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How We Prepared for Our Unassisted Home Birth

connected parenting kids wellness pregnancy & baby traditional Aug 08, 2017

Yes, you read correctly, we had our baby alone without any birth assistants. We had a planned and educated unassisted home birth. Of course, it wasn’t without much preparation, mentally, physically and spiritually, that we embarked on this empowering journey. Although we do possess deep trust in the natural flow of life, we learnt as much as we could about the birth process and connected as a family, to welcome our baby peacefully and safely. You can watch our birth video and read the full story here.

We read several books, listened to podcasts and took part in an online Unassisted Home Birthing Program. This program (which we are not affiliated to) was fantastic. We highly recommend it, whether or not you want to have a home birth. It has so much information that can benefit all families. In fact, some doctors could probably learn a little – a few tend to have forgotten that a woman is capable of listening to her intuition and body for the perfect, safest birth without need of any medical interventions.

What follows are specific supplements, resources and information which helped us prepare for the arrival of our son. These are not to be taken as specific recommendations. They are simply what worked for us.

 

Our Pregnancy, Labor and Birth Resources

 

PREGNANCY NUTRIENTS

Organic Prenatal Multi (whole food based) – 3X/day with food

Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver + Butter Oil – 1X/day with food

Probiotics – 3X/week on empty stomach (put wild brand)

Herbal Iron (Floradix) – 2X/day on empty stomach or with vit C rich food

Pregnancy Nourishment Tea (recipe here)/or Wild Red Raspberry Tea – 1X/day on empty stomach

Organic Blackstrap Molasses + Vitamin C (whole food based) – every other day

Green Powder (organic spirulina, chlorella or other whole food based formula) – every other day

Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar – in salad

Organic Kelp/Dulse – in soup

Bragg Nutritional Yeast – in food

Green Pasture Organic Coconut Ghee (or virgin coconut oil + ghee separate)/Grass-Fed Butter - to cook with

Organic Liver - 1-3 X/week

Homemade Bone Broth - 1X/day

Spring Water or Purified Water *we love the Big Berkey Water Purifier – 8oz/day or as needed

Iron Rich Foods - leafy green veggies, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, pregnancy boost shake, dried fruit, blackstrap molasses, iron water, beets, red beans, eggs, bone broth, pregnancy nourishment tea, stinging nettles, dandelion, red raspberry leaf, chamomile, spirulina, fish on occasion *have with VIT C RICH FOODS and away from calcium rich foods

 

PHYSICAL PRACTICES

Natural Movement/Primal Yoga/Full Body Circuit/Hill Walk – one of - 1X/day

Labor Movements - plank, sit pelvic forward on ball, lean forward/hanging belly, pelvic rocks (cat-cow), butterfly, lunge rotations, pelvic rotations, deep squats (primal squats) – every other day

Dry Skin Brushing – 1X/day

Full Body Massage – every other day

Perineal Massage – 10min/day

Hypnobirthing + Positive Affirmations + Soft Touch Massage - 3X/week

 

MUST WATCH DOCUMENTARIES

What Babies Want

The Business of Being Born

Born Into Being

Orgasmic Birth

Doula!

One World Birth

 

LABOR AND BIRTH KIT

  • umbilical cord clamp
  • umbilical cord scissors (sterilized)
  • baby scale (this one doubles as a changing pad)
  • BPA free baby nasal aspirator (only for emergency - use mouth first)
  • pee pads
  • picnic table cloth with plastic and flannel side (to protect couch and/or bed, larger than pads) or waterproof bed pad
  • coconut water/red raspberry leaf tea
  • beeswax tea light candles (for burners, diffusers, etc)
  • charged computer and speaker to play hypnobirthing and relaxation music
  • three yoga mats (washed with vinegar + water - not essential oil)
  • two old clean towels
  • labor clothes (loose night dress or comfy bra and underwear)
  • food grade, quality lavender essential oil
  • salty and sweet snacks
  • fan (in case it’s too hot)
  • cleaned thin mesh fish net (sterilized – to keep birthing pool clean)
  • cool face clothes (kept wet in freezer)
  • stainless steel bowl and kitchen towel (for placenta)
  • feel good movies ready for Skyla (to keep toddler occupied when needed)
  • warmed towels and receiving blanket (keep rolled on tray in oven)
  • warm perineal oil (virgin coconut oil + EV olive oil + few drops vit E) or organic perineal balm
  • mama and baby salve
  • measuring tape
  • potty (cleaned – in case can’t get to toilet or garbage on time)
  • yoga ball (washed with vinegar + water - not essential oil)
  • tarp (to put pool on)
  • stool (washed with vinegar + water)
  • warm gel pack/heated rice pack/hot water bottle/hot moist towel
  • squat rope (tied to sealing)
  • Echinacea (to dab umbilical cord and sterilize scissors)
  • extra tank of gas for outdoor eco shower heater
  • massage oil (same as perineal oil)
  • camera (charged) and tripod

 

THINGS TO REMEMBER DURING LABOR

  • right down time contractions started (only for hubby to know)
  • let support people know labor has started (friends, parents, etc)
  • get labor and birth kit items out
  • prep foods
  • prep movies for toddler
  • pep talk with toddler
  • pressure points (push hips during contractions, press foot to relax)
  • make deep vibrational “um” sound from belly
  • relax and breath
  • set up potty
  • sit and spiral hips/bounce on ball
  • soft touch massage
  • change positions often or as needed
  • rest and light walks
  • eat easily digestible foods
  • drink water, pregnancy tea, juice and coconut water
  • candles on, one essential oil burner on, diffuser on (lavender)
  • more circular, rhythmic hip motions
  • oxytocin releasing practices (kissing/hugs/support/nipples/touch)
  • positive affirmations
  • keep lights dim
  • empty bladder and bowels regularly
  • hypnobirthing playlist, soft music
  • keep environment/mommy/baby warm (especially 2nd & 3rd stages)
  • warm water, warm towels
  • cool towel for forehead
  • squatting is the easiest way out for baby (all fours if breech)
  • warm oil compress for perineum (coconut + olive + vit E)
  • no loud noises or disturbances
  • take off shirt or bra in third stage
  • let baby rest on floor for few seconds before bringing up (unless in pool)
  • skin to skin and eye to eye contact when baby born (oxytocin/placenta)
  • ensure placenta separates and examine it after
  • put placenta in glass bowl in fridge for later use
  • weigh and measure baby (full length and head circumference)

 

PREGNANCY AND BIRTH AFFIRMATIONS

I believe I am not afraid.

I give myself the right to accept love and nourishment from others.

My baby is healthy and beautiful.

I trust my ability to give birth with strength and power.

I will let my labor and birth be its own unique experience.

I believe I trust my body.

I believe I am not ashamed of my body and sexuality.

I trust in the natural process of birth.

I believe I am not afraid of my own power.

I believe my body is capable of giving birth naturally with ease.

My body and my baby know exactly what to do in the birthing process.

I am overjoyed at the thought of meeting my baby with peace.

I believe I am not fighting this in any way.

I believe I am moving out of the way and allowing this to happen.

My mind is calm and relaxed.

I believe I am loving my baby into this world.

I believe I am a flower opening my petals to the warm rays of the sun.

My cervix opens like a rose in bloom and my baby glides out.

I have enough love to share.

 

LABOR RESOURCES

Pain and Contraction Pressure Points Booklet

Resuscitation Guidelines

 

UNASSISTED HOME BIRTH COURSE HOW TO HAVE AN INDIE BIRTH

How to Have an Indie Birth (6 week online course)

 

QUESTIONS TO ASK

  • mechanics of birth
  • what to have on hand for unassisted birth
  • signs of emergency to keep an eye out for (for transferring to hospital)
  • variations in normal birth
  • pain, breathing and pushing (when and how)
  • revitalizing infant that is born that isn’t breathing
  • stages of birth
  • knowledge to prevent harming self or child

 

PREGNANCY BODY ALIGNMENT

Alignment for Pregnancy Webinar

 

PERINEAL MASSAGE

Perineal Massage Instructions

Do Perineal Massage

 

PRENATAL CARE

How to Listen to Your Baby's Heartbeat

Unassisted Breech Birth Tutorial

 

DYI PLACENTA PREPARATION

Placenta Options - No professionals Required 

 

EMERGENCY CONTACTS

  • midwife
  • obgyn
  • friends
  • parents
  • ambulance

 

GOOD READS AND AUDIOS

 

INFORMATIVE WEBSITES

Indie Birth (favourite birth podcast and Indie Birth course)

Unassisted Child Birth

Self Directed Birth

The Unassisted Baby

Unassisted Home Birth (good articles)

Birthing Without Fear

Unassisted Birth Forum

 

PODCASTS, VIDEOS & MP3s (Download from ITunes or YouTube)

 

HOME BIRTH KITS

The Ultimate List

Natural Labor and Birth Kit

Birth Supplies

Mama Goddess Birth Shop

 

DAD RESOURCES

Dad’s Journey Into Home Birth (Ebook) (free download)

 

EMERGENCY UNASSISTED BIRTH

The first and most important piece of advice: Have faith. Trust in your body's ability to birth this baby. In his book "Childbirth Without Fear" Dr. Grantly Dick-Read states that 95% of births can safely take place without any intervention. This means the odds are in your favor to safely birth your baby without help.

"I like to tell my clients to remember their grandmothers and other female ancestors. Since the beginning of time, the women in her bloodline have given birth successfully, otherwise she, herself, would not be here having a baby." - Melissa Chappell, Doula

Follow your body and do what instinctively feels right. Don't try to analyze anything, just let your mind go into the primal state that it will naturally go to if you let it.

Check for a nuchal cord: When the baby's head is out, slip your index finger in to feel for the cord. If there is a cord around the neck the baby may be able to "birth through the cord" or do a somersault as the head stays close to the mom's body. If the cord is very tight you may have to flex the baby's head and slip the cord over it. Very rarely do you need to cut the cord and unravel it before the rest of the body is birthed.

What if the head is out, but the body is taking a while? The body generally slides out soon after the head, and usually comes out with one push. If it seems to be taking a long time, the baby's shoulder may be caught on the pelvic bone. True shoulder dystocia is rare, but generally simple to handle. Just get up on your hands and knees, and it will help shift the baby's position and allow the rest of the body to come out easily. If this doesn't help, then you can reach in with your finger and gently pull the shoulder toward the baby's chest and release it.

What do I do when the baby is out? After you or a support person has caught the baby, simply bring the baby up to your torso. The placenta will still be inside, and the baby will still be attached to it by the umbilical cord. There is no need to cut the cord before the placenta is out.

How do I help the baby breathe? Most babies can expel the remaining amniotic fluid from their lungs by simply spitting it out. You can help your infant do this by holding the baby face down with your hand supporting the tummy. If you're concerned that it may not be coming out fast enough you can use your own mouth over the baby's mouth and nose to gently suck out the fluid. Suck, spit, suck, spit, etc. The baby may cry a bit once the fluid is out, which is a good indication of breathing. If you have a bulb syringe, you can use it to suction the fluid out, but this isn't as gentle as the other methods described. Always remember to suction the mouth first, and then the nose. It may help you remember this by remembering that M comes before N in the alphabet.

How do I keep the baby warm? The easiest way to do this is by keeping the baby against your warm skin, and place a towel or blanket over the baby and yourself. Breastfeeding is an excellent way to keep the baby warm and happy.

How do I help the placenta come out? You may or may not feel contractions after the baby is out. Do not pull on the cord. This can cause fragments of the placenta to be left inside, leading to hemorrhage, or some cords may snap when pulled. You can help the placenta come out by squatting. Allow the baby to breastfeed, and this will help the uterus contract effectively to birth the placenta.

When should I cut the cord? After the placenta is out you can wait for the cord to stop pulsating before cutting it. You can use anything clean to tie off the cord. Braided embroidery thread or string, or a shoelace will work just fine. There's no need to tie it off in two places. Simple tie the cord close to the baby's belly button and cut it on the side of the thread away from the baby. You can even choose to leave the cord intact and simply wrap the placenta in a towel or chux pad and place it near your baby's feet. The cord will naturally detach within a few days to a week. Leaving the cord attached is known as Lotus Birth, and you may research this option beforehand.

How do I know if I'm bleeding too much? Blood loss is completely normal after birth, so don't worry when you see blood. It's also normal to see blood clots come out with the placenta or afterward. Trust your feelings more than your brain, as how you feel will be a good indication of how well you are doing after the birth. You can drink cinnamon tea to help prevent hemorrhage. Most people have cinnamon in their spice rack, and you can add 1 tsp of cinnamon per cup of water. 2 1/2 cups of blood loss or more is considered hemorrhage, but it can be tricky knowing how much blood you've actually lost. You may choose to prepare yourself by doing tests prior to the birth:

Put different amounts of water mixed with catsup and pour it on pads, or towels on the floor, or in the bath tub. Squirt catsup as fake clots. Always measure before pouring so you can get a good idea of what that amount looks like after it's been spilled. This will give you a visual indication of how much is too much.

You can even eat a small portion of the placenta as an effective way of preventing or treating hemorrhage. One way to do this is by making a placenta smoothie. Midwives in Hawaii use this, and it's recommended to add 1 tsp of placenta to 8 ozs of juice. Red juices work best, such as cherry or tomato. Just mix it in the blender and drink.

If you or the baby seem unwell in any way, do not hesitate to call for help. Most of all, trust your instincts. If you and the baby are both well, just let the natural endorphins take over and enjoy the memory of your amazing birth and your new little bundle!

Source: Mamas and Babies – Preparing for Unassisted Birth 


 

Don't forget to watch our son's birth video and read the full story here.

 

Looking to source quality foods, supplements, and nontoxic home products? This vetted list put together by Beyond Vitality can help!

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