We all heard from our grandmothers their heroic labor stories, how they had their babies without any help. One of my friends told me that her grandmother said she had her baby while working while harvesting crops in the field and had her other child while making bread. Can a woman deliver her baby without help? Do you need any support during pregnancy and labor? What kind of support is that? Answers and more in this article.
During one of my prenatal education classes, I asked the mothers who were attending: what would you do if you went into labor unexpectedly?
I was happy to hear that most of the answers were to squat, to prepare for labor position. Squatting is the natural and instinctive position the woman needs to push her baby during labor and delivery. Proof that a woman is ready by instinct to give birth with limited support. In the past women were used to doing a lot of physical activity to tend to their families’ different needs, therefore our grandmothers could give birth often alone. Their bodies were flexible, easily adapting to changes happening during labor and delivery. Unlike women today who depend on the luxuries of getting help in house chores and work. Using the car instead of walking even for short commutes, taking the elevator instead of the stairs, and using modern toilets instead of traditional ones that made us squat, all these are factors contributing to being less flexible, especially on the pelvic floor.
The number one support a woman needs during labor and delivery is from her body, which she needs to train, and increase its flexibility. Support yourself and get in shape for labor and delivery by doing light exercises like walking for 30 to 60 minutes daily during your pregnancy. You can also do pelvic floor strengthening exercises and strengthen other parts of your body after consulting your doctor and under the supervision of a trained professional, to be best prepared for labor and delivery.
The answer is Yes and No! You don’t need the presence of a Doula or anyone else during labor to give birth to your baby. You can do it naturally as your grandmother did. You do need however previous support and preparation, you need prenatal education to be able to recognize the early signs of labor, pain relieving options, and your rights in the delivery room.
You can, of course, get the support of a Doula, especially if this is your first delivery and you have fears and anxiety and feel that you need help and support.
You might not be able to get the services of a doula for one reason or another but don’t worry there are other alternatives. Choose a companion that you trust and are comfortable with to accompany you throughout your pregnancy, labor, and delivery. This person can be your husband, mother, or close friend.
The accompanying person needs to receive prenatal education as well, as be acquainted with all details concerning pregnancy, labor, and birth, to be fully capable of providing the support when you need it.
The first delivery is usually the hardest, as it is an unprecedented experience, an expecting first-time mother, is afraid, and anxious and needs support all the time. But what about the second and third delivery? If you were successful in getting the required prenatal education and support, and the circumstances of your next deliveries are similar to the first one, this means you won’t need a Doula or any other companion to help and support. However, if circumstances changed like moving to another country, or facing any complications during pregnancy, you will need additional support, help, and prenatal education.
I must highlight the importance of knowledge, prenatal education, and training about everything related to pregnancy and birth. It is of paramount importance to get trusted information from a direct source like your OBGYN, midwife, or doula, or through professional classes, and medical articles provided by experts on the Omooma platform.