Natural Birth – Stages and Coping Strategies

Hello pregnant women and enthusiastic men, welcome to the wonderful world of birth!  I love chatting about birth and I am passionate ab

out women normalising birth and believing in their body.  What amazing, fantastic bodies women have!

In today’s post I would love to give you the best tools that I have found to work as coping strategies during your birthing journey.  If you scroll down to my last post you will find great pieces of information on preparing for your birth, this post is for you during your birth.  Sit back and relax while you learn from my 10years of wisdom with birthing women.

I have personally had the privilege of helping hundreds of women to give birth, I am still in awe of the birthing process and even have a tear in my eyes when I see a baby enter the world today, it is truly beautiful.  Below I will list the stages of labour and what works to relieve pain naturally.  I will not go into medications as I am reserving this post for your natural instincts to come out.  Just remember the best thing to do for yourself in labour is to prepare your mind before hand.  Research different ways in which you can tap into your abundant strengths.  Have a look at my eBook on natural birth if you would like to know a few different avenues to get your education started.


Stage 1 – up to 8cm dilated

This stage is the body’s way to get you into the rhythm of labour.  You need to allow yourself to enter your body and become one with your birth.  Allowing this “letting go” will give you strength, it will give you power and it will give you the ability to advance more quickly in your labour.  This stage is your body’s way of gearing up for the whole process.  You body needs a starting point and this is it.  Below is a list of things that you can do during this phase of labour.

  • Rest – help conserve your energy especially if it is the middle of the night.  No need to get up and start pacing the floor and waking everyone up.  Just stay in bed and breath as you contractions slowly was over you in waves.  If you stay relaxed during these early contractions you will be much more likely to stay relaxed as labour progresses forward.

  • Think positive thoughts – tell yourself you can do this and give yourself encouragement.  It is a lot better than fearing what is to come.  Your power is in the moment, you can set yourself for your birth just by the way you think about how it is going in the present moment.

  • If during the day – continue with your daily activities this will normalise everything.  Eat, drink, and move around, do the washing, gardening or take a nice walk in the park.  Make sure you have someone around that will mirror your calm demeanour; this will help you to stay calm.

  • Water – when the contractions start to pick up, thank your body for moving forward in your birth journey, this will empower you and help keep you positive.  Also have showers or a bath to relax; I would avoid the bath if you have just started contractions as this can cause them to halt.  The shower is a great way to stay centred and relaxed as you feel the running water on your body.

  • Massage and touch – get your partner to massage you (have a look at my previous post to learn some great tips with massage).  Relax while they touch you and think of how your wonderful body is responding to your birth.  Touch your belly and talk to your baby, ask your baby to work with you as a team so your labour can be quick, easy and empowering.


Transition – 8cm to fully dilated

During this part of stage1 your body will be transitioning to allow your baby to enter the world.  Your will feel like you are on a roller coaster of contractions that seem never ending.  I find the best way to cope with this is to just turn within.  Close your eyes and concentrate on your breath.  Say to yourself over and over that it you can do it and you are nearly there.  Hold your partners hand and focus on their strong, capable hands that will help you through this.  Just remember this stage is short lived and is bringing you closer to the joy of seeing your baby for the first time.


Stage 2 – fully dilated to the birth of your baby

You feel wide awake and alert in this stage so you should take advantage of this and really listen to your midwife.  The key to this stage is position change.  Use gravity to help your baby come down the birth canal and change positions often to maximise your pelvic outlet.  When you feel the huge urge to push, just allow your body to do it and go with it.  It is really like opening your bowels, this is where you need to push.  And yes, most women do open their bowels when pushing but don’t worry it is meant to happen and normal.  Try sitting on the toilet when you feel the urge to open your bowls, it is a good place to push and you won’t feel like you need to hold back.



Stage 3 – the birth of your placenta

Ahhhhhh, this feels so great!!  Just concentrate on breastfeeding your baby as this will release oxytocins in your blood stream and you will have a little contraction that will release your placenta and it will slide out.  No bones in this one!  Your midwife will coach you when you are birthing your placenta.  Just make sure you ask to look at it, it is a wonderful organ that has kept your baby alive and growing.  You might even like to take it home and bury it under your favourite tree to honour this magnificent part of your pregnancy.


Well, I hope this has helped you during your labour.  Let me know if you used something else that I haven’t written and that other women can learn from. 

Take care and enjoy your birth,



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