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Alert and active participation by the mother in childbirth is a help in getting breastfeeding off to a good start. LLLI.
You can improve your odds for a smooth start to breastfeeding by planning for a birth with as few interventions as possible.
Ten tips for a normal birth
- Choose a place where you’ll be comfortable, at home, in hospital, or in a birthing center.
- Choose a health care provider who supports practices that promote normal birth.
- Don’t request or agree to induction of labor unless there’s a medical indication for doing so.
- Plan to move around freely during labor. You’ll be more comfortable, your labor will progress more quickly, and your baby will move through the birth canal more easily if you stay upright and respond to your pain by changing positions.
- Consider hiring a doula or professional birth/labor supporter. Think about the people you do or do not want to be present during your labor and the birth.
- Ask that the baby’s heartbeat be monitored intermittently rather than continuously, as continuous monitoring restricts your movement in labor.
- Eat and drink as your body tells you, to give you energy and prevent dehydration.
- Use non-medical pain management strategies, try focused, paced breathing and comfort measures such as warm baths and showers, massage, and birth balls.
- Don’t give birth on your back! Upright positions (sitting, squatting, or standing), on all fours, or on your side enable you to make use of gravity to push when your body tells you.
- Keep your baby with you after birth. Skin-to-skin contact helps to regulate your baby’s heartbeat and breathing and gets breastfeeding off to a good start.