Return to Pregnancy and Giving Birth Home Page


Birth Options

Birth Videos



Unassisted Birth Tips
Practical Advice for a D-I-Y Homebirth


These unassisted birth tips are tried and tested suggestions by other DIY homebirth couples.

They do not consitute medical advice. Refer to the disclaimer below.

Unassisted Labor

Have all your birth supplies on hand and set them out while you are in early labor.

Take a shower to freshen up and to enjoy the benefits of warm water for pain relief.

Take 800 units of Vitamin E every 3 hours.

Take Arnica 30x to help with pain.

Keep the room temperature comfortably warm.

Walk or move around freely. Try different positions for birth - sitting, squatting, kneeling

Drink healthy, energy-giving drinks frequently and urinate often to keep the bladder empty.

Relax your mouth, drop your jaw and even groan for pain relief. This is said to affect the dilation of the cervix! (Medical science can't explain everything!)

Top of Unassisted Birth Tips

Procedure to Check Your Own Cervical Dilation

This is optional and to prevent infection, it should only be done if your water hasn't broken.

Scrub your hands with soap, then insert your finger tips inside to reach the cervix. An undilated cervix feels like the tip of your nose, firm but flexible. As the cervix begins to soften and thin out, it will feel more like your ear lobe.

If you are dilating, you will feel the opening. A semi-circular opening will indicate progress but you are not yet in serious labor. A round opening indicates that labor is not far away. If you feel a protrusion of the amniotic sac, then your baby's birth is not far off.

To determine the amount of dilation, measure from rim to rim, from one side to the other. Each finger-width is about 2 centimeters. Dilation is complete at 10 centimeters.

Top of Unassisted Birth Tips

Perineal Support

Massage the perineal area with warm oil, especially the rear side which is the most likely place to tear. Support the perineum during the birth with gentle pressure using your hands or a warm compress.

Warm compresses help with stretching the skin to prevent tearing. Keep the area pinkish. If it turns white, it is possibly about to tear, so rub the area gently to stimulate the blood flow to the area.

Top of Unassisted Birth Tips

Tips for Giving Birth

Don't push forecefully unless you have an uncontrollable urge to push. Your uterus is quite capable of pushing the baby out gently and naturally. If you rush it or push too hard, you are more likely to tear, so stay calm and breathe your baby out!

Click here for Tips to Avoid Tearing (and Episiotomy).

As the baby's head emerges, immediately check for the cord around the neck. If it is there, you will probably be able to slip it off the shoulder or off the top of the head. Alternatively, hold the head towards your thigh and let the baby's body somersault out.

Do not cut the cord until it stops pulsating and your baby is breathing. It will go limp and look whitish in appearance. You can even cut it after the placenta is delivered.

If your baby does not start breathing spontaneously, then try rubbing the soles of the feet.

Top of Unassisted Birth Tips

Apgar Test

Immediately after the baby is born, you can perform an APGAR test to evaluate the baby. The apgar test is a set of observations performed at 1 minute and 5 minutes after the birth. The scores should improve during the minutes between the two tests.

The baby is evaluated on five different factors and is given a score of 0, 1 or 2. A score of 10 is therefore a perfect score.

The factors to observe are:

  • heart rate
  • respiration
  • muscle tone
  • reflex irritability
  • color

Top of Unassisted Birth Tips


Massage your belly softly, stand up or squat to bring down the placenta. Let it slip out into a bowl or suitable container.

Examine it to make sure that it is whole and intact, no pieces left within the uterus. It should be dark blue-ish red and firm. There are three valves on the cord. One side is rough, red and looks like meat. The other side is smooth, white and shiny. The umbilical cord emerges from this side.

Breast feed your baby as soon after the birth as possible. This will stimulate the production of the hormone, oxytocin, which encourages the blood vessels of the uterus to clamp closed and stop bleeding. Nurse on demand and wear your baby on your body in a sling or baby-carrier as much as possible. There are many benefits to baby-wearing.

Top of Unassisted Birth Tips

Other Tips

Wipe your baby clean with a warm cloth and rub any white vernix coating into baby's skin. It is very nourishing.


If you tore, ask your partner to take a look and see how large the tear is.

First degree is a small tear that will heal on its own. A second degree tear may require one or two stitches. A third degree tear is a tear that penetrates a muscle. A fourth degree tear is a tear through to the rectum. This is unlikely, but would require admission to a hospital for the stitches.

Care of small tears

Use an empty squeeze bottle to spray warm water over the tear every time you urinate. This will soothe any burning sensation and help to keep the area clean.

Rest and keep your knees together to keep the tear closed. Wear clean cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothing for as long as possible.

Calendula oil soaked onto pad is comforting for any tears and Vitamin E oil is soothing for itching skin.

More Unassisted Birth Pages

Unassisted Childbirth Videos

Unassisted Childbirth Supplies

Birth Stories

Birth Options

Back to Unassisted Childbirth

Return to Top

Back to Pregnancy and Giving Birth Home Page



| Home | Birth Videos | Birth Options | Privacy Policy | About | Site Search |

Disclaimer:  All information is provided for informational purposes only, although every effort is made to provide accurate and current information.
The site content is not intended to be or to substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Always seek the advice of a suitably qualified health care professional regarding your individual medical needs.
Pregnancy and Giving is not responsible nor liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis, services or products obtained via this website.

Return to Top of Unassisted Birth Tips
Copyright © 2010-2016, Pregnancy and Giving Birth
All Rights Reserved.