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Childbirth is one of the most life-changing events a woman may go through during her life. Why not plan for a satisfying birth experience? By satisfying, I don't mean free of pain, although it is possible to alleviate pain during labor and birth. I mean satisfying in the sense that the expectant mother experiences autonomy, respect and emotional (and perhaps physical) pleasure during birth. I've given birth six times and experienced almost no pain during most of my births. When I did experience intense labor pains, it was short-lived. My average time for labor was three hours and I did not have to push very hard - or at all - to get my babies out. In fact, my third child was born within an hour of waking and in less than ten minutes of arriving at the hospital. As she slid out, I wondered how and why that happened so easily and effortlessly. Some of my secrets include: (1) feeling sexy, attractive and powerful during the entire pregnancy feeling that the life within me was so important and my role in the big picture was vital and important to this being that was developing inside of me. (2) feeling strong and not afraid of birth and (3) bombarding my thoughts with positive, not negative ideas. You are the producer, director and actor of your birth and life. Set meaningful goals and follow your instincts. Stop relying on outsiders to guide you through pregnancy. The feminine power you need in order to birth will elude you if you are constantly looking outside yourself. Your Body, Your Birth: Secrets for a Satisfying and Successful Birth contains over a dozen more secrets. Don't miss the opportunity to hear an 80-minute CD that may be one of the most important CDs of your life. You can expect a satisfying birth experience by considering the following: 1.Consider inviting a labor support coach or doula to your birth. Taking a Bradley childbirth class has helped many couples achieve a natural birth, but a labor support coach (or doula) can contribute to an easier birth. The journal of American Medical Association has admitted over the years that labor support significantly reduces the incidence of medical interventions - like epidural anesthesia, forceps deliveries and C-sections. Couples who hire coaches tend to have less neonatal complications and a quicker labor. Laboring mothers are often vulnerable and a skilled doula is the mother's assertive advocate who can gently navigate some of the unnecessary hospital protocol. Remember though, one belief among homebirthers is that the more people you have at your birth, the possibility of a longer labor. After all, childbirth is a primal act, best left to privacy, so for most women, less spectators would be better. 2. Gain Confidence. Confidence is one way to eliminate uncertainty. Concern yourself with increasing your confidence in yourself and your body's ability to birth your baby. Prayer can be

the answer to any insecurities or doubts you may have. Continue your research and childbirth reading. As time progresses, think of yourself as gaining valuable ammunition as you form a protective shield from negative outside influences. Begin to visualize how you will be assertive in the delivery room (if you choose to give birth in a hospital), with your midwife, or simply to ward off those unwelcome voices of discouragement during the final moments of birth. Confidence comes from believing and knowing that you'll do fine and that millions of women have given birth before you. You are not alone. 3. Unwavering Determination: Set goals and know what you want and what you definitely don't want. You must commit yourself. For example, if you don't intend to have an epidural, develop other coping strategies for pain management. All the education and planning in the world is useless if you don't have unwavering determination and a commitment to follow-through. Unwavering determination is 100% mental preparation before you even get to your ninth month of pregnancy. Those who are successful in life know with certainty events that will follow. Their minds are completely convinced and primed for a successful outcome. 4. Solitude / Surrender: If you haven't spent much time in solitude, the last few weeks of your pregnancy is definitely the time to do so. In fact, you would be wise to find more time for solitude and pleasurable activities at the beginning of your third trimester. Try to spend little or no time with negative people or doing activities that cause you stress or make you uneasy. Avoid making excuses that you are too busy to shift the focus of your daily routine to your pregnancy and upcoming birth. You have almost complete freedom in where you want to direct your thoughts and actions. Successful childbirth requires concentration; practicing solitude will make you stronger and will enable you to surrender to the important task of giving birth. When you approach birth confidently and patiently, you will be able to endure pain and minor inconveniences. In fact, you may not be focused on the negative (possible pain), but on the positive (your feminine power to birth a baby). Silence is a very important part of giving birth. Small talk and medical talk often interfere with women's ability to concentrate while in the hospital. Women who want to use their full power at birth need to concentrate and focus. Couples can often get the quiet they need simply by asking. Ask that medical staff visits be kept to a minimum, that the door be closed, and that talking be kept to a minimum. Birth is a miracle that transcends reality and couples need quiet time to contemplate the awesome act they are undergoing and the awesome task at hand for the next eighteen years. Silence immediately after birth is respectful to the baby and allows the body, brain and soul to replenish itself as it tries to recover from an altered state of consciousness. Couples are severely shortchanged if they feel they have to perform in the delivery and maintain some sort of social ettiquette because they are in a public place for their private event. 5. Success during pregnancy and labor in a nutshell: During pregnancy: Set goals and be persistent with your birth attendant. Avoid unnecessary or risky tests. Distance yourself from negative or fear-inducing people. Your pregnancy and birth is a dream you are fulfilling; do not let anyone try to steal your dream from you. Take a Bradley childbirth class. Find a doula (labor coach) to attend your birth. Involve your spouse. Follow proper nutrition. Prepare mentally, spiritually and physically. Make a plan for birth ( a birth plan is

detailed instructions presented to your doctor and hospital staff which outlines your intentions for birth). During the birth: Keep up your energy by drinking and eating throughout labor. Arrive at the hospital or go into the delivery room well into labor. Be confident. Maintain an upright position during labor and birth. Avoid the electronic fetal monitor, internal fetal monitor and drugs. Visualize the baby's passage into the world rather than focusing on your pain. Try to keep your birth as quiet, comfortable and stress-free as possible. Successful birthing depends on concentration, alertness and confidence. Most people do not consider or care what it takes to have a successful birth. Their focus is on safety and putting the birth behind them. I would venture to guess that your outcome will be very close to what you focus on. I've shared just a few ways you can have a satisfying and successful birth experience. I invite you to listen to YOUR BODY, YOUR BIRTH: SECRETS FOR A SUCCESSFUL AND SATISFYING BIRTH. Please visit our website to order your CD:

Lynn M. Griesemer is the author of Unassisted Homebirth: An Act of Love (1998) and Your Body, Your Birth: Secrets for a Satisfying and Successful Birth (2007). The Childbirth Success Kit provides information guaranteed to help women achieve a successful and satisfying birth experience.

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How To Have A Satisfying & Successful Birth  

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