We're updating one of our most favorite series -- 10 tips for each of the Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices, guidelines based on years of research that help you approach birth informed and with more confidence. Stay tuned for the rest of the updated 60 tips in this series.
10 Ways to Let Labor Begin on Its Own
1. Learn why letting labor begin on its own is important for you and your baby.
2. Choose a doctor, OB, or midwife who has a low rate of induction and who is comfortable with a pregnancy that lasts past 40 weeks.
3. Know that your due date is an estimate, not an expiration date. Only about 5 percent of parents give birth on their due date. Start referring to that time as your "due month" -- small change, but it helps!
4. Learn about induction, including when it's needed for medical reasons and when it's used for reasons of convenience. A good childbirth class covers this topic in detail, as well as give you the tools you need to ask the best questions and make an informed decision.
5. If your care provider suggests an induction, ask these three questions: Is it an emergency? What's the risk in waiting? What are the alternatives?
6. Unsure of your care provider's recommendations? Seek a second opinion.
7. Want to avoid the barrage of calls, texts, and emails around your due date? Keep the date a secret. Tell friends and family you're due "sometime in April," when you're really due in May, for example.
8. Prepare yourself for the mental mind game that occurs for nearly every parent who reaches 39-40 weeks. Schedule mini celebrations for each passing day or days -- lunch with a friend, pedicure, ice cream, movies, music. Do whatever it takes to relax and take your mind off of going into labor!
9. Remind yourself that every day your baby is still on the inside is one more day she needs to grow and develop. Healthy babies are worth the wait.
10. If you need an induction, learn how you can keep your labor as healthy as possible. If you are induced through the use of Pitocin, for example, ask your care provider can turn down or turn off the Pitocin once your body has established a good contraction pattern. This will help you better cope with the intensity of contractions since contractions not caused by Pitocin are generally easier to manage.
TagsBirth Pregnancy Healthy Birth Practices 60 Tips for Healthy Birth Series