It seems like now more than ever, women are becoming more and more conscientious about the medical side of pregnancy and how to possibly have a more natural pregnancy.
After watching the awesome documentary The Business of Being Born (you can still find it on Netlix’s instant queue), I have had a growing interest in the different ways to have a more natural pregnancy.
Let’s be real — pregnancy and childbirth hurt. Not all health-conscious women want to go through childbirth with wood between their teeth and no synthetic pain relief. The good news is there’s a happy medium — the numerous alternative ways to have a more natural pregnancy.
In a recent article, Pregnant? Call the Chiropractor, I discussed the various benefits and relief that chiropractic can provide during pregnancy.
This includes nausea control, reducing labor and delivery time, back pain, joint and neck pain, and helping to prevent a cesarean delivery.
Swedish massage is the most common massage for pregnancy, and studies show that it can provide a myriad of benefits including, but not limited to: regulation of hormones, reduction of swelling, improvement in nerve pain, reduced joint pain, improved circulation, better sleep, reduced muscle tension and headaches as well as stress and anxiety, among others.
Yoga is a popular and ideal way to help stay in shape during pregnancy, with its many benefits. Prenatal yoga is a gentle way to help stay limber, tone muscles, improve balance and circulation, breathe deeply and relax, and even lower blood pressure.
Prenatal yoga can be done throughout a pregnancy, helping to maintain physical and mental wellbeing.
There are many home remedies for unpleasant pregnancy symptoms. For pain, try arnica, a homeopathic remedy, in the form of cream or tablet. For nausea, try making a ginger tea, taking papaya tablets, or getting a bit of light exercise.
Another good tip from Dr. Lederman, a prenatal chiropractor, doula, and associate professor at Parker University, is to stay off of comfy couches in the third trimester.
Yes, it does sound like mean advice, but furniture that is too comfortable may rock the sacrum out of alignment. Making sure to stay on your sit bones maintains proper alignment in the pelvis and back to keep the baby in the proper position.
There are many different ways to avoid the traditional hospital birth. One way is through the help of a doula, “a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period” (according to DONA).
Other ways are through the presence of a midwife, or a primary health care provider (like a doctor) who provides prenatal, gynecological, labor and birth care. Or you may even look into a homebirth, which is becoming more and more popular.
There are many solutions that can offer a more intimate pregnancy and delivery, and many more alternatives to the biomedical pregnancy and delivery we've become so accustomed to!
About Midwives. midwife.org. Retrieved February 12, 2012, from http://www.midwife.org/index.asp?sid=7
DONA International – What is a doula?. (n.d.). DONA International – Welcome! Retrieved February 12, 2012, from
Great pregnancy exercise: Prenatal yoga . (n.d.). Baby Center. Retrieved February 10, 2012, from
Prenatal Massage: Massage During Pregnancy : American Pregnancy Association. (n.d.). Promoting Pregnancy Wellness : American Pregnancy Association. Retrieved February 12, 2012, from
Phone Interview with Dr. Nicole Lederman. February 8 2012.
Reviewed February 15, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith