60 Tips for Healthy Birth: Part 1 - Let Labor Begin on Its Own

In this six-part series, we will share 10 tips for each of the Lamaze six Healthy Birth Practices that help guide women toward a safe and healthy birth. The Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices are supported by research studies that examine the benefits and risks of maternity care practices. Learn more about each practice, including short, informative videos at Lamaze.com. To read the rest of the 60 tips, check out the other posts 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 or midwife who has a low rate of induction and who is comfortable with a pregnancy that lasts 42 weeks.

3. Know that your "due" date is not an expiration date. Only about 5 percent of moms give birth on their due date. Instead of a day, think of it as your due "month."

4.  Learn about induction -- when it's needed for medical reasons and when it's used for reasons of convenience. A good childbirth class will cover 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 questions. Is it an emergency? What's the risk in waiting? What are the alternatives?

6. Unsure of your care provider's recommendations? Consider seeking a second opinion.

7. Want to avoid the barrage of calls, texts, and emails around your due date? Keep your due date a secret. Tell friends and family you're due "sometime in April," or whatever month your predicted due date is in.

8. Prepare yourself for the mental mind game that occurs with nearly every mom who reaches 39-40 weeks. Schedule mini celebrations for each passing day or days -- lunch with a friend, pedicure, ice cream, movie, bliss out to your favorite tunes. Do whatever it takes to relax and take your mind off of having a baby!

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 end up needing an induction, learn how you can keep your labor as normal and healthy as possible. If you are induced through the use of Pitocin, consider asking if your care provider can turn down or turn off the Pitocin once your body has established a good contraction pattern.


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