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