Understanding your options for a safe natural childbirth
Understanding your options for a safe natural childbirth
A natural birth, also known as a vaginal birth, is what is widely considered the traditional, ‘normal’ way of giving birth.
But what is considered ‘normal’ is different for every woman. For some, it may just be a blanket term for vaginal birth. For others, it means avoiding inducing labour, and starting the birth naturally. Others still may use this term to avoiding pain relief altogether.
So when it comes to a natural birth, we don’t use the word ‘normal’, as this doesn’t define your experience. We simply refer to your choice as natural childbirth, as compared to a caesarean birth.
The type of birth that you choose to proceed with depends on many things. This can include your pregnancy, the health of your baby, your age and health, and any previous birth experiences you may have had.
Dr Nathan is experienced in helping women through their unique birthing experience. Together with Dr Nathan and the team, we will help you determine the best and safest delivery method for your new baby.
If you’re planning a natural birth, we strongly recommend you attend the antenatal education classes provided at your hospital.
Both Cabrini and Waverley Private Hospitals offer a series of informative and interactive classes to help expecting parents prepare for your pregnancy, labour, childbirth, and caring for your new baby.
These classes are designed to help you and your partner feel informed, thoroughly prepared, and confident about your upcoming birth.
Be sure to book in soon as places are limited.
Discussing pain during labour is an important part of understanding your birthing process. So as well as attending antenatal education classes, we can also provide you with information in your pain relief options.
There are a number of options available to you to help cope with your labour pain. This includes discussing the use of natural pain relief methods; non-medical pain relief methods, such as a TENS machine; and the option for medical pain relief, like narcotic and epidural analgesia, if required.
Being as prepared as possible when it comes time for your birth can help to reduce your experience of pain and anxiety, and ultimately help you cope better during labour.
In general, you are able to move around during your labour, and be in any position that’s comfortable for you. Dr Nathan will be there by your side to help you deliver your baby in the way that ensures both you and your baby are safe and healthy.
During your birth, she will help you administer the pain relief processes agreed upon during your consultations.
Immediately following the birth of your child, delayed cord–clamping and skin to skin contact (where your baby is placed on your chest to enhance bonding) are encouraged where possible.
Once the birth is over, you will then be “rooming in” with your baby in your hospital’s maternity ward, typically for 4 nights after your delivery. We will organise for a paediatrician to attend to provide the necessary routine assessments for your baby.
Knowing where you’re going to give birth helps you plan ahead for the special day. So, we can help you choose the hospital in which you’ll give birth.
Dr Nathan is currently taking new pregnancy bookings for Cabrini and Waverley Private Hospitals. We recommend that you book in a tour of these hospitals, so you can familiarise yourself with the one that best suits you.
Visit them at the details below.
Cabrini Mother and Baby Centre
Level 2/183 Wattletree Rd
MALVERN VIC 3144
Ph: (03) 9508 1724
343-357 Blackburn Road
MOUNT WAVERLEY VIC 3149
Ph: (03) 9881 7700
Dr Nathan will help you determine a birth plan that’s right for you, and works directly with midwives from your chosen hospital to ensure a calm and supported birth.
We want your birth to be a special moment and positive experience, and can discuss all the important aspects of a caesarean birth during your antenatal appointments.
Dr Nathan is experienced in managing all manner of high risk pregnancy situations, and will be there with you to ensure the safety and health of your baby.
We provide specialist pregnancy care treatment—and peace of mind—for women with multiple pregnancies.
It’s recommended to take a general pregnancy multivitamin such as Elevit (R) or Blackmores (R) to help your body meet the increased nutritional needs of pregnancy. This also applies if you’re planning on getting pregnant, and will help your body build up the levels of nutrients it needs to support the initial growth of your baby.
Folic acid/folate 0.5mg should be started prior to conceiving, for at least 2-3 months, and can be continued until week 12 of your pregnancy.
Depending on the results of the blood tests we take during your consultations, further supplements may be required during your pregnancy. We can discuss these at your follow-up consultation and put you on the necessary supplement plan.
Many women will travel during their pregnancy. The second trimester is usually the safest time to travel as any nausea or vomiting is likely to have settled, there’s a reduced chance of miscarriage, and the physical changes of your pregnancy haven’t yet limited your movement.
For air travel, most domestic airlines won’t allow women who are more than 36 weeks pregnant to fly for any longer than 4 hours. Due to the distances involved, international flight can be restricted from 32 weeks.
It’s best to avoid any long, tiring car journeys too, as they can become quite uncomfortable and may also increase your risk of DVT. If you must take a long car trip, make a stop every two hours to get out, move around, and stretch your legs.
If there are no health or pregnancy reasons that are stopping you from exercising, most forms of exercise are safe during your pregnancy, up to a moderate level of intensity.
Along with the physical benefits typically associated with exercise, it can also work to provide some much-needed stress relief, and is good for your psychological wellbeing during this time.
Come in and see us before you start your exercise program, and we can help you ensure there are no issues that are stopping you from undertaking regular exercise during your pregnancy.
There are a number of screening tests available that can tell you if your baby is at an increased risk of a serious health condition. Taken within your first and second trimesters, these tests typically combine results from a blood test and an ultrasound to assess the risk of your baby being born with either a genetic or chromosomal condition. They can also detect other abnormalities, and may also tell you if you’re having a multiple pregnancy.
To find out more, the Victorian Clinical Genetics Services provides a comprehensive list of the types of tests available to you. We will discuss all the options available at your first appointment, and determine which ones are relevant to your situation.
You can call us on 9527 9000 to book in for your pregnancy. We’ll ask you for the date of your last menstrual period and calculate your estimated due date. We’ll then send through your booking to either Cabrini or Waverley Private Hospitals, whichever is best for you.
If you haven't seen your GP yet, it’s a good idea to do so and confirm your pregnancy. This allows you to claim back your Medicare rebate.
Then, we can book your first antenatal appointment to see Dr Nathan at 8-10 weeks. We look forward to meeting you.
Please bring your referral, your medicare card and private health insurance details, and any results for pathology or ultrasound.
If you’re able to fax, email, or send in your referral and other information ahead of time, this will help us to get to know a bit about you first, and will make your initial consultation much more specific to your needs.
At your first appointment we take a comprehensive personal and family history, and provide you with the opportunity to discuss all aspects of your health and pregnancy. If you’re pregnant, we’ll also perform an ultrasound, so you can meet your new baby for the very first time.
You’ll also have the opportunity to meet with Lisa, our midwife, at each pregnancy appointment.
We recommend to call our office to book in for your pregnancy, soon after you find out you’re pregnant. During this call we’ll discuss options for your hospital bookings (Dr Nathan delivers at Cabrini and Waverley Private Hospitals), and book you in for your first appointment with us, which typically occurs at around 8-9 weeks pregnant.
You’ll need to see your GP prior to your first appointment to get a referral. You can book in an appointment with Dr Nathan prior to seeing your GP, however you must have the referral by the time of your first appointment.
Your appointment schedule will look like this:
Get in touch with us to book a consultation at a time and clinic that suits you. Either give us a call on the number below, or send us an email with your details and we’ll get back to you to confirm your appointment.