There are many reasons why choosing to labor at home is the best thing you can do to achieve a natural birth.
From enjoying the comforts and freedom you have within your own personal living space to saving yourself from experiencing a cascade of potentially unnecessary medical interventions, laboring at home is generally the safest and best option for pregnant moms who want to achieve a successful and enjoyable natural birth.
Here are 5 easy and yet effective things you can do to help you labor at home as long as possible! OF COURSE, you must consult with your care provider and determine when the right time to go to the hospital is for YOU during YOUR labor. But here are some things that might help you…
1. Take a childbirth education class to learn how to labor at home like a boss
Birth knowledge is key to helping you labor at home as long as possible because it will help you have a better understanding of the process of labor and you’ll also learn about natural pain-coping techniques you can apply throughout labor.
Taking a childbirth education class outside of a hospital setting will help you gain the knowledge you need to go into labor from a position of confidence, instead of a position of fear as do many moms especially those who want a natural birth.
In addition to taking a childbirth course, I would also recommend having this labor guidebook handy when you go into labor. You can either have it on your phone or tablet or print out a copy and place it in your hospital bag.
2. Hire a doula to help you labor at home comfortably
Whether you are a first-time mom or a veteran mom, I believe that most moms can benefit from having a doula present during childbirth.
A doula is birthworker who is very familiar with childbirth as well as with various techniques to help you cope with labor naturally at home.
Studies have found that women who received doula support during labor were less likely to have a c-section birth, an assisted birth, and regional analgesia such as an epidural.
There are so many benefits to adding a doula to your birth team!
Nowadays, doulas come with various specialties, ranging from massage therapy to Rebozo to help you labor at home as long as possible.
They will most definitely be one of the most invaluable assets of your birth team!
3. Do something you love while in early labor
A super easy and effective way to help you labor at home until you’re well into labor is to pass the time by doing something you love! This is one of the tips I cover in The Natural Labor Playbook, which guides you through each stage of labor.
With my second baby, I spent my time packing for the hospital and shaving my legs in the shower. I can’t say this is really something I love, and I would definitely not advise anyone to do this while in full-blown labor, but it helped the time pass quickly.
By the time I got to the hospital, I was dilated and pretty much ready to go.
Anyway, whether you enjoy coloring, reading, or even knitting, indulging in one of your hobbies will help take your mind off labor and just get you to focus on something else as your labor progress.
Before you know it, you’ll be holding your new baby. Time flies when you’re doing something you enjoy!
The thought of giving birth can definitely be daunting, no matter how many times you’ve done it. There are a lot of unknowns, right?
Finding out you’re in labor and thinking about the journey you’re about to embark on can induce some stress…
But one of the best things you can do to labor at home as long as possible is to RELAX.
Relaxation is a great way to cope with labor naturally in the comfort of your home.
I promise you, as a mom who has had two natural births, stressing yourself out during labor is one of the most useless and counterproductive things you can do during labor.
Excessive levels of stress during labor trigger the release of “bad” hormones called adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol.
These hormones basically increase your sensitivity to pain, can slow or stall labor, and can also decrease blood flow to your baby which can cause your baby to go into distress.
All of these will make it much more difficult (in some cases dangerous) to labor at home.
So relax and take it step by step. Just think about that moment when you’ll first get to hold your little one.
Things you can do to relax during early labor:
- Take a shower or bath
- Get a massage
- Dim the lights
- Diffuse some essential oils
Click here to find more tips on how to relax and cope with labor naturally at home.
5. Be in the moment and focus
Another easy and yet super effective way to labor at home is to be in the moment. Don’t think too far ahead.
Try not to let your mind wander off and start thinking about what if this happens or what if that happens.
Take things as they come. I can definitely attest to the fact that childbirth is more mentally challenging than it is physically. That’s why it’s so important to have a game plan and be prepared for labor, so you can take the guesswork out of how you respond to labor.
The mind is such a powerful tool and if you don’t focus, if you allow your thoughts to run wild or to run the show, you may just freak yourself out and end up going to the hospital much earlier than you need to.
You’ve got this, mama!
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