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October 14, 2021

You've likely done research on different birth options if you are pregnant. Traditional western births are performed in hospitals and include an epidural to relieve pain and Pitocin to speed labor and prevent it from stalling. However, some people feel that these medical interventions are harmful to the baby and the mother. Let's look at natural childbirth. You might find something that interests you.

Natural Birth: Why?

Natural childbirth is the belief that birth is an unmedicalized natural process and that mother and baby will be happier and healthier if they return to natural methods. The common elements of natural birth methods include education about pregnancy, labor, and birth, forgoing as many medical interventions and medications as possible and alternative methods of dealing with pain such as birth affirmations, visualizations, breathing techniques and massage. Natural childbirth can be rewarding and safe for many women. However, in certain cases it may be risky to avoid medical intervention. These options may be available to you if your pregnancies are low-risk. Talk to your doctor if you are at high risk of having a pregnancy.

 

Medical Interventions

Any medical intervention is any treatment that a doctor or nurse might give you or your family. Natural childbirth advocates believe many common medical interventions that are used today during birth are unnecessary and potentially harmful. Pitocin, which is used to speed up labor, epidurals or spinal blocks for pain management, cesareans to remove the baby's uterus and forceps use during vaginal birth are just a few of the interventions. Doulas and midwives are often the best option for natural birth. Some choose to give birth in a hospital but avoid the use of any medication. I have learned the hard way from someone who chose this option. It is difficult to avoid medications and interventions in a facility that is specifically designed for them, especially if your baby is in pain or no one is supporting you. Natural birth is possible in a hospital setting if you are interested. However, you will need to be strong in your decisions and have a support husband, partner, or friend to help you reach your goals.

The Deal with Epidurals

Childbirth is painful. It's a fact that can't be ignored. According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), more than 50% of women who give birth in hospitals request an epidural to ease their pain. There are benefits and risks to every medical procedure. An epidural is a combination of anesthetics as well as narcotics. They can be effective in relieving pain but can also cause harm to the baby and you during and after delivery. An epidural can lead to severe headaches and a drop in blood pressure. In rare cases, nerve damage can occur and you may experience difficulty walking or urinating. The most concerning thing for naturopaths, however, is the fact that pushing can be made more difficult by epidurals. Additional medications and interventions such as forceps or Cesarean may also be necessary.

Pushing can be more difficult if your lower body is numbed. An epidural is not popular with natural birthers because it increases the need for medical interventions. Natural birthing's core goal is to avoid any medical intervention whenever possible. According to some studies, an epidural can increase your chances of having an instrument-assisted delivery by up to twofold. I have delivered babies with and without an epidural, and can confirm that pushing with an epidural feels nothing like the intense experience of pushing and feeling contractions. My first epidural birth was my first. My next three were not.

An epidural does not only have an effect on the mother. The epidural will not only benefit the mother, but also your baby. He may experience some issues. According to the American Pregnancy Association, epidurals can cause respiratory depression in babies. They also increase the risk of fetal malpositioning and fetal heart rate variability. This could lead to more medical interventions that are less pleasant. Are you familiar with episiotomies? Furthermore, episiotomies are a common side effect that can cause breastfeeding problems in some babies.

This is not to suggest that you shouldn't have an epidural. Many women consider the risks worth the benefits. It is still wonderful and joyous to have a baby delivered via forceps, vacuum, or Cesarean. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could have a gentler, more natural birth that is less painful and potentially deadly?

Pitocin

Natural childbirth courses all agree that it is best to avoid Pitocin. Pitocin, artificial oxytocin that causes your uterus contract, is what Pitocin does. While some hospitals may send you home if your arrival is too late, others will admit you and give you a deadline. My water breaking was my first sign of labor when I was pregnant with my first child. I didn't have any contractions. I was admitted to the hospital at 5:45 pm. I was told that Pitocin would be prescribed if my labor didn't begin by midnight. I couldn't get things moving with all my walking, so I was prescribed Pitocin to begin contractions. You may have had similar experiences and you might not have had any problems with it. Since I was expecting a natural birth, I felt like I had failed by the time I was given medication. Pitocin can cause strong contractions making it difficult to get an epidural. Yes, I did get an epidural. Instead of feeling joy at the birth of my child, I felt guilt that I didn't have the birth I wanted.

Since then I have had three more children. All three of them used Pitocin. You may be asking why I agreed to Pitocin once again, if it was so horrible. It was clear that Pitocin was the best option to deliver my healthy baby. That's what really matters. (I believe that I would have died in childbirth had Pitocin not been invented. My last three births were all natural. I had no need for Pitocin or an epidural. Natural birth does not mean forgoing any medication, no matter what the doctor may say. It is about making things as natural as possible, while still ensuring the health and well-being of the baby. Pitocin was my choice. That's fine.

Feeling what you feel

Natural childbirth is my main argument for it. I feel unable to have the strong feelings that an epidural can cause me. The epidural gave me a slight pressure during each contraction. However, I was told when to push and when I should stop. It felt like I was pushing for 2 1/2 hours. It was not something I felt proud of, but I was glad it was done. To top it all, I still felt that "ring of fire", the burning sensation your baby's vaginal tissues create when they crown. My next birth was my second, and I was determined to have an epidural free experience. It was amazing! My muscles responded as expected (thanks to Pitocin!) and I felt the power in my body. I didn't need anyone to tell me when it was time for push. I KNEW. I KNEW. The overwhelming urge to push has remained with me. Then, twenty minutes later, I had my beautiful baby girl and was beaming with pride. Never before had I felt so empowered by my body. Similar feelings have been described by others who had natural births. We continue to recommend natural birth to women whenever possible!

Natural Childbirth Philosophy

Natural childbirth is supported by many major groups, but I will only focus on those who offer classes and books you can read.

The Bradley Method

Dr. Robert Bradley developed the Bradley Method as a natural method of childbirth in 1947 to counter traditional methods of labor and delivery. It was not uncommon for women to have been heavily drugged during labor. This made it necessary to use forceps or a cesarean to remove the baby. The husband was instructed to wait in the lobby of the hospital until the baby was delivered. He was then informed about his wife's status and that of the child.

The Bradley method is about trusting and relaxing your body. The Bradley method encourages you close your eyes, turn inward and look for tension areas in your body. This will allow the cervix and uterus to do their job without interruption. It makes labor more difficult to move forward if you clench your muscles in pain. To help labor move along, relax and allow your body to do its job (during contractions). Pushing is another matter.

The Bradley Method is available in the form 12 online and in-person classes, which include a student workbook. This content provides information on what your body does during pregnancy and labor as well as what you can do to help it. The Bradley Method is designed to allow for a natural, unmedicated and enjoyable birth. Relaxation, visualization of the body during contractions and natural breathing patterns are some of the methods used to achieve this. Your coach (or partner) will support you throughout your pregnancy.

This method can be done without the help of a husband. My husband requested to take care of updating family members and taking occasional photos. He did not want to be involved in labor and delivery. With the help of my Bradley book, doctors, friends, nurses and other medical professionals, I was able to make it through without ever taking the class. Although I would love to have taken the class, it was not on my agenda. Natural Childbirth The Bradley Way is a great book. It guided me through three natural births. You will find many illustrations, exercises, and real-life examples throughout the book. It is a wonderful book that I cannot recommend enough.

The beginning section of this book, which is educational and purely informative, is one of its best parts. The book details the anatomy of pregnancy and provides information I didn't know even though I read it after having a baby. Next, labor is described in detail. It covers everything from the position of your baby's head when it enters the birth canal, to the activity of each muscle during a contraction. This information was invaluable, even though I had been through it myself. This book will help you decide if natural birth is for you. It will be a great decision.

You can read birth stories of Bradley Method mothers if you are interested in learning more about it. This method is a great choice for women who desire a natural birth experience.

HypnoBirthing

HypnoBirthing, a natural method of giving birth, is based on the idea of creating relaxation through visualizations, birth affirmations, and self-hypnosis. Marie Mongan, a Hypnotherapist, invented the term. She developed it in the 50's and 60s after she gave birth to her four children naturally. Her first book, Hypnobirthing, was published in 1989. The latest edition, Hypnobirthing, is now available on Amazon. Note that you will need a CD or MP3 to fully understand this technique.

Hypnobirthing aims to change how you see labor and birth, and to stop thinking it must be painful. You can achieve this partly by using alternative words for labor such as "surges" or "pressure", and not the word pain. The classes are five weeks long and provide education and practice time for breathing and visualization techniques that induce self-hypnosis.

During my first pregnancy, my husband and I attended HypnoBirthing classes. Although I was attracted to the idea of a natural birth and an epidural-free delivery, it didn't work for me. I never believed that an epidural would be a good idea. I never achieved self-hypnosis despite practicing at home and in class. This doesn't mean that this method won't work for your. Although I couldn't use the entire curriculum, many visualizations such as Marie Mongans Rainbow Relaxation helped me. If you feel this could be the right method for you, it's worth looking into.

Lamaze

Lamaze's focus is education and the integration of scientific findings with their claims. Lamaze's mission is to educate women and integrate scientific findings with their beliefs. The online classes can be accessed in 11 languages. There are also local classes in many locations. You can find more information on the Lamaze website or the book Six Practical Lessons for a Easier Birth by Elisabeth Bing.

Other options

There are many books and groups that you can consult to learn more about natural childbirth. Childbirth Without Fear is a 1942 book by a British author. It's a blast from past and can be mastered if you are able to handle it. He is often considered one of the fathers in natural childbirth. If waterbirth is something you are interested in, Janet Balaskas has written The Waterbirth Book. Waterbirth can be defined as giving birth in warm water. However, it can also refer to using warm water for labor and delivery. Please do your research if you are considering homebirth. We want everyone to be safe.

Natural Pain Management

Natural birth does not require medication. There are many ways to manage pain during childbirth.

Birth affirmations

Birth affirmations are phrases you repeat to yourself, such as "I trust and believe in my instincts" or "I relax and let my baby relax with me." These mantras can be practiced beforehand to make it easier to remember them during labor.

Breathing techniques

The method you choose will determine the breathing techniques that you use. They can be either measured or natural. The Bradley Method encourages you breathe naturally. Some relaxation techniques require that you maintain a certain count.

Visualizations

Hypnobirthing is a fundamental component that involves visualizations. You can imagine your contractions looking like waves in the ocean and then floating on top of them. Or visualize your uterus muscles as ribbons opening up to allow your baby's birth.

Massage

It is not always easy to love massage during labor. If you do decide to give up, the person who is giving it to you will be able to stop. Doula massage was very helpful for my calves as they were constantly cramping.

Acupressure

It has been proven that acupuncturpressure can reduce labor pain. It is important to learn the basics before you try it. However, you should be cautious about practicing as some acupressure points can induce labor.

TENS unit

A TENS unit, which is a small device that provides electrical stimulation through sticky electrodes, is called a TENS unit. They are often used by doulas to relieve pain during labor. You can control the intensity and the pattern of the shocking sensation. It was a great distraction for contractions. The TENS unit is thought to either interrupt pain signals or increase the production endorphins. This can help relieve pain.

Natural goes too far

Some natural birth ideas go too far with this concept. Modern medicine has made it possible to lower the death rate of mothers and newborn babies. There is a distinction between trying to minimize medical intervention whenever possible and not paying attention to what science has revealed in recent years. Lotus birth is a method that allows the placenta to be left attached to the baby and allow it to fall off naturally. Natural birth advocates advocate delayed cord clamping. This means that the umbilical cord should not be clamped or removed until it stops pulsing. This indicates that blood flow from the placenta is stopped. Lotus birth advocates not cutting the cord. According to one article, the placenta can become prone to infection once it stops flowing from the mother. The placenta remains attached to the infant, so an infected baby can be infected by the placenta.

Freebirth is another extreme form of natural childbirth. This anti-medical movement advocates giving birth at home with no medical assistance from doctors, nurses, or midwives. This idea has a problem. Even if you have the best intentions you cannot control what happens during labor or delivery. A medical emergency could occur. It is best to get medical attention if this happens. Click here to see the story about a woman whose freebirth went horribly wrong.

Personalize your plan

Natural childbirth is a choice for many women. They prefer to have their babies at home or in a birthing centre. My husband was not comfortable with home births and there wasn't a birthing center close to my house. I ended up having 3 natural births at 3 different hospitals. Natural birth is about avoiding medication. However, I did have Pitocin for each of my four births. Natural birth is also known for using different positions during labor and birth, such as walking, using birthing ball, squatting, or being on all fours. My third birth was my third. I tried different positions and moved around, but it was much more stressful than being in bed like I did with my first. Don't be limited by any one natural birth method. There are many interventions that you can choose from and what will work best for your baby, your body, and yourself. It's not important to follow guidelines or win a medal for natural childbirth. It is important to have a variety of options and to use what suits your needs and preferences. Don't let the rest stop you!

Don't Feel Guilty!

Guilt is not good for childbirth. You may feel guilty later if you decide to skip an epidural and then get one. My first child was to be born without an epidural. However, I got one before I even had contractions. Your plans will be affected by the support you receive from your family, your ability to cope with labor, and any medical needs. While it's important to set goals and have plans, we shouldn't feel guilty if reality isn't in line with our plans. Sometimes, the pain may be more than you realize. You may find that your labor lasts longer than you thought (like my sister). You might have to rush to the OR for a C-section if your baby is in distress. Don't let disappointment turn to guilt if you don't manage to complete all of your parts of the birth plan. Only healthy babies and mothers are what really matters. You can praise yourself for setting high expectations. Now, take a deep breath and look in the eyes of your baby. Acceptance of the truth of your birth is what you need to do. It is a great way to get rid of a lot of your woes.


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Sizing Chart

Since every baby grows at his/her own pace, measure the baby's height for the best fit. It is much more accurate than going off of the baby's age. Call us with any questions and we will be happy to help you determine the best fit for your baby.

Newborn Onesie's

Size Weight Height
Newborn (NB) 5-8 Ibs. / 2.3-3.6 kg 17-21 in. / 43.2-53.3 cm
0-3M 6-12 Ibs. / 3.6-5.4 kg 21-24 in. / 53.3-61 cm
0-6M Up to 16 Ibs. / Up to 7.3 kg 17-21 in. / 43.2-53.3 cm
3-6M 12-16 Ibs. / 5.4-7.3 kg 24-26 in. / 61-66 cm
3-9M 12-20 Ibs. / 5.4-9.1 kg 24-28 in. / 61-71.1 cm
6-9M 16-20 Ibs. / 7.3-9.1 kg 26-28 in. / 66-71.1 cm
12M 20-24 Ibs. / 9.1-10.9 kg 28-30 in. / 71.1-76.2 cm
18M 24-28 Ibs. / 10.9-12.7 kg 30-32 in. / 76.2-81.3 cm
24M / 2T 28-32 Ibs. / 12.7-14.5 kg 32-34 in. / 81.3-86.4 cm
3T 32-35 Ibs. / 14.5-15.9 kg 34-38 in. / 86.4-96.5 cm
4T 35-39 lbs. / 15.9-17.7 kg 38-40 in. / 96.5-101.6 cm
5T 39-43 lbs. / 17.7-19.5 kg 40-44 in. / 101.6-111.8 cm

Cotton Pajamas

Garments are designed to fit snug for child's safety.

Size Weight Height
6M 12-16 Ibs. / 5.4-7.3 kg 24-27 in. / 61-68.6 cm
12M 16-20 Ibs. / 7.3-9.1 kg 27-30 in. / 68.6-76.2 cm
18M 20-24 Ibs. / 9.1-10.9 kg 30-33 in. / 76.2-83.8 cm
24M / 2T 24-28 Ibs. / 10.9-12.7 kg 33-35 in. / 83.8-88.9 cm
3T 28-32 Ibs. / 12.7-14.5 kg 35-39 in. / 88.9-99.1 cm
4T 32-36 Ibs. / 14.5-16.3 kg 39-42 in. / 99.1-106.7 cm
5T 36-42 Ibs. / 16.3-19.1 kg 42-44 in. / 106.7-111.8 cm

 

New Balance Boys

Size
Waist
Height
4
17-19 inches
39-41 inches
5
19-20 inches
41-45 inches
6
20-22 inches
45-46 inches
7
22-23 inches
47-50 inches
8
23-24 inches
50-54 inches
10/12
24-25 inches
54-58 inches
14/16
25-27 inches
58-62 inches
18/20
27-28 inches
62-67 inches

 

New Balance Girls

Size Waist Height
4 17-19 inches 39-41 inches
5 19-20 inches 41-45 inches
6 20-21 inches 45-46 inches
6x 21-22 inches 46-48 inches
7/8 22-23 inches 48-52 inches
10/12 23-25 inches 52-58 inches
14 25-27 inches 58-61 inches
16 27-29 inches 61-63 inches