What does it mean to have a holistic pregnancy and birth?
Holistic birthing is grounded in the belief that pregnancy, labour, and delivery are natural processes that can be supported and enhanced by addressing the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the mother. Unlike conventional approaches that often focus solely on the medical aspects of childbirth, holistic birthing considers the whole person.
The holistic approach involves consideration of the body, mind, and spirit to help women enjoy pregnancy and birth. Physical health, values, beliefs, relationships, emotional well-being, and spirituality can all affect birth. The idea of a holistic pregnancy is to have an experience that is healthy, safe, and comfortable and there are multiple ways to achieve this.
In holistic pregnancy food choices are important, choosing healthy, nutrition-rich foods and getting regular exercise to help the body deal with the demands of pregnancy and childbirth take priority. They can also have a positive effect on mental wellbeing.
The goal of a holistic birth is to aid women in experiencing childbirth naturally without the use of medical intervention and technology. Women who experience childbirth in this way often feel empowered by the process and more in touch with what’s happening during the labour and birth.
Fundamentals of a holistic approach
- Have the healthiest pregnancy possible.
- Achieve the best possible overall well-being during pregnancy.
- Increase your chances for natural progression of labour.
- Alleviate the risks that may occur because of medical interventions or pain medication.
During childbirth, complementary therapies such as massage and acupuncture have been proven effective in reducing discomfort and pain whilst improving overall well-being. In a natural childbirth, breathing techniques and certain birthing positions can also ease pain.
Common holistic tips for labour and delivery
- Get acupuncture which can stimulate oxytocin hormone.
- Drink raspberry leaf tea which is a uterine tonic.
- Eat nutrient-dense and blood-nourishing foods.
- Meditate or practise de-stressing techniques.
- Walking/exercising to help get the baby in the optimal position.
- The avoidance of unnecessary medical intervention
- Practise hypnobirthing
- Consider hiring a doula
Benefits of Holistic Birthing
- Reduced Intervention Rates: One of the primary benefits of holistic birthing is the potential for reduced intervention rates. By emphasising natural and less invasive approaches, such as movement, water immersion, and breathing techniques, holistic birthing aims to facilitate a smoother labour process without unnecessary medical interventions.
- Enhanced Bonding and Emotional Well-being: Holistic birthing fosters a deeper connection between the mother and her birthing experience. By addressing emotional and psychological aspects, women may experience enhanced bonding with their babies and a more positive postpartum period.
- Personal Empowerment: Women who choose a holistic birthing approach often report a heightened sense of empowerment. Being active participants in decision-making and taking charge of their birthing experience empowers women to embrace the transformative journey of motherhood with confidence.
- Holistic Postpartum Care: Holistic birthing extends its principles into the postpartum period, recognizing the need for comprehensive care for both mother and baby. This may include lactation support, postpartum doula services, and mental health resources to ensure a smooth transition into parenthood.
At the end of the day, the paramount goal remains ensuring the safe arrival of the baby into the world so consider all options and go what you believe is the best decision for yourself and your baby.
If you have access to myTamarin support, book a consultation with one of our nurses who can help you answer the questions that pregnancy can bring.
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