10 tips to have a normal and safe delivery

Pregnancy brings in with it questions about normal delivery and birth through caesarean. If you are someone who knows that she would prefer a normal delivery over a C-section then some easy, but sure shot tips can assist you with a safe and normal delivery. These tips will ensure that you have an easy labour.

There has been a sharp increase in the number of C-section or Caesarean births in most of urban India. Small cities and towns are not far behind, as statistics reveal that more numbers of women are delivering babies through C-section than previously recorded. It has become a fad and maternity clinics are laughing all the way to the bank. Giving birth is not meant to be an invasive procedure. Caesarean deliveries are best avoided and must be performed ONLY in case of an emergency. Remember, Caesarean section is not an option – it is a medical procedure carried out in an obstetric emergency.

Why a normal delivery is better

Giving birth, the normal way is how nature intended it, however not all women are able to deliver normally, since unexpected complications can arise, entailing medical intervention. This is of course unavoidable. What is undesirable though is the growing numbers of those who choose Caesarean over normal delivery, as a preference.

All women are capable of natural child-birth – it's something that womankind has been doing since the beginning of time. With the help of a little medical intervention, natural birth is much easier today. Women in labour are administered anaesthetic medication to ease the pain. In addition simple surgical procedures like episiotomies make delivery easy.

There are fewer complications associated with natural child birth. It is beneficial for the baby, and the mother makes a faster recovery. It is also easier to nurse new-borns, if the delivery is normal. There are no after-effects of anaesthesia nor is there pain. There is no drugged feeling, from the post-operative medication. Women are also able to get back to their usual routine faster than someone who has had a C-section.

Although, there is no prescribed formula that guarantees that a woman can have a normal delivery, there are certain measures that can be adopted during pregnancy that improve the probability of having a normal, natural delivery.

Can first time moms have a normal delivery?

As long as it is not a high risk pregnancy and there are no complications, a first time mother can definitely have a normal childbirth. Women are just scared at the thought of labour pain and vaginal delivery – and with friends and well-wishers doling out unsolicited advice, the fears get compounded.

Natural childbirth is essentially advantageous as it paves the way for speedy healing and quicker recovery. If pregnant women make the effort to ready themselves for the natural delivery process then they end up having a shorter, less traumatic labour. Natural birth is less exhaustive and allows mothers to bond with their babies soon after birth. Mothers remain conscious and alert post-delivery which facilitates breastfeeding. Women who undergo caesarean section remain drugged for long durations.

If you are a first time mommy-to-be, then here is some sound advice that can actually prepare you for a normal delivery.

Exercise everyday

Workouts are good, unless the gynaecologist advises otherwise. Exercise builds stamina and does a world of good for the body. Begin an exercise regime even before you get pregnant and you'll reap the benefits of it. Walking is good – it provides a full body workout. Wear comfortable footwear and loose clothes while exercising. Any form of exercise that targets the pelvic muscle is good. Your pelvic muscles come into play during labour – so it is imperative that you strengthen them before the onset of labour. Kegels workout strengthens the pelvis. This involves voluntarily tightening and loosening of the pelvis muscles.

Similarly, walking strengthens muscles on the thighs. Strong thigh muscles can alleviate stress during labour pain. Include pelvic stretches and squats in your exercise regime. However, make sure that any new form of exercise is done under expert supervision.

There are specific asanas in yoga for the prenatal period. They are designed to improve flexibility and breathing pattern. Moreover, yoga is known to relieve stress and calm the mind andrelax the body. However, prenatal yoga must be practised under an expert's supervision.

Keep stress at bay

Pregnancy can be a stressful time for some, especially working women. Anxiety, stress and unnecessary worries can cause psychological damage that affects the child and the mother-to be. Remain calm and composed at all times. Take deep breaths when overburdened with stress or take a short walk.

Therapists say that being around friendly and positive people is a stress buster. So, surround yourself with cheerful people and steer clear from people/situations that get you worked up. Reading books on parenting too provide a feel good feeling.

Practice proper breathing techniques

Breathing is something that we do involuntarily. However, medical practitioners stress on the need for controlled breathing techniques, during labour. Lamaze is a method of controlled breathing that is recommended by obstetricians, nurses and mid-wives. It involves taking deep breaths and holding it so the body makes use of optimum oxygen. Begin practising this early on in your pregnancy.

Go deaf to horror labour tales

Tactfully change the topic whenever anyone starts telling you about their labour experience. The last thing you want to hear is how bad it can get. Well, most often, such tales are exaggerated. Avoid listening to stories of long, painful labour, as it can impact you psychologically and hamper your progression to a natural course of delivery.

Maintain your nutrition quotient

Pregnancy is a time when nutrition (perhaps) matters the most. You will need to watch your diet and ensure you eat the right foods. Quit drinking and quit smoking. Proper nutrition is crucial at this stage, both for the baby and for you. Eat nourishing foods that will keep you healthy and strong. Do not binge on junk food. A healthy diet plan that includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat and dairy, nuts, whole grains and healthy fats can strengthen you internally and prepare you to face labour. Stay hydrated – consume fluids in the form of water, freshly extracted juices and coconut water.

The weight of the growing baby weighs the uterus down; this causes constipation in some women. Additionally, iron supplements recommended during pregnancy can also have a constipating effect. Fight constipation through diet – high fibre foods and lots of fluids can be your best friends.

You do not have to eat for two, in quantity. However, keep tabs on the quality – eat wholesome foods and ditch the fatty 'desi ghee' loaded preparations that Indians mothers recommend. You will end up piling on unnecessary kilos. Avoid excessive weight gain as it can hinder normal delivery, cause diabetes and affect your BP.

Get proper prenatal advice

Most first time mommies have no idea what to expect during labour. They rely on what they hear from friends and relatives. It is best to get educated by a professional, who is knowledgeable. Speak to your gynaecologist and ask them what to expect. Have a list of question ready, such as the following:

  • How will I know when labour begins?
  • Will I experience a lot of pain from the word go?
  • What do I do if I start spotting?
  • What if my water bursts?
  • How long does labour last?
  • Does everyone have the same labour pattern?
  • Ask for contractions to be explained
  • Find out the frequency of contractions
  • Ask the doctor what you must do to prepare yourself
  • Request the doctor to suggest a diet & exercise plan
  • Check with her the precautions that are necessary during pregnancy and at the time of delivery

A doctor will probably spend more time explaining things to someone who has a lot of questions. When you ask questions of your doctor you'll get valuable answers. Do not think of your questions as being silly. You'll be surprised at how much information you can gather, by just asking questions.

Join prenatal classes, if they are available where you live. Remember to check the instructor's credentials, before you do. Explore the internet and read books to learn labour management techniques. Doing so can help to ease fears and apprehensions that you might have about labour and childbirth.

Create a support system

Having a support system to fall back on is crucial during this stage. Your partner, your parents, in-laws, siblings, friends and extended family can all be of help. Have someone around you, especially during the last semester, when you are most likely to need help, carrying out chores. Knowing that someone is around helps control stress levels and eases labour pains.

Regular check-ups are a must

Regular antenatal check-ups are essential to determine your health and that of your unborn child. Scout for a maternity clinic close to where you will be at the time of the delivery, so you can reach the place, quickly, in an emergency or when it's time. While, this is important, it is equally significant to check the credentials of the clinic and the obstetrician who will be attending to you.

Your obstetrician should not carry a track-record of successful caesarean section deliveries. You must look for someone who encourages natural births. Speak to your doctor and make your intentions clear. However, if complications arise, don't hesitate to take a second opinion. Over-cautious doctors are known to recommend unnecessary tests. Go for tests that are needed, and avoid optional tests.

Perineal massage

This is one 'old wives tales' that is actually good. Perineal massage in the third trimester, at the start of the 8th month of your pregnancy will help lessen stress, alleviate muscular tension and joint pain and aid in easy labour.

Zzzzzz sleep's important

Your sleep pattern is most likely to get disturbed when you are pregnant. Blame it on the changing hormones and your big belly. Sleep is important for stimulating the development of your foetus. So, create conditions conducive for getting a good night's rest.

  • A warm water bath can be relaxing and bring in sleep
  • Aroma therapy is a stress buster and sleep inducer – use lavender or jasmine essential oils in your bath or dab some on your wrist
  • A warm glass of milk before going to bed can encourage sleep
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress, with cushions/pillows to support your belly
  • Skip the after dinner cuppa of tea/coffee
  • A after-dinner stroll can also help
  • Keep sound and light out of the bedroom
  • Listen to music or read a book, to get sleep

Enjoy your pregnancy, stay positive and don't get excessively anxious over the labour part of the experience. Labour is a part of a beautiful experience called motherhood. You'll do fine – so relax. When you are calm and cheerful your body automatically releases 'Serotonin' - the feel-good hormone, which keeps you feeling good and reduces uneasiness and anxiety.

Relax and prepare for the arrival of your bundle of joy. Good luck with your pregnancy and have a safe delivery.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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Author: NK SHARMA28 Sep 2016 Member Level: Gold   Points : 4

What decides that one should go for C-section or normal delivery? There are many factors such as the position of child head whether it is towards pelvic hole or opposite direction before birth. The size of baby head and the weight of foetus is also considerable. In such condition it is better to go for Cesarean. Vaccination of mother during pregnancy to be done. Calcium and folic acid tablets to be taken regularly as it help in growth of child and DNA making. Folic acid contains B12 vitamin which is essential for DNA fabrication. If the mother is government employee she can take six months maternity leave for the care of self and baby.

Author: K Mohan19 Jan 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 2

While I do agree with the author and the tips given for normal and safe delivery, at that time of emergency nothing would run into our heads and we are more worried about the mother and the child as both must be alive after the delivery. And as a husband he does not have the patience or the courage to see the labour pain of his wife and wait for normal delivery which may be time consuming. One thing is sure even the elders at the home insists for normal delivery and we should not press for the child before time than stipulated. But modern science has the facility and enables the doctor to bring the new born child before hand through Cesarean operation and thus normal deliveries are rare to happen.

Author: Swati Sarnobat03 Mar 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

A woman should go out for a walk daily. She should preferably practice or perform activities that involve squatting. Some yoga or exercises should be performed according to the advice of the doctors. She should remain active even before her pregnancy because that position or energy is sustained at a later stage too. She should follow medical advice and take medications exactly as per doctors advice.

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