I have just experienced one of the most incredible things in my life – giving birth at home the natural way. It is a joy beyond words that my baby Zachary David Bryant arrived on earth safely
I believe in the natural way – to use natural, organic foods and remedies to maintain good health. Giving birth is one of the most natural things yet for some, it has become a medical procedure. For example, in India, 1 in 3 children are born by cesarean section.
This time around I wanted a home birth and have been fully supported by my excellent local midwives. Some people choose to have a baby in hospital, and some end up their due to complications. The advances made by hospitals along with better hygiene, nutrition and higher standards of living have vastly improved infant mortality rates. Doctors save the lives of children and mothers in difficult situations and I am glad they are there if needed.
However, I have encountered fearful attitudes amongst the general public and health professionals regarding birth. I have learnt that trusting our body and our instincts is of great importance.
At 42 weeks pregnant, having had no scans throughout my pregnancy I was strongly advised by the midwives to go to hospital, have a scan and meet with the consultant. The scan seemed fine; baby was healthy with the placenta in the right place for birth. We then had a meeting with the consultant, who voiced her concerns about the duration of the pregnancy, my amniotic fluid being low and having a possible hind-leak of my waters. To prevent the escalating risk of infection, she strongly advised that I was induced as soon as possible.
This was a great shock to me, as throughout pregnancy I had not wanted any medical intervention. I now had a highly experienced consultant telling me for the safety of my unborn child, I should book into hospital.
Weighing up the evidence presented to us, we paused and ran through the B.R.A.I.N.S. acronym. We were told to ask B = what are the benefits? R = what are the risks? A = alternatives? I = what does my instinct / Intuition tell me? N = what if we do nothing? S = smile. To give us a chance time to get labour going the natural way and to enable for a home birth without drugs, we decided to take the consultants advice, but to book to be induced 36 hours later
I tried to be as positive as possible as our mental state is of key importance for a successful labour. After a spicy curry I spent most of the night visualizing a successful home birth.
The next day I had a reflexology treatment with Karen Peters who also worked with Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which helped me release negative thoughts surrounding the birth.
I spent time outside in my garden, connecting with the earth, praying, singing, dancing, bouncing and meditating. I also talked to the baby and my body telling them it was safe to birth. Now was the time!
In the afternoon I found out the homeopathic remedy Pulsatilla can be useful in stimulating an overdue labour so I sent my husband Giles out to get some. On his way back he saw one of the mum’s from school. She had brought an overdue labour on by using the aromatherapy oil, clary sage, directly on the acupressure points known to help induce labour. We knew the points, we knew about clary sage – but we didn’t know about combining them in this way.
I used all these practices and created a birth temple in my living room. I got into the position I visualized giving birth in – and something started to move! Labour had started and to ride through the pain of the contractions I used hypno-birthing techniques along with chanting and singing. 4 hours later in the sanctuary of our home, we sang the Om as my baby was born.
As part of my post-natal health regime with the help of Abigail Todd (www.thebirthnest.co.uk) I have been consuming the placenta – both in smoothies and capsules. Although it may seem a little unusual, nearly every mammal on earth eats the placenta after birth. It helps to balance hormones and replenish nutrients. I have felt fantastic and recommend this to all new mums.
One final point is to mention the importance of rest. In preparing for labour and after birth rest is best. I am enjoying Giles feeding me as I feed our baby.
50p Chunk Fresh Placenta
2 tbs Raw Cacao Powder
1 Handful Berries
1 tsp Reishi Powder
1 tsp Supergreen Powder
1 cup water 1/2 cup ice