All About Kids
1. Get Proper Nutrition
IT'S TIME TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT THE FOOD YOU EAT.
You must form a collaborative partnership with those folks who provide your family with essential life giving foods.
Pregnant & Nursing Mothers
6 months prior to conception both parents should boost their intake of traditional foods. This is great for dads, but a MUST for moms. Do the best you can to stay within these recommendations.
*For many parents this may be the first time you seek out raw dairy or other farm foods. I cannot stress enough that you should take every step necessary to find these items near you. You can start by asking around at your local farmer's market, and checking out this Real Milk Finder website.
2. Plan A Natural Birth
Step 1 - Find a Midwife
The most important expense you may ever have.
Interview Several Midwives
Midwives are generally part of online searchable databases. A few great examples to get you started are:
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You can start with an email or phone call, but be sure to interview in person to make sure they're a good fit.
Premium birthing services will offer all-in-one style care including: a birthing center, home birthing, doulas, and prenatal care. Smaller services, or individual midwives are also an option, but will take more work to piece together all the needed services.
* Most midwives cost between $2,000 and $5,000 dollars. Some insurance policies may cover this, but either way this is not an expense to skimp on. Your baby's life may depend on it.
Step 2 - Decide where to have the baby
Home birthing is the obvious first choice for natural births. Perhaps the best reason to give birth at home is that you are in the comfort of your own space, and you can customize the environment any way you like. Soft music, candles, darkened rooms, etc. are all great additions to the birthing environment.
Additionally it has been shown that the stress of leaving home and driving somewhere can trigger labor to stop, delaying the birth unnecessarily and causing stress to mom and baby.
The next best option for natural birthing is a birthing center. The best of these will create an environment similar to the home, but will have added measures of safety and comfort. Basically these are a middle ground between home and hospital, and are a good option for those that are too nervous to have a baby at home.
The last natural birthing option is at the hospital. This may be a good option if there are any pre-existing risk factors like preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, or advanced maternal age (over age 42). If a trip to the hospital is necessary, it is extremely important to be familiar with the local hospital and its rules regarding midwife and natural birthing practices.
Step 3 - Take a Natural Birthing Class
The Bradley Method Birth Class
I recommend the Bradley Method birthing class because my wife and I used it with great success for our first birth, and it is the most comprehensive and time-honored natural birthing class available. There are classes all over the country.
Find a class here: http://www.bradleybirth.com/Directory.aspx
The class lasts 12 weeks, 1-1/2 - 2 hours per class. Mom and dad are both involved. Great for first time parents - may not need to take the full class for subsequent babies.
3. Be Prepared
1. You never need to "Push" during labor - this will happen all on its own.
If you find that the medical practitioner is telling you to "push", don't do it!! There is simply no medically viable reason to force your baby out, or even attempt to do so. When baby is ready, the contracting and "pushing" will happen whether you want it to or not. This cannot be stopped.
What's more, there is a long list of potentially devastating injuries that can happen as a result of pushing when you or baby are not ready. Examples include sever nerve damage, spinal damage, severe tearing of the perineum, and varying degrees of head trauma to baby.
2. Ultrasounds and doppler heart rate monitors can potentially cause catastrophic damage to baby.
In the absence of some particular medical reason to use either of these devices on the developing fetus, it is highly recommended to avoid them both at all costs. I encourage you to do your own research, but being aware of the problem is the first step.
3. IV Antibiotics do not lower the risk of Group B Strep infections in baby.
Group B Strep is a common bacteria found in the birth canal of expectant mothers, and according to medical literature about 1 in 4444 babies may be negatively affected by this bacteria. The recommended treatment for testing GBS positive is IV antibiotics during labor and delivery. However, honest studies have shown that IV antibiotics likely have no effect at all on the outcome.
4. Antibiotics could have long-term damaging effects on baby.
Perhaps the greatest resource the baby is born with is its natural gut health. If antibiotics are introduced at birth, the gut bacteria are essentially wiped clean, leaving baby defenseless in a way that nature never intended. The list of potential dangers is long and includes higher risk of developing allergies, ADHD, and other mental deficiencies.
5. A saline IV drip during labor could delay or stop the birthing process.
Saline water solution dilutes the body's natural cocktail of chemical responses to labor. The most notable affect of this is that labor may slow down or stop all together. If the body's natural hormones are not able to circulate in the concentrations it intends, the natural birthing process cannot proceed.
6. Delayed cord clamping is essential to baby's health.
Most medical practitioners have already come around to realizing it can hurt baby to cut the umbilical cord before it stops pulsating, but it is important for parents to be aware of. This is something that is not negotiable and should always be respected by doctors in the absence of a medical emergency. This is a great item to address in the birth plan so it is in writing. Mom and dad may be exhausted when baby comes, so the more items that are in writing the better.