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Hello sweet one.

If a having a vaginal birth is a high priority for you, check out our tips to help make it happen.


1. Take a childbirth class

If you are reading this inside of Motherly's birth, we are so glad you are here! If you'd like to join us, we'd love to have you!

Childbirth education will empower you with knowledge and confidence. You'll learn all about the process of labor and birth, what interventions exist and when they are (and are not) necessary, and of course, tons of coping skills to help you rock your birth.

2. Choose a provider and birth place that value vaginal birth

When you are choosing who will attend your birth, be sure to ask many questions about their rates of vaginal births (compared to c sections), as well as their intervention rates. If you don't get a good feeling, move on. For more info about choosing the best provider and birth place for you, check out this article.

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3. Be as healthy as possible

Attend regular prenatal appointments, east really healthy foods, exercise and just take great care of yourself in general. Birth is a marathon—you want to approach it with as much energy and stamina as possible.

4. Move throughout your pregnancy

Our modern day lifestyle isn't awesome for preparing our bodies for birth—we spend a lot of time sitting (with not-so-hot posture) which doesn't allow our babies to get into the best position for birth. To combat this, find ways to move throughout the day, Walking, dancing, prenatal yoga, and swaying on a birth ball are all great ways to help encourage your baby to lock-in in an optimal position.

5. Assemble a rock solid birth team

Having consistent emotional support during your labor can significantly reduce the length, interventions and pain of birth. Spend time connecting with your partner and making sure you are on the same page about birth. Only invite people to your birth that raise you up (stress inducing family members need not apply). And consider hiring a doula to provide professional level guidance throughout the process.

6. Stay home

Staying home in early labor can significantly reduce the amount of interventions used during your birth, which can ultimately increase your chance of a vaginal birth. When you go into labor, call your doctor or midwife and come up with a plan—if they encourage to wait it out at home a bit longer, and you feel like you are able to, definitely do so.

7. Trust your body

Your body was made to do this, and it knows exactly what to do. Trust your innate wisdom and amazingness. You've got this!

When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.

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The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.



As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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I was blissfully asleep on the couch while my little one was occupied elsewhere with toys, books and my partner. She got bored with what they were doing, escaped from his watch and, sensing my absence, set about looking for me. Finding me on the couch, nose-level, she peeled back my one available eyelid, singing, "Mama? Mama? ...You there? Wake UP!"

Sound familiar? Nothing limits sleep more than parenthood. And nothing is more sought after as a parent than a nap, if not a good night's rest.

But Mother Nature practically guarantees that you are likely to be woken up by a toddler—they're hardwired to find you (and get your attention) when you're "away."

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