Bumpie Tip of the Week: How to Prepare for Natural Birth

Photo: Veer / The Bump
Photo: Veer / The Bump

Natural birth is both a beautiful and scary thing.  Our Bumpies on the Natural Birth board shared their tips on prepping for labor:

“We did the Bradley classes and really liked them. In the class they suggest various exercises to tone and prepare for labor and delivery like squats, butterflies, and pelvic tilts” — aylafsu88*

Hypnobirthing the book was less helpful to me than the classes and practicing the relaxation techniques as often as possible.” -- Arielle27

“You might want to consider red raspberry leaf tea. It helps tone the uterus which helps prepare for birth.  I started drinking it in the third trimester and had 2-3 cups a day.  You can start drinking it earlier (second trimester) if you want.” — alyssa8

“Reading birth stories! And watching births on YouTube. It got me in a good frame of mind.” – LaurelBee

“Everyone is different obviously, but this is what worked for me. First trimester: Researched birth options and got hubby on board for natural birth (this included watching “The Business of Being Born” together). Found a provider who was supportive of natural birth. Second trimester: Decided on hypnobirthing and set up classes, read (Ina May, Mongan Method: Hypnobirthing, etc…). Hospital tour. Developed and discussed birth plan/preferences with midwife. Third trimester: Took hypnobirthing classes, worked on processing remaining fears about birth. Met some other providers in the practice. Also took newborn care and breastfeeding classes.” – BrittAnnie

“I think for me, the best preparation came from keeping active (I continued to go to the gym and exercise until my 39th week). I had a long labor (29 hours), but because I was in good physical shape, I was able to power through to the end.” – jennyelf

“Hypnosis homestudy programs. I did GentleBirth and BlissBorn. Both were great for different reasons.  But I firmly believe that by doing this I was able to have the labor I had, and I had a GREAT, short labor. I know it helped my view of labor and delivery and helped to stop any fears I had about it. Evening Primrose Oil (started at 37 weeks, 2 days with 500 mg orally, upped it to 1000 mg orally at 38 weeks and then added 500 mg vaginally at 38 weeks, 3 days, had my baby at 38 weeks, 5 days). It may be a coincidence but I am happy I decided to start Evening Primrose Oil later!” — JCWhitey

“During the pregnancy I did a lot of walking. I was a slow walker because it wasn’t always comfortable… but I tried to walked at least 30 to 45 minutes a day on top of my regular activities. I spent 10 to 20 minutes squatting (almost) every day. And before bed I did some stretching and hanging out on all fours. My midwife told me that squatting and hanging out on all fours could help position the baby for an easier birth.” — OSibyl

“Red Raspberry Leaf Tea (started at 17 weeks, drank 1 cup until the third trimester when I upped it to two). I had my baby in five hours and I’ve had a great recovery. I was told by the doctor/nurses that I had a really strong uterus. I may have just been born with a strong uterus, but I’m sure the tea played a part!” — jdw88

Tell us: What are your tips for preparing for birth?

Plus, more from The Bump:

Shocking Confessions from the Delivery Room

The Most Incredible Childbith Photos We’ve Ever Seen

8 Surprising Things That Happen After Delivery