birth” looks like.
Who is there? What does your environment look like?
Do you feel calm, supported, and loved?
This is HUGE! I pray that every woman has a plan, that her partner is also 100% on board, and that you believe in your decisions wholeheartedly. Dr. Tom and I’s dream birth is to have a natural birth, in our home, and we have been diligent in taking action steps to ensure we are educated, empowered, and supported in our journey!
While I have been sharing my plans for birth and action steps during pregnancy, I have received an outpour of support! But I have also received a sense of “worry” from some. I have heard things such as, “Girl, you will want an epidural!” or “Good luck to you, I wish I could do that but it will be too hard!”
To gain a better understanding of my choices, here are 6 reasons why I have chosen a natural path. Not only for me, but for my child, and the growth of my family. I have also included exerts from my sister-in-law, Kristin, on her personal and beautiful natural birth story:
1. Birth isn’t new.
The human race is dependent on women giving birth, and this is nothing new! Women have been birthing naturally for thousands of years, but suddenly people feel as if natural births in the 21st century are “fads”. If women in the past were able to given birth without intervention, so can I, and I believe that wholeheartedly. No ands, ifs, or buts about it.
"For the vast majority of human history there were no pain medications available. I thought, 'if they could do it, I can do it'."
2. I believe in my body’s innate intelligence as a woman.
Women have an innate internal strength when it comes to birthing. It has been with us since the beginning of time. Think about how a pregnant woman’s body knows exactly how to expand and accommodate a baby, how hormones change purposefully to ensure proper fat storage and uterine growth, breasts fill with milk on their own to provide for the baby, and labor begins and progresses based on the needs of the baby. Your body is amazing and you are amazing! TRUST in the process and know that your body innately knows exactly what to do if you allow it time!
"I knew I could trust my body. My body is made to give birth! And if I could trust my body to contract and give birth, I knew I could trust my brain to do one of the things it was made to do - deal with pain."
3. I get adjusted regularly.
My chiropractor, aka my husband, is a critical part of my birth team. I know that removing nerve interference and ensuring proper pelvic alignment will not only increase my health and comfort, but also ensure my baby has optimal room to grow and develop, just as he should. Consistent chiropractic care during pregnancy has been linked with decreased labor and delivery times, decreased pain during labor, and decreased need for intervention. Not to mention also being linked to boosting immune system function, aiding in nausea, and comfort for mother during pregnancy. What expecting mother doesn’t want that?!
"As a first time mom with goals to have a natural birth, having my body be as prepared for birth as possible was a top priority. I attribute my easy pregnancy with little to no pain and minimal morning sickness to the chiropractic care I received! I was able to continue working out until 40 weeks and felt energized throughout. I was also able to give birth naturally to a beautiful and healthy baby boy! Jed continues to get adjusted and we have seen quick recovery times from illnesses and he has been a generally healthy and happy baby!"
4. I have a birth plan.
Having a birth plan allows for you and your spouse to lay out exactly your expectations for birth. Of course birth doesn’t always go according to plan; however writing down your needs, birth environment envisioned, interventions you choose to avoid, and back-up plans results in an increase in confidence during this process! Your wishes are extremely important and should be heard and read consistently throughout the birth. This is YOUR birth, not your provider’s. Always remember that.
"To be honest I wanted a medication free birth not only because of the massive benefits for baby but also because it felt like some sort of right of passage. I wanted to be present to every sensation, every surge of contraction and every push. And I wasn't afraid."
5. I have a team that supports me, believes in me, and empowers me.
My team is absolutely amazing! It includes a Certified Nurse Midwife, an Assistant Certified Midwife, a doula, my husband (and chiropractor!), and of course me and the baby. We are a team at every appointment, supporting each other, knowing our specific roles, and working towards the common goal of delivering a healthy baby naturally and safely. My team knows exactly what my dream birth looks like, and they work to create that so I feel confident every step of the way! What does your team look like?
"Having a great birth team surrounding and supporting you as you go through this experience is so key! At Jed's birth we had Brande, our midwife, Malory, our doula, and Mike, my husband. All three believed in me and believed I was capable. I knew going into labor that they would encourage me, tell me how strong I was and help me work through the pain contraction by contraction."
6. I believe that my baby is healthy, strong, and knows when to enter this world.
I know that my little man is strong and healthy. How do I know that? I know it because I BELIEVE it. I choose to rid negatively and horror stories during my pregnancy, because I know that stress can negatively impact my health and his health. Instead I cherish every movement I feel inside me, and I routinely picture him being born into this world comfortably and perfectly.
"I focused on positivity. This was massive! If I had walked into my birth thinking that we weren't going to be able to do it, my guess is I wouldn't have been able to."
Not every woman chooses this path, nor am I saying you should. But I do want you to be confident in your decisions, whatever they may be, just like I am confident in my own! There are no judgments when it comes to birth as long as are comfortable, knowledgeable, and supported every step of the way.
“The fulfillment and happiness you will feel in those moments when your baby spontaneously smiles or gazes up at you, returning your love, will make all the hard work involved worthwhile.” –Janet Balaskas