Helping a Woman Choose Natural Childbirth

by Wendy (Las Vegas, NV)

I work with a young woman who is about 21 yrs old. She recently got married and is about 5 weeks pregnant.

I can easily see her going with the “typical” hospital birth scenario with all of its pitfalls. I had a water homebirth with a midwife and doula present. I want her to be able to experience the wonder of birthing.

Do you have any suggestions that may help me to help her? I will recommend various books, but I don't want to scare her off with “crazy” pregnancy and birth books, if you know what I mean!!!

I want to be of help to expose her to this “secret” world of natural childbirth, but I also don't want to scare her away! Any thoughts?

Thank you!!!! Wendy

Answer

Hi Wendy! I think this is always a bit of a tough situation to be in, because you do worry about scaring the other woman off, or having her think you're some crazy nature woman!

Sharing a magazine article about homebirth, or bringing up an article about medications and baby can be a gentle way to introduce things. You may be able to find a back issue of Mothering Magazine, which is no longer in print but published some great, thought-provoking articles.

UK-based pregnancy magazines also tend to have favorable articles on homebirth (they are overall much more balanced than US-based magazines), if you have a bookseller that stocks them. Fit Pregnancy in the US has also occasionally had a positive homebirth/natural birth article.

Another way to start is to share your experiences with your baby, and what your thought process was. Focusing on baby's health is often a good approach. Share how you wanted the best for your baby and as you did the research you found that hospitals did not seem like the safest place to have a baby!

See if she's open to watching a video with you. I would start with [raw]The Business of Being Born[/raw] – it's so very well done, and since most people are familiar with Ricki Lake and don't consider her to be “out there” or anything, they're more open to watching her documentary!

I also think that Orgasmic Birth is a great documentary to watch with her. It's a very balanced documentary, even with such an “extreme” name 😉

What Babies Want is another great one taking a more baby-centered focus.

Videos can be a good way to break the ice with someone who is new to the thought of something “different” when it comes to pregnancy and birth.

You can also, of course share your birth story – and pictures and memories from your baby's birth 🙂 I think most women listen to birth stories and they do think about them, even if they brush them off as “extreme” at first.

And yes, I would recommend sharing books with her – maybe after the videos! Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctor's Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices is my top recommendation!

If she's ready to explore more, I'd recommend my free Guide to Natural Childbirth – it comes with a companion MP3 and a “mini-class” natural birth series via email – send her to http://www.TrustBirth101.com!

I know that for me discovering that homebirth still happened was an amazing thing – I didn't realize that babies could be born at home. But I became interested in learning more after reading my first article on homebirth. The health benefits to mom and baby definitely helped sway me towards natural birth and homebirth, so I usually take this perspective with moms I'm talking to.

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About the author 

Kristen

Kristen is childbirth educator, student midwife, and a mama to 8 - all born naturally! She has spent years helping mamas have healthy babies, give birth naturally, and enjoy the adventure of motherhood. Find her on her website NaturalBirthandBabyCare.com and helping families through her online childbirth class MamaBabyBirthing.com

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