6 Steps to a Healthy Birth

Lamaze's 6 Healthy Birth Practices

There are so many things pregnant women hear about how to have a good birth or a safe birth. It can be really confusing. That's what I love about the Lamaze 6 Healthy Birth Practices. Lamaze has taken the science of giving birth and boiled it down into six healthy steps that are easy to remember and easy to put into practice.

In addition to having the six steps, they have also created a short video explaining why each step is important and how to incorporate it into your birth. These videos also have footage from real women giving birth and using the six steps. These images and the interviews with moms and dads is great.

So, no matter what type of birth you're thinking about, these 6 Healthy Birth Practices can help you to have a safer birth.

Introduction to the Six Healthy Birth Practices

6 Healthy Birth Practices
Photo © Lamaze International

This video introduces the 6 Healthy Birth Practices. It gives some background on why these six and how you can use the information in your pregnancy.

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Let Labor Begin on Its Own

This is a fairly simple concept - wait for labor to begin on its own. This sounds like it would be a no brainer, but many women face an induction of labor, when waiting would be safe for them and their babies. We don't often think about the risks that an induction carries for both mom and baby.

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Walk, Move, and Change Positions

We like to move it, move it!
Photo © Lamaze

Too many times we see birth videos where moms arrive at the hospital to have their babies and crawl in bed, not to emerge until the baby is out. The truth is, our bodies were meant to move in labor as a way to help the baby navigate the pelvis and ease the pain of labor. This gives some suggestions on how to move in labor, even when confined to bed.

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Have Continuous Support

Who says three's a crowd?
Photo © Lamaze

Having a good support team is critical in labor. This often goes beyond your partner and can even include family, friends, and a professional doula. This video explains the benefits of having continuous support and why you may want to consider the people on your team wisely.

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Avoid Unnecessary Interventions

This is a very important step. I want you to note that the way this reads is key - unnecessary interventions. You might also use the word routine. Some moms and babies need interventions, these would not be considered routine or unnecessary. The goal here is to avoid any intervention that is done, just because that's the way the hospital or practitioner always does it.

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Get Upright and Follow Your Urges to Push

When it comes to pushing, we've all seen videos of moms being told loudly, "PUSH!" This is a different way of thinking that is easier on moms and babies, that is basically using gravity to help ease the birth and make it faster, but also allowing the uterus to do most of the work so that you and baby aren't short of breath.

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Keep Your Baby With You After Birth

Wait for the Weight!
Photo © Lamaze

Once your baby is born, science shows us that skin to skin with mom is the safest place for your baby. So often, hospital routines  jump in line and occur when the best place for baby is with you. This video explores why it's important to have baby with you and how that can look in a hospital setting.

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