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Planning for Normal Birth: What Helps Labor
A good birth plan addresses the ways you'll help your labor along. This is the most important part of your birth plan. Regardless of the path your labor takes, how will you develop and maintain confidence in your ability to give birth? How will you find comfort and cope with contractions? What support will you need, and who will provide it?
You'll surely discover a lot of ways to be confident on your own, but here are some ideas from other women to get you started:
-- Talk with women who've had satisfying births.
-- Watch videos of natural birth, such as Celebrate Birth!, Gentle Birth Choices, Open Minds to Birth and The Timeless Way. You can expect to see these and other videos in your childbirth class.
-- Stay away from anyone who makes you frightened about birth.
-- Read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.
You aren't meant to suffer in labor. Relieve labor pain in a variety of ways until you find something that works. Following are just some of the many comfort strategies you can try.
-- Move to ease your discomfort
-- Listen to music
-- Relax in a bath or shower.
-- Get a hand or foot massage
-- Try some guided imagery
-- Sit and sway on a birth ball
-- Slow dance with or without a partner
-- Eat or drink when you're hungry or thirsty
-- Stay home as long as you feel comfortable there
-- Have your face and neck wiped with cool water
-- Change positions often
-- Breathe slowly
-- Moan with contractions
-- Push when your body tells you to