The one thing I’ve learned on my journey to a completely natural birth process is that in order for it to be successful, is that I need to surround myself with like-minded people. Unfortunately, mainstream America is all about “doing what’s normal,” (i.e. strict hospital births, cesareans to avoid the pain of pushing, and not understanding the full potential one’s body has to deliver a baby) and many people don’t evaluate or research in order to determine if the norm is what is really right for them and their prenatal care and delivery. Personally, I don’t believe that childbirth is an illness, and that is how I feel many hospitals approach it. It is not a process that can always be broken down to “by this hour you should have dialeted, by this hour your water should be broken,” etc. Please do not confuse what I am saying with being ungrateful for the miracle of medical intervention when it is necessary. I just believe that unless something is entirely wrong, a woman does not need medical intervention for birth. Not many people even think about this, though. Thus, it has been normal for people to mock and discourage me and my natural beliefs, even when they have not done the research themselves, nor have they experienced a completely natural birth. This can be extremely intimidating! If you are on a natural childbirth journey, I’m sure you’ve heard these lines before:
“Why wouldn’t you want drugs? That’s what they’re there for!”
“You want to cloth diaper? That’s so gross!”
“What year is this, 1930?”
Yep, I’ve heard this, and more – I’m sure you have, too! So, without getting into dispelling the discouraging and non-fact based things some people say, I just want to encourage you by sharing resources that are helping me feel more comfortable about my choice, and that are helping to educate me along the way to my preferred all- natural childbirth.
- Ina May’s “Guide to Childbirth“
- “The Business of Being Born” and “More Business of Being Born” (both currently on Netflix)
- Speaking with/enlisting the services of local midwives and doulas
- Talking to women who opted for natural childbirth and learning about their journey and birth story
- Natural Pre-Natal Class – take one that is in-depth and places an emphasis on natural birthing.
- Fluff Love University the most comprehensive and helpful source I have found so far, from answering initial questions about cloth diapering, to facebook group admins helping you develop a personal wash routine to keep your cloth spotless.
- Specific brand website help pages
Pregnancy and Birth Affirmations
- 17 Positive Pregnancy Affirmations
- Create your own! Write down the positive things you want to happen, and change the sentence structure to show them as already being true in your life.
- Search for them on youtube and google – there are some awesome videos and lists out there.
- Lactation Link‘s “Breastfeeding Basics” is the first course that I have taken. It is online and as someone who had no knowledge of personally breastfeeding, it was a very informative intro course.
- La Leche League International is a mother-to-mother breastfeeding support group. Most divisions host a monthly get-together and/or outing, and their website also has extensive resources. You can find your local group by searching from their homepage.
- Babywearing 102 facebook group – you can pose questions and get answers from experienced mamas and group admins
- This post from the website “Becoming Mamas”
Word of mouth goes a long way in the natural parenting community. I urge you to find groups local to you by using Facebook or searching online – having real people nearby to talk to is invaluable. They can help you find things that the internet isn’t privy to, such as a good midwife, the best local prenatal classes, mommy groups, and more. My favorite group by far is my birth month group! It is a small group of ladies all due in September of this year, and we get to celebrate the little milestones together, vent when necessary, and talk openly in a safe space with people who know what we’re going through.
I’ll end this post by saying that natural childbirth and raising your children in a natural manner are not hippie dippie, crazy lady things. Understanding and accepting the power of your female body is not for the faint of heart, but it is empowering. It is also not something that one does alone. Don’t allow society to tell you to do things that work against the natural process of your body if you feel otherwise. To quote Ida May Gaskin in “Ida May’s Guide to Childbirth,” “…women’s bodies still work.” If they didn’t, humans wouldn’t have survived to the point of extreme medical intervention during childbirth that we are witnessing today. Our species would have died off long ago. Think about that. If you want to have a natural prenatal and childbirth journey, I encourage you to surround yourself with support of some sort, so that you can stand strong and knowledgeable in your choice. Kudos to you!
xoxo mamas, papas & tiny human caregivers