5 Things You Should Absolutely Not Do If You Want A Natural Birth


If you’re a mama who has made natural birth your goal, all the power to you! You have the support of many women, and Mama Fearless, behind you! I’ve compiled a list of 5 Things You Should Absolutely Not Do If You Want A Natural Birth to give you the best support for your outcome.

The idea of natural birth has gained massive momentum in the last several years and for good reason–it’s a beautiful goal.

While Mama Fearless doesn’t promote one type of birth method over another, we believe natural birth still deserves recognition.

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5 Things to Totally Avoid if You Want A Natural Birth

Mamas of natural births are heroes, just as mamas of C-sections, VBACS, and all in between.

What Is YOUR Definition of Natural Birth?

If you’re planning a natural birth the first thing you need to decide is what a natural birth means to you.

Some examples of natural birth are:

  • A hospital birth without medication (mainly Pitocin and Epidural)
  • A hospital birth with pain medication but no Pitocin
  • A birth experience other than C-Section
  • A birth in a birthing center
  • An assisted home birth (midwife or doula)
  • An unassisted home birth

For the sake of this post we are going to use the most popular natural birth idea: A medication-free hospital birth.

This is the most popular natural birth method, so of course it’s the most researched.

It’s completely understandable.

Mamas want the natural birth experience with the assurance that doctors and medical professionals are there to assist should something go awry.

With this in mind, there are 5 very specific things you should absolutely not do if you want the best shot at a natural birth.

Disclaimer: This post is intended to coach and encourage you, not to replace qualified medical advice. If you have questions or concerns about your pregnancy, contact your healthcare provider.

5 Things You Should Absolutely Not Do If You Want A Natural Birth

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1: Mistrust Your Doctor

Childbirth is beautiful, no matter the method.

It’s important to not become so completely set to do a specific method that you put your child or yourself at risk.

If you’re giving birth in the hospital, the doctors are going to follow hospital protocol.

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That’s the way it is.

Don’t go into a hospital birth expecting a birthing-center-with-a-midwife-type of experience.

At the end of the day, the doctors are going to make the best decision for your health and your baby based on their training and education.

If your baby is showing some signs of distress, they aren’t going to play around with that.

Fair’s fair.

You’re at the hospital. The doctors are going to act like doctors.

Get 5 Biblical Affirmations (7)

It will do you no good to establish care with an OB and then mistrust them the entire pregnancy.

If you are having a hard time feeling connected and assured with your current OB, it’s time to find one that you feel you can work with.

Sticking with an OB that you can’t bring yourself to trust is only building fear.

Fear is the absolute thing you need to fight off before labor and delivery.

If your current OB isn’t helping you work through your fears, find a different one.

You can check out this post, too!

Tips for A Fear Free Labor

5 Things You Should Absolutely Not Do If You Want A Natural Birth

If you can’t seem to bring yourself to trust the medical system, it may be time to look outside of the traditional care pool for midwifery services.

A doula is another great option to have someone with you during your pregnancy and labor.

I had a difficult time connecting with the first OB I worked with when I became pregnant.

I changed to a different OB and loved her. She and I built a great relationship that afforded input and trust on both sides.

If I hadn’t made that change, I’m positive my birth experience would have turned out differently.

2: Forget Diet and Exercise

I don’t need to expound upon the importance of physical exercise and a healthy diet. We all know why those things are important to have in our daily lives.

It’s crucial during pregnancy.

You’re setting yourself up for failure and disappointment if you decide to have a natural birth and completely neglect a healthy diet and some form of exercise.

It can get discouraging when you crave all things sugar and carbs and you’re so exhausted you don’t want to think about getting up to shower and eat, let alone exercise.

However, if you want a natural birth, you’re going to need to do something.

If you have a poor diet, you increase your risk of Gestational Diabetes, which will certainly make a natural birth less possible (although not totally impossible. Read about how to have a natural birth with Gestational Diabetes.)

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To have a natural birth you need to feel strong and capable.

You need to exercise in some way. No, you don’t need to fold up like a pretzel or be at the gym 6 days a week.

Things like taking a walk, birthing ball exercises, and other simple, physical activities are great ways to stay active.

I found that swimming was an amazing way to stay active and also relieve my back of pressure and pain.

Just move. Do something. Sitting through your pregnancy will work against you during labor and delivery.

5 Things You Should Absolutely Not Do If You Want A Natural Birth

Prevent tearing with this organic perineal balm by Earth Mama. It made a huge difference for me! It’s great for postpartum care, too!

Perineal Balm by Earth Mama

Pro Tip: Begin applying it during the second trimester. For best of the best results, remember to drink lots of water and get in some exercise.

3: Go Into Labor Without A Plan

If you want a natural labor, you need to plan out how you’re going to make that happen.

When that first, real contraction hits or your water breaks, the next question is, “now what?”

If you don’t know where you’re going from there, you’re setting yourself up for a chaos-filled labor.

Stress is one of biggest factors when it comes to the progression of labor.

If you’re stressed, your body will literally change course to react to what you’re feeling.

How To Give Birth Without An Epidural

That means that your labor is going to change.

Fear has the same affect on your body. Fear can actually stall your labor and cause you to move backward rather than forward. Stress has the same capabilities.

The best way to minimize your stress is to plan your labor.

By plan, I don’t mean get a general idea in your mind. I literally mean write down a labor plan.

You need to be sure of how you’re going to manage your labor. Not only do you need to be sure, but those around you also need clear understanding of how to handle each phase of labor as it comes and what you’re going to need.

This one is so simple, yet it will make an enormous difference during your labor.

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It’s the game changer.

If there’s one think I could ever stress about natural birth, it’s that you need to have a plan.

A birth plan is great but it tends to stay focused on the hospital. Once you’re at the hospital, events are going to happen as they come, based on how you and baby are doing.

But a labor plan is in your control.

It’s what you’re going to do while you’re still at home. You need to have a plan for how you’re going to manage this part of your birth experience.

This is the time that truly matters.

By not having a clear plan on how you want to proceed with your labor, you’re setting up yourself and your birth team for added, unnecessary stress that will ultimately work against you.

I'm Afraid of Giving Birth

4: Go To The Hospital Too Early

My husband and I toured the hospital before our son was born.

It was one of the best things we could have done to prepare our minds for what to expect.

During that tour the nurses explained our hospital had a low c-section rate. The reason for this was because they educated mamas-to-be about labor and childbirth.

One of their biggest points was informing us not to come to the hospital too early.

Being at the hospital is different than laboring in the comfort of your own home.

They actually explained that coming to the hospital too early is linked to a higher c-section rate.

In short–labor at home as long as you can.

They instructed us to not come to the hospital until contractions were 4-5 minutes apart for at least an hour or my water broke.

I personally took it a step further.

My water broke before I started active labor. I didn’t go to the hospital. This was not recommended–it’s important that you note that.

8 Tips On Having A Natural Hospital Birth

I made a decision that was against recommendation. But I was the mama, I know my body, and that was a decision I made for the sake of my own labor.

It’s also something I had planned out (another reason for a labor plan).

I was at home for almost my entire labor and showed up the hospital to give birth–I didn’t want their help to labor. My body knew how to do that.

Because I had planned this, I did not rush straight to the hospital.

I had my son 16 minutes after rolling up to the front desk of the hospital.

You don’t have to wait that long, but if you go to the hospital too early when your labor is just beginning, that may work against you.

It’s best to stay home where you’re comfortable and feel the safest.

Did you know you can bring your birthing ball to the hospital with you? I used my birthing ball during my entire labor at the hospital with my second baby.

5: Mistrust Yourself

This one is most important.

If you want a natural birth, you’re going to need to tune in to your natural self.

So often we depend on the doctors to “tell us what to do”.

We end up putting the responsibility of our pregnancy in their hands.

How I Prepared For Natural Birth

If you want a natural birth, you need to build your confidence to where you aren’t relying on the doctor.

Your doctor is there to examine you and ensure that you and baby are in good health. They will give you recommendations based upon their training.

They don’t want to have to think for you, or take responsibility for your pregnancy.

You’re the mama. This is your body, your baby. No one knows your body like you do. No one can feel your baby like you can. You have an incredible connection to your baby that is just between the two of you.

When it comes time to labor, you need to be confident enough to breathe through your contractions and trust the plans you’ve made.

If you’re tuned in, you’ll feel things as they progress and be in command of yourself enough to decide where to go from there.

Your body is AMAZING

Get this book of affirmations to TOTALLY boost your confidence and remind you just how amazing you are.

Build your confidence early on and trust yourself when you feel things throughout your labor.

If you’re solid and calm, chances are that you’re going to be right on point with your labor.

Keep it up, Mama! You’re going to be amazing!

5 Things You Should Absolutely Not Do If You Want A Natural Birth

Attention Dads: Find out how you can help Mom out during pregnancy!

10 Ways Dad Can Help Mom During Pregnancy
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Elizabeth Jimenez

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