Best Birth Practices and How They Can Help You

Best Birth Practices
If you had a roadmap for how to have a healthy and more satisfying birth, something that would help you avoid unnecessary interventions, would you follow it? 
In fact there are several seemingly common sense strategies to help you have a better birth, but unfortunately they aren’t always practiced and even parents who know them find them difficult to implement without support. The reason being is that these strategies are dependent on your primary care provider, on-call hospital staff and nurses knowing and following them too. The reality is, different people can have different views on best practices.
Best Birth Practices
However, as I’ll explain later, there are additional things you can do to select the best care providers and location for birth. Either way, knowing these strategies and sticking to them as best as you can, could potentially help you increase your level of satisfaction with the overall experience.
According to Lamaze International there are six birth practices that can greatly help:
  1. Let Labour begin on its own – Depending on a person’s care provider and hospital, sometimes unnecessary inductions can be preformed. Inductions can be helpful and necessary in certain circumstances, but the problems arise when they are done when they are not medically necessary. It can often lead to a cascade of interventions that can possibly even lead to a having a cesarean. Unless there are any underlying medical conditions, when possible, it is best to let labour begin on it’s own.
  1. Move – In labour it can greatly help move things along when you can move. Walking, dancing  (on your own or with your partner) and swaying can all help with allowing labour to progress. You might want to try putting on some funky grooves to help you cope with contractions. Who knows, maybe the hospital staff might might join in…(show video of hospital staff)
  1. Continuous Support – Having someone there to continuously support you can greatly help. A supportive partner, parent, friend and doula can significantly increase your satisfaction with the experience.
  1. Avoid interventions that aren’t medically necessary – It is best to avoid unnecessary interventions when possible. Having the right care provider and being in a Baby Friendly hospital makes a difference.* You can also always ask why or if a certain procedure needs to be performed, so you can make an informed decision.
  1. Avoid giving birth on your back if possible – Being able to birth in a squatting position, allows the pelvic outlet to open more and for gravity to help you when giving birth. Being on all fours slightly leaning forward in an upright position (leaning against your partner or the bed) also allows for movement of the tailbone and gravity to aid in the process. When a person is on their back giving birth, it is more difficult because the force of gravity can’t help as much, also the sacrum is pressed agains the surface, restricting movement of the tailbone. However, this is not always possible in certain circumstances such as when an epidural has been administered.
  1. Keep mother and baby together – In order to promote bonding and breastfeeding, it’s best to keep both mom and baby together. In circumstances when this is not possible and the baby is sent to the NICU, even then babies benefit from frequent contact and visits with their parents.
Knowing these healthy birth practices will help you ask the right questions and make choices that you feel are right for you. All this having been said, a large part of your satisfaction can depend on the care provider and hospital you choose. For more on how to select the right care provider, check out the post : The Top 12 Questions to Ask Your Care Provider Before Birth.
Are there any additional ways you’ve planned to have or have used in order to try have a healthy and satisfying birth experience?
*Source: Based on the 6 healthy birth practices of Lamaze.

WHO Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative

Baby Friendly Initiative Ontario

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