What NOT to do When Planning a Natural Childbirth

You’re not a martyr… so, why do you act like it? You’re planning a natural childbirth and busily telling everyone you’re certainly not a martyr because natural birth is best for the baby and it’s best for you. But. There’s the word. But you’re also planning for all the pain. You know you’re tough enough. Yes. But you’re still studying up on those pain relief strategies.


Don’t get me wrong. I did the same thing when I was pregnant with my first baby. I planned for the pain. I planned for how I’d get through it naturally (of course).

I planned how I’d get through it naturally. Isn’t the definition of martyrdom suffering for something you believe in? If you’re planning to just “get through the pain” aren’t you really and truly planning to be a martyr, no matter what you tell others? It took me time and getting interested in all things birth and baby to come to this realization.

When I did, it made me mad.

See, I didn’t want to be a martyr and I didn’t feel like a martyr. But even natural birth courses were setting up to act like one… not to act like the strong birthing woman I knew I was.

A Legacy of Stripped Power

The modern birthing culture has stripped you of your power, mama, even when you choose a natural birth method. And I’ll go so far as to say that many cultures throughout humanity have stripped women of this power – I agree with advocates like Michel Odent and Rahima Baldwin Dancy that we don’t need to go back to our roots. We need to build something different.

It’s time to stop looking backwards and it’s time to stop rebelling against technocratic birth.

Now is the time to walk pregnancy and birth as the powerful mother that you are. The key word in that sentence?


Not powerful, though that’s very important. You are a mother.

That means you are not alone.

You and your baby are walking this path, taking this journey, dancing this dance, going through this development, together.

You Are Mother – You’re Growing a Baby

The language you use doesn’t matter. Birth is working with your baby.

So you’re right. You’re not a martyr. You’re giving birth to your child and he or she wants to be born.

As you prepare for birth, don’t prepare for pain relief. Don’t get ready to get as comfy as you can. Get ready to work with your baby. Get to know your body. Get to know what happens during birth. Take classes that help you discover these things. Read inspiring birth stories to find out how other mamas worked with birth. Get knowledge and skills and carry those things through childbirth.

Go into birth with the expectation that you can handle it… whatever that means. And really, go into birth with the understanding that you can do the work to help your baby as he or she moves down, out, and into your arms.

That, gentle mother, is the point of natural birth 🙂

(NOTE: Want a Perfect Birth Plan Template? Use this template and step-by-step videos to write a birth plan that gets your birth team on your side for a beautiful birth experience! Get the birth plan kit here.)

Handle Labor Pain

Photo by kalablankenship

About the author 


Kristen is a pregnancy coach, student midwife, and a mama to 8 - all born naturally! I've spent nearly two decades helping mamas have healthy babies, give birth naturally, and enjoy the adventure of motherhood. Does complete support for a sacred birth and beautiful beginning for your baby resonate with you? Contact me today to chat about how powerful guidance and coaching can transform your pregnancy, birth, and mothering journey <3

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