Environment - Relaxation and dilation are often facilitated by dim lighting, freedom to move, drink and eat as desired and with creative evidence based ideas for providing gentle and safe care.

Nutrition - The needs of each woman may vary somewhat. Healthy protein should be consumed daily for optimum functioning from foods such as eggs, yogurt, milk, beans and other legumes, with adequate carbohydrates for energy needs, along with fresh fruits and vegetables, leafy green vegetables and citrus fruit.

Joyful - Excitement releases hormones that may create a euphoric feeling and sometimes results in a more enjoyable and often shorter labor.

Open - Sometimes movements or relaxation helps labor progress. This may help the cervix open. Low, deep noises, loving support, belly dancing, hip circles, rebozo techniques and water are great options to try in labor to relax the pelvic floor.

Yourself - Explore your choices and know your options to increase your satisfaction with your birth through reading, research, and taking a childbirth education course.

Baby - Your baby is very aware and benefits from parental connection even in the womb. Some women find it meaningful to connect with their baby through words, song and thoughts.

Imagine - Positive imagery can be a great tool to prepare for your experience. Many women find that visualization and positive affirmations help with connecting them to their baby and providing confidence before and during their labor.

Relaxation - Practice relaxation every day, so that it is second nature when giving birth. When your body is relaxed your baby and uterus are getting adequate blood flow to facilitate the process of birth.

Team - Surround yourself with supportive people who encourage you in your goals and who are knowledgeable about the body's abilities to give birth.

Home - Stay home as long as possible to establish active labor. Many women leave for the hospital or birth center in early labor when they hoped to arrive in active labor.
Chava Allgood

"The sight and touch of her child provides the natural thrill that accompanies the reality of possessing a coveted prize; its greeting cry imprints such joy upon her consciousness that for all time she can return to that sweet music and live again the crowning moments of her life. No woman ever forgets the first scream of her baby - it demands so much, it is vehement and appealing and yet the infant is so helpless of itself to survive. It is a call that vitalizes mother love...."  

- Grantly Dick Read