5 Essential Steps to a Healthy Birth

medium_2762826490The birth of your child will be one of the most important and memorable experiences of your life.  It is worth the effort and time to learn about all of your childbirth options so that you can make the decisions that are right for you and your family.  Once you’ve identified what’s important to you, you’ll be able to clearly communicate your wishes and choose a care provider and birth environment that will respect and honor your choices.

We’ve put together a list of 5 basic steps that will help guide you through the process of making these decisions.  We encourage you to identify a birth partner (spouse, partner family member, close friend) and invite them into this process and to go through each step together.  Your partner will ideally be your primary support person and advocate during labor and birth.  The more prepared your partner is to ask questions and make requests on your behalf, the more you’ll be set-up for an empowered and healthy birth.

The Five Steps to a Healthy Birth

Step 1:  Educate Yourself

Start this exciting new phase in your life from an empowered position! In today’s world you have access to a seemingly limitless amount of information about pregnancy and birth. Dive in! Sign up for a comprehensive childbirth education class, read healthy pregnancy and birthing books and magazines, and watch documentaries on childbirth. Reach out to parents, providers and birth organizations in your area to find out about local resources and to get a sense of what birth options are available to you in your community.  Check the CIC website (choicesinchildbirth.org) for resources, our list of recommended books and films, and to find childbirth educators and parenting support classes in your area.

Step 2:  Listen to your Body

Your body is about to embark on an epic journey!  Pregnancy and childbirth will challenge you in all kinds of new and exciting ways. Despite the fast pace of life, this is a time for you to really listen and connect to your body’s messages. During this time your needs will be changing almost continually. Take time to check in with yourself each day and really listen to what your body is telling you. Making this connection now will not only optimize your health during pregnancy, but will also be invaluable during labor and birth.

Some of the things you will want to consider are your diet, the rest and exercise you’ll require, and the levels of stress in your life.  Nurturing yourself and your body is the very first step in caring for your baby.  Reach out for support when necessary and enjoy putting yourself and your body’s needs first.   Visit the CIC Provider Network (choicesinchildbirth.org/network) for listings of nutritionists, body workers and fitness instructors in your area.

Read the rest on Queens Mamas….

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