What Are Healthy Birth Practices and Why Should You Care?

infographic preview.jpgIf you're new to this blog or Lamaze and if you are pregnant or planning to be pregnant soon, listen up. I'm going to share with you vital -- and SIMPLE -- information on how to have are more satisfying, safe, and healthy birth. This information not only helps you achieve a healthy mom and baby, but also a more positive birth experience -- one in which you are fully supported, respected, and empowered. Because research shows us, time and again, that how you are treated and cared for in birth matters

The Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices are a set of six easy-to-follow steps that will help you have the birth you envision and the care you deserve. Think of them as key ingredients for perfecting an award-winning recipe. Without further suspense, here they are:

Healthy Birth Practice 1

Let labor begin on its own 

Why should you let labor begin on its own? Because allowing baby to choose her birthday (unless there's a true medical indication) ensures that baby has developed properly and reduces the risk of additional medical interventions (procedures) during birth that may not have otherwise been necessary and can pose problems for mom and baby. Watch below to learn more. 

Healthy Birth Practice 2

Walk, move around and change positions throughout labor

Why is it important to keep moving throughout labor? Simply put: your body's movements help your baby's movements! It may not seem like a far distance to travel, but your baby has a lot of work to do to move through your birth canal. This process is made more efficient when you, too, stay moving throughout labor. Changing your position frequently and moving in rhythm with your contractions helps your labor move along and increases your own comfort, too. Watch below to learn more. 


Healthy Birth Practice 3

Bring a loved one, friend or doula for continuous support

How does continuous support help during labor? Birth is emotionally and physically challenging. Having a dedicated person to support you through the process -- without leaving your side -- greatly enhances your experience and reduces your chances of having unwanted medical interventions. If you can afford a doula (and there are many unconventional ways to afford one), that is a great choice. Otherwise, help a family member become your "doula" for labor and birth. Watch below to learn more. 

Healthy Birth Practice 4

Avoid interventions that are not medically necessary

What are interventions and how can they impact your birth? Certain medical interventions (in other words, medical procedures) are performed routinely on women in labor and in birth, but unfortunately, are not always necessary, and in fact, can cause unnecessary harm. Find out about these procedures, when they are needed and which ones are not based on best medical evidence. Watch below to learn more. 

Healthy Birth Practice 5

Avoid giving birth on your back and follow your body's urges to push

How does the way you push matter to your birth? Gravity works in your favor during birth -- use it! Laying flat on your back to push out a baby is not only more difficult to do than being upright, but it also is not based in best current research for a healthy birth. Same thing can be said for how you push out your baby -- holding your breath for long periods of time during each contraction is not ideal. Instead, follow your own body's urges for pushing. Watch below to learn more. 


Healthy Birth Practice 6

Keep mother and baby together - It's best for mother, baby and breastfeeding

Why does it matter if you keep your baby skin to skin after birth? Research shows us that keeping baby with you after birth and without separation for the first few hours, is best for mom and baby. Breastfeeding gets off the the best start, baby feels safest, bonding can begin, baby gets healthy bacteria from mom's chest, baby stays warm, and both mom and baby's hormones regulate. Watch below to learn more. 


For more in-depth information on each of these care practices, check your local area for a Lamaze class. If none is available, check out the online classes from Lamaze, including "Safe and Healthy Birth: Six Simple Steps."

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