When it comes to talking birth plans at antenatal classes, it's surprising how many first-time mums are determined to have a natural' delivery. No drugs, no help or medical intervention, just delivering the baby in the way nature intended.
Although many women do go on to have a natural birth (48% according to the most recent NHS statistics), it's important that you stay realistic about it, too. Natural birth is just one way to have your baby and it's only the best one if you're able to cope with it and it won't compromise your health and that of your baby. Here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind when you're planning for your natural birth.
Keeping things natural
Five things to bear in mind if you're hoping to have a natural birth:
- Find out about local midwife-run birth units, which offer a more relaxed environment than a hospital.
- Some hospitals offer birth pool facilities. But remember, the pool may not be free when you need it.
- Ask your midwife about home birth.
- Tell your midwife that you want a natural birth and ask her to explain the pros and cons if she suggests monitoring or pain relief.
- Don't feel browbeaten into a procedure - but do accept you may need help if there are any unforeseen problems.
When help is needed
Here are some of the reasons why a natural birth may not be possible.
- You may need to be induced, if your baby is overdue for example.
- Your waters might break early and your baby may need to be delivered quickly to avoid infection.
- Your waters may need to be broken manually to help labour along.
- The pain may be too much for you.
- Your baby's heart rate could drop, meaning he'd need to be born quickly.
- Your baby might need help being born. If you're tired or your baby is distressed, forceps, ventouse or an episiotomy (a cut between the vagina and anus) might be needed.
- You might need a Caesarean. If your baby is breech you may be offered an elective one. If complications occur, you may need an emergency one.
Click Through For More Information On How To Make A Birth Plan.