As a mom of two kids who were born at home I learned a lot. I would love to help a pregnant lady with coaching and organizing if you know of anyone who might need this service. Here are what I consider some of the most important things to keep in mind. Some of these things can only happen at a home birth, but others can happen in a birthing clinic or even in the hospital. My computer is crawling right now so I can’t provide links–but I encourage you to do some research.
Before the birth
Pray, pray, pray! Imagine your birthing experience being just what you want it to be–and ask God to give you that experience. See yourself as the mother you want to be–and use your imagination in every aspect of your family’s experience–and ask God for help and strength to carry that out. Get into the habit of having precious quiet time with the Lord now so that when you have your baby you can still somehow get that quiet time. If you are hungry for it, it will happen. I recommend the devotional Jesus Calling, and learning something called the Immanuel Approach is also very wonderful. http://www.immanuelapproach.com
Drink lots of fresh juice and raw live foods.
Set up a system so that you can have ropes hanging from the ceiling or some makeshift contraption so that when you are pushing you don’t have to have any weight on your feet. This is a very natural position to be in. You can use other people to support you, but it is pretty hard on them!
Make sure you invite enough people so that you have all the help you need. Having someone making fresh juice and smoothies so that you can have easily digestible food during labor is so important. Have straws on hand so that someone can just hold the juice up to you and you hardly need to think about it.
Get your healthy ingredients organized for juice and smoothies so that you won’t be going out shopping at the last minute. If you are eating this way anyway, then that won’t be a problem.
Make sure that you have a sling or some kind of baby carrier that holds your baby close to your heart or the heart of whoever is holding the little one. Remember that when the baby is born, he or she is still making a transition and the easier the transition is, the more secure and healthy the baby will be. In the womb, baby has been close to a heart beat non stop.
Plan on carrying the baby or having others to the same as much as possible until baby starts wanting to crawl. Do some research on the Continuum Concept where an anthropologist studied one of the most peaceful, content tribe on the planet to discover their secret. One of the secrets was that babies were carried almost constantly by mommy, daddy, friends and relatives–even older children. This helps them feel secure and also the movement actually helps their brain to grow in capacity.
Prepare peaceful music that you love to be playing during the birth. Fortunately I was able to record my own music which I recorded while pregnant which was specifically for the labor time. Chris came out just as the song, “Welcome To the World” was playing. Cool!
Seriously consider doing a water birth. This makes you feel so much more relaxed and able to stand the intensity of the labor. My mid wife lent me a big metal horse trough which was plenty big for me to move around in. My second birthing experience, we hauled a bath tub upstairs. We simply hooked up the hose to the hot water in sink or bath tub. You have to get a special adaptor from the hardware store in order to do this.
Practice making low, deep sounds that help you get tension out. Do NOT make high pitched sounds. Low sounds help you relax those parts of your body which really need to open up.
Get a little bean bag bed for baby. If you, friends, and family can’t carry the baby constantly, laying them in such a bed helps them to relax and feel cozy and safe.
Start learning about breast feeding now. That way if you have some glitches, you won’t be letting a doctor or friends talk you out of it.
During the birth
Really, most of the things that I mentioned above have to do with preparing for the actual birth. Do some research on all of those things and see if they make sense. Then when your day comes to give birth, you will be totally prepared.
After the birth
Be prepared to tell your friends that you may not want visitors until a few weeks after baby’s birth. You may decide otherwise–but do your research. There are some theories about how too much stimulation is not so good for baby–including loud music and being around a lot of people.
Keep up that good diet. Do some research about how healthy raw, vegan moms and their children are. You will be inspired!
Have the baby sleep with you if at all possible. Do some research on the benefits of the family bed. I am assuming you are nursing–if not–do your research! I can’t imagine getting up in the middle of the night to make formula. If you are uncomfortable having baby in the same bed with you, you can make a special side bed so that you are separated from baby until baby wants to nurse. then you just can roll over and get connected–and go back to sleep!
When you are nursing, do your best to look at baby gazing into your eyes. This is a precious time when a baby is looking for love and validation, and eyes are getting good exercise! Isn’t God amazing?
Have your clothes ready for nursing. You want to be ready to nurse at the drop of a hat:) So no long dresses etc. Have something with you all the time that you can use for covering you and baby so that you can be modest but still able to nurse readily. I really believe in the nurse on demand theory–do your own research.
Learn about grace-based parenting. If you are a Christian, there is a good chance you have been raised in a “spare the rod, spoil the child” type mentality. Be open to another way which is also called relational parenting. The main thing is to be educated about your choices.
Talk to your baby and sing to your baby a lot! Even though baby can’t understand you totally, baby is learning all the time. pray with your baby–this will be a great time to practice the presence of God as you see the miracle of life before your eyes unfolding.
Oh how I wish I could send you links to all of these ideas–but I hope you will use this article as a place to think about your ideal birth experience and those early days and weeks of mothering.