Email 3 Defining Low Risk Pregnancy

Healthy Pregnancy = Healthy Birth | Defining Low-Risk Pregnancy

What exactly does low-risk mean?

Let us start by discussing who good candidates aren’t for home birth.

What could be considered a high-risk pregnancy:

  • Diabetics (true diabetes, not necessarily gestational)
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure/preeclampsia/pregnancy induced hypertension
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Genital herpes (considered a risk only if there is an active infection during delivery)
  • Older age (over 35 may be considered high risk by some – with good health & prenatal care there is no reason a woman +35 shouldn’t have a home birth)
  • Placenta previa (when the placenta grows to cover all or part of the cervix)

Basically, you’ve got to be healthy to have a home birth!

Part of being healthy is staying healthy during the duration of your pregnancy by eating well, exercise, drinking a lot of water and getting plenty of rest (look for much deeper detail about exercise and nutrition during pregnancy in email 6).

Having a healthy body isn’t the only part of your being that needs to be prepared for birth. Perhaps just as important as your physical health is your mental health…

Healthy body: check! But what about a healthy mind?

You attitude about birth may effect your health.

Keeping a calm, relaxed attitude about your birth has a naturally calming and relaxing effect on your body. This is important to practice during your pregnancy so it becomes second nature during your labor. Your body will respond to the tension created in your mind; your birth will be smooth if you’ve exhausted your fears about the birth experience.

(Remember, the fear of pain is often much worse than the actual feeling. Embrace your emotions – don’t sweep them under the rug because they’ll only sneak out later!)

Train your mind & body for a steep incline.

You may find (this happened to me and many other mothers I have talked with) that you encounter a hump to get over during labor. This is usually in “transition” somewhere between 7-10 centimeters dilated.

Things get really tough. The pain seems unbearable. It is absolutely normal to feel like you want to give up. Don’t. You can do it!

As soon as you surrender to that pain, when you allow and embrace the strength of your contractions as part of the amazing process that gets your baby out, things will move along quickly. Before you know it, your baby will be born!

*What to look forward to in the next email: So, You’ve Decided to Have a Home Birth. How to Tell (or not tell) Family & Friends