During the last 38 years of my life, I have been working as a home birth midwife in Austin Texas. I’ve met thousands of families and helped them create a family in a normal, healthy and completely natural way. I believe that normal birth is a process that doesn’t start or end with delivery alone, it is a normal bodily function that begins with the first weeks of the pregnancy, all the way to the several weeks following birth.
As a midwife, I have witnessed and assisted thousands of natural births and the one thing I’ve learned is that this is a completely normal process that usually doesn’t require any medical intervention. Both the mother’s body and the body of the baby have all the natural abilities necessary for a normal, healthy, and safe birth.
However, it’s always best to make sure you’re familiar with the characteristics of normal birth. During my practice as a midwife, I’ve learned what to look for when it comes to normal birth. The birth process will usually start the labor and then progress it on its own. It’s important for you and your care provider to understand that your body needs to be able to run the show. Instead of using medications allow your body to do its job and let the natural process guide you through the course of delivery. This is one of the best ways to help the mother feel confident in giving birth the way her ancestors did.
To support the birth process, you can take advantage of some physical and psychological tools such as massage, water birth, heat, and movement. One way to ensure that the delivery is a normal birth is to create a safe and caring environment. Make a birth plan you can follow. This will make you feel more prepared when the time comes. As a midwife, I’ve learned that when a pregnant woman surrounds herself with trusted and knowledgeable women she has created an atmosphere of safety and security. Education inspires confidence and having an experienced midwife and doula to rely upon can alleviate your stress and help you relax, so the delivery can progress on its own.
Natural childbirth continues throughout the first hours following birth, it is extremely important for the mother to bond with her baby. Allowing your baby to lie skin-to-skin with you is the best way to make them feel safe and secure and this practice has been proven to have many health benefits both to you and your newborn.
I always advise that breastfeeding is started as soon after birth as possible. Your baby will tell you that they are interested! Learn the signs of a hungry baby. Speak to your care provider about the specific benefits of breastfeeding. Make sure that you and your provider share your commitment to feeding your baby with the food made specifically for them.
Trust in your body and your baby. Prepare a birth plan and follow it and also follow your heart.
Have fun and enjoy!