No one can predict the kind of birth experience a woman will have, but there are many things women can do in pregnancy and labor to help ensure that birth is as safe as possible and that mom and baby are healthy.
Using recommendations from the World Health Organization, Lamaze International developed the “Six Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices” that support and assist a woman’s ability to give birth. Happy Birth Way fully supports these six practices:
- Let labor begin on its own. There are risks to inducing labor, particularly if it’s an elective induction and not for medical reasons.
- Walk, move around and change positions throughout labor. The short video here shows several positions for
labor. Many hospitals and birth centers also have birth balls for women in labor.
- Bring a loved one, friend or doula for continuous labor support. Learn some of the non-medical ways a birth doula supports women in labor.
- Avoid interventions that are not medically necessary. One intervention often leads to another, such as with the labor-inducing drug pitocin.
- Avoid giving birth on your back, and follow your body’s urges to push. Medical pain relief, such as from an epidural, can make it difficult to feel the body’s natural urges to push, so be sure to have the epidural turned down for pushing.
- Keep your baby with you — it’s best for you, your baby, and breastfeeding. Skin-to-skin for at least an hour after birth is becoming standard practice at many hospitals around the country.