Today marks 16 years since I gave birth at home for the first time. I not only gave birth to a wonderful, healthy, handsome baby boy, I gave birth to a new woman who has confidence in herself and the gifts God has given her to bring forth His children into this world. With every birth I have learned something new. I had three home births after that, and one hospital birth. With those births, plus two hospital births before that (one drugged, one Bradley/natural) I feel that I am an expert on birth. Maybe not as much as Michelle Duggar, true, but more experienced than your average American woman. Although I have not had any C-sections, footling breeches, or twins. But I consider myself an expert on normal, natural birth.
So here are my top ten tips for a healthy, happy, home birth!
1.Use water in a labor pool to help you relax during labor.
2. Use heat in the form of heating pads.
3. Dim the lights.
4. Clear up any clutter in your home and your life.
5. Have a priesthood blessing.
6. Use aromatherapy.
7. Have a birth prayer already written. Have someone read it when you are at transition and feel that you are at the end of your rope!
8. Use movement doing labor. With a lot of my births, I have rocked in the rocking chair during labor to help the “surges” go through my body.
9. Have a doula. They are amazing!
10. Prepare your body with consistent daily nutrition all through your labor.
That’s what I learned to do during that first home birth. Here is what I hope to add to the list the next time I have a baby.
1. Use more movement. I plan on doing spiral dancing
2. Have a stick handy for pulling on during pushing. Next time I am going to get a long dowel at Home Depot and then when I feel like pushing I will have someone put it in the labor pool and I am going to stand up, grab onto the stick, and bear down with a lovely feeling of pushing while feeling grounded instead of pushing while feeling too buoyant in water.
3. Drink raw milk every day.