Attachment parenting

Preparing for a Natural Birth: Tips and Advice for a Smooth Delivery

Jun 13, 2023

Preparing for a natural birth can be an exciting and empowering experience for expectant mothers. It’s an opportunity to take control of your birthing experience and make informed decisions about your body and your baby’s health. While natural birth can be challenging, it’s also incredibly rewarding and can lead to a smoother recovery for both you and your baby. In this tutorial, we’ll explore tips and advice on how to prepare for a natural birth, including prenatal care, relaxation techniques, labor positions, pain management options, creating a birth plan, perineal massage, antenatal education, hypnobirthing, water birth, midwife-led care, home birth, active birth and more.

Prenatal Care

The first step in preparing for a natural birth is seeking prenatal care from a trained midwife or physician. Prenatal care is essential in monitoring the progress of your pregnancy and ensuring that you’re in good health ahead of delivery day. During prenatal visits, your caregiver will check your blood pressure, weight gain, fetal heart rate and other vital signs to ensure that both you and your baby are healthy. They will also provide guidance on nutrition during pregnancy to ensure that you’re getting adequate nutrients to support the growth of your baby.

It’s important to attend all prenatal appointments as scheduled so that any potential complications can be identified early on. This will give you time to make any necessary adjustments or seek additional medical attention if needed.

Relaxation Techniques

Labor pains can be intense during childbirth. Relaxation techniques like meditation or visualization can help reduce the intensity of labor pains and promote a smooth delivery. Practicing these techniques regularly before delivery day can help you feel more confident when the time comes.

You may also find it helpful to practice deep breathing exercises during labor. Deep breathing involves taking slow, deep breaths and exhaling slowly. This technique can help you stay calm and focused during labor.

Labor Positions

The position you choose during labor can have a significant impact on your birthing experience. Some positions may help reduce pain and make delivery easier. Here are some labor positions to consider:

  • Squatting: Squatting can help open up your pelvis and make it easier for the baby to move through the birth canal.
  • Hands and knees: Being on your hands and knees can relieve pressure on your back and allow gravity to help move the baby down.
  • Side-lying: Lying on your side can help reduce pain and pressure during contractions.
  • Standing: Standing can also be helpful as it allows gravity to assist in moving the baby down.

Try experimenting with different positions during pregnancy to see which ones feel most comfortable for you.

Pain Management Options

While natural birth is typically associated with more intense pain than medicated births, there are still options available for managing pain during labor. Here are some natural pain management techniques:

  • Massage: Massage can help reduce tension in your muscles and relieve pain during contractions.
  • Aromatherapy: Essential oils like lavender or peppermint oil can be used to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety during labor.
  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate nerves and relieve pain. It’s a safe and effective way to manage pain during labor.

If you’re interested in using any of these techniques, be sure to discuss them with your caregiver ahead of time so that they can be incorporated into your birth plan.

Creating a Birth Plan

A birth plan is a document that outlines your preferences and expectations for your birthing experience. It can include information on pain management options, labor positions, who you want present during delivery, and more. Creating a birth plan can help ensure that your wishes are respected during delivery.

When creating a birth plan, it’s important to be realistic and flexible. While it’s great to have preferences, it’s also important to remember that childbirth is unpredictable, and things may not go exactly as planned. Be sure to discuss your birth plan with your caregiver ahead of time so that they’re aware of your wishes.

Perineal Massage

Perineal massage involves massaging the perineum (the area between the vagina and anus) in preparation for childbirth. This technique can help reduce tearing during delivery and make it easier for the baby to pass through the birth canal.

To perform perineal massage, wash your hands thoroughly and apply a water-based lubricant to the area. Insert your thumbs about an inch into the vagina and gently massage in a U-shaped motion for 5-10 minutes each day starting at around 34 weeks of pregnancy.

Antenatal Education

Antenatal education classes can provide valuable information on preparing for natural childbirth. These classes cover topics like relaxation techniques, labor positions, pain management options, breastfeeding techniques, and more.

You can typically find antenatal classes at local hospitals or birthing centers. You may also want to consider online classes if you’re unable to attend in-person sessions due to scheduling conflicts or other reasons.


Hypnobirthing is a childbirth technique that involves using self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques to manage pain during labor. It can be especially helpful for women who are anxious about childbirth or have a fear of medical procedures.

Hypnobirthing classes typically teach women how to enter a state of deep relaxation during labor, which can help reduce the intensity of contractions and make delivery easier.

Water Birth

Water birth is a natural birthing option where the mother gives birth in a tub or pool of warm water. This technique can be especially helpful for reducing pain and promoting relaxation during labor.

While water birth is generally considered safe, it’s important to discuss this option with your caregiver ahead of time so that they can ensure that you’re a good candidate for water birth. Some medical conditions may make water birth unsafe, so it’s important to get clearance from your caregiver before choosing this option.

Midwife-Led Care

Midwife-led care involves receiving care from a midwife instead of an OB-GYN. Midwives are trained healthcare professionals who specialize in natural childbirth and prenatal care.

Midwives provide personalized care throughout pregnancy and delivery, including emotional support and guidance on natural childbirth techniques. They also tend to have lower rates of medical intervention during delivery, which can lead to a smoother recovery for both you and your baby.

Home Birth

A home birth involves giving birth in the comfort of your own home instead of a hospital or birthing center. While home births aren’t for everyone, they can be an excellent option for women who want to have more control over their birthing experience.

If you’re considering a home birth, it’s important to work with a qualified midwife or healthcare provider who has experience with home births. You’ll also need to prepare your home for delivery day by creating a safe and comfortable environment for yourself and your baby.

Active Birth

Active birth involves staying active and upright during labor instead of lying down. This technique can help reduce pain and make delivery easier.

Some active birth techniques include walking, dancing, or using a birthing ball. These activities can help open up your pelvis and encourage the baby to move down the birth canal.


Preparing for a natural birth can be an exciting and rewarding experience. By seeking prenatal care, practicing relaxation techniques, exploring labor positions, considering pain management options, creating a birth plan, performing perineal massage, attending antenatal education classes, trying hypnobirthing or water birth, opting for midwife-led care or home birth and staying active during labor, you can increase your chances of having a smooth and empowering birthing experience.

Remember that childbirth is unpredictable, so it’s important to remain flexible and open-minded throughout the process. Be sure to discuss any concerns or questions with your caregiver ahead of time so that they can provide the support you need.