Natural Birth Techniques

There are a number of different techniques that can be used when trying to labor without using any medical interventions. The following is list of techniques that have been used for many years in aiding with natural birth. Take time to study the different techniques and examine which would work best with you and your partners personalities, beliefs and preferences.

The Alexander Technique:

F. M. Alexander (1869-1955) developed this technique for sitting, standing and moving with safety, efficiency, and ease after solving his vocal trouble. Not only pregnant women, but all people can learn to release muscular tension, increase breathing capacity and restore the body’s original poise and proper posture. As your body changes, lower back pain, balance, digestive problems, shortness of breath can be helped through simple modifications in your movement. When it is time to deliver you will be able to breathe, and calm your system, focus during the birth, help open the cervix during dilation and prepare for effective pushing as the baby comes.

For more information: www.alexandertech.org and www.alexandertechnique.com

The Bradley Method:

Developed by Dr. Robert Bradley in the late 1940’s, this method helps women deliver naturally, with little or no drugs. Courses emphasize excellent nutrition and exercise; relaxation techniques to manage pain; and involves husband or partner as an effective coach. You will also learn how to: tune in to your body and positions which will ease labor pains; prepare for the stages of labor; avoid cesarean sections; breastfeeding; and how to discuss your birthing plans with your doctor.

For more information: www.bradleybirth.com and American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth 1-800-423-2397

Hypnosis:

In the 1940’s, Dr. Grantly Dick-Read researched the use of hypnosis during labor to bring the women into total relaxation in which the body’s muscles can work the way they are made to. Women describe feeling lost in a daydream, relaxed, calm, aware and in control.

For more information: www.hypnobirthing.com

Lamaze:

Dr. Ferdinand Lamaze developed this method beginning in Russia using “Psychoprofilaxis”. You will learn how to use distraction during contractions to decrease the perception of pain and relieve discomfort. In class, you and your partner will learn controlled deep breathing, massage, concentration and how to have control over your body during labor.

For more information: www.lamaze.org

Water Delivery:

Giving birth in a warm tub of water helps a woman relax and the buoyancy helps alleviate discomfort and pressure. Some say the water helps the baby enter the world with less light, sound and the dramatic change from womb to world. Water delivery is not recommended for women with high-risk pregnancies and preparation should be made for delivery to occur out of the water if complications arise.

Last Updated: 09/2008

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