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The Complete Guide to Wild Pregnancy and Freebirth

Ready to go through your wild pregnancy on your own terms, trusting in your body and your baby? Do you want to tap into your innate wisdom and intuition to guide you through this journey?

Many pregnant women are fed up with a system that cares more about politics and insurance companies than it does about mothers and babies. Maybe you’ve realized, like so many other expectant mothers, that statistics seem to be getting worse, not better…

…and you want a better way. This guide will cover what wild pregnancy is, potential risks, how to stay low risk, what prenatal care really means, a trimester-by-trimester guide, tips for your freebirth, and more.

What is Wild Pregnancy?

A wild pregnancy is a pregnancy that’s totally on your terms. Generally, pregnant women use this term when they’re not seeking outside prenatal care from a doctor or midwife.

You’re either choosing not to do any “prenatal care” or doing your own monitoring. As I’ll discuss later in this article, no mama ever goes without prenatal care, even if she doesn’t have a provider.

Keep reading, because I’ll share some pros and cons of this approach later in this post.

Following Your Intuition

Wild pregnancy also includes looking to and growing your intuition about what you need for your pregnancy. Many women consider pregnancy a sacred experience for themselves and their babies, and choose a wild experience to honor that.

A new mother may go without a pregnancy test or due date calculations, instead focusing on the growing baby. Or she may have the pregnancy confirmed, then choose no outside follow-up. The expectant mother chooses what she wants regarding modern technology, testing, and monitoring.

The nature of a wild pregnancy means the experience is what it needs to be for you and your baby, so on some levels, it cannot be defined outside of how you experience it!

What is Freebirth?

Many women who choose a wild pregnancy also plan a freebirth. This term means giving birth without a trained birth attendant (typically a doctor or midwife). Some women choose to have a doula or other women friends with them.

Another name for this is unassisted birth or unassisted childbirth. You’ll find many older articles by this name. Still, today many free birthers prefer terms like wild pregnancy and freebirth because they feel “unassisted birth” is used in a derogatory manner by birth attendants.

Generally, a freebirth is a home birth, though some women choose to give birth out in nature, an RV, or other unique surroundings. Just like with pregnancy, there’s a desire to honor the natural birthing process. Physiological birth, or giving birth without interventions that interrupt the birthing flow, is emphasized and desired.

Freebirth is Focused on You and Your Baby

Like wild pregnancy, this can look very different from pregnant woman to woman (and even from birth to birth), but letting your birthing time unfold as it’s meant to for you and your baby is the focus.

Opting out of the medical system and interventions preserves optimal birthing conditions. Even “routine” and “small” interventions like a vaginal exam can disrupt labor and increase pain and tension. 

Many pregnant women want to avoid this completely, and choose to have nobody there who may want to do anything to directly monitor labor progress.

Potential Risks

It’s important to make all choices during your pregnancy and birth from a fully informed place. This is true no matter what kind of pregnancy care you choose – your own or with a midwife or doctor. You are ultimately the one responsible and sovereign in this experience.

Understanding potential risks with pregnancy and birth is important. Society has conditioned us to fear pregnancy and birth, but pregnancy is a normal, natural state for women. Childbirth is a powerful rite of passage with deep meaning, and the process is designed to work intricately and beautifully.

Like all of life, there are risks involved in pregnancy and birth, but most of these are not random risks resulting from bad luck. There are many steps to take to minimize risk and honor what your body and baby need throughout pregnancy and your birthing time.

Assessing Risk

But it’s important to know what can happen. There is a chance that pregnancy complications could arise. While it’s unlikely that any care provider would prevent these through routine monitoring, they may notice signs of complications developing and be able to alert you.

Blood pressure and blood glucose readings may be picked up during routine monitoring. Some congenital birth defects may be picked up during ultrasound scanning.

It’s important to know that many congenital defects cannot be picked up via ultrasound, and the possible side effects of ultrasound technology on babies in the womb are not fully known.

Preventing Complications

Many pregnancy complications, such as pre-eclampsia, fetal growth restriction (IUGR), and gestational diabetes can be prevented when you understand the physiology of pregnancy (click each complication for guidance on prevention). 

Optimal prenatal nutrition, movement, stress relief, and exploring this time of transition through inner work can go a long way towards preventing complications.

Some women may choose informed use of medical technology, such as an ultrasound to scan for c-section scars and placenta location. Scans for placental scars can reassure you that the placenta is far from the scar and unlikely to cause problems during birth.

A truly autonomous pregnancy is one where you chose what is right for you rather than making black and white decisions – do what your intuition tells you is right for you!

Preventing Possible Birth Complications

The same is true of many complications during childbirth, such as maternal exhaustion (being too tired to continue labor) and postpartum hemorrhage. 

When you are well-nourished and low-risk throughout pregnancy and allow the hormonal and physiological blueprint of labor to unfold, birth usually goes smoothly and birth outcomes are good.

It is still important to acknowledge that there are inherent risks in childbirth, and monitoring during birth can help prevent or resolve problems. There are some true emergencies during birth, such as cord prolapse or placental abruption (click here for my emergency childbirth printables).

While these are very rare, and may be related to other complications, they require assistance and can be life-threatening to mother and baby. It’s important to fully understand these possibilities when choosing wild pregnancy and freebirth.

Staying Low Risk

As I noted above, intentionally caring for your pregnant body, mind, and spirit is crucial to staying low-risk.

Your pregnant body is in a beautiful, normal state, but a state with different needs than when you’re not pregnant. We understand that little children have increased nutritional requirements and that teenagers need more calories 🙂 Pregnancy is another life stage with increased nutritional needs.

When you get the right nutrients it helps keep you low-risk. Most women have no idea how the pregnant body changes or how to stay healthy, and many women have spent years ignoring their intution about food. Click here for a good overview on pregnancy nutrition needs.

I do a deep dive into how to stay healthy and low-risk and prepare for an undisturbed birth in my online birthing class, MamaBaby Birthing.

Looking for a natural childbirth course that’s evidence-based AND focused on honoring your intution and power during your birthing time?

Click here for details on MamaBaby Birthing, my complete online birthing course. Used by thousands of birthing families, you’ll be completely prepared for a beautiful, safe, and confident birth experience.

Excellent nutrition prevents many complications I mentioned above, such as late-onset pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, low birth weight babies, fetal growth restriction, and more.

Good diet is critical for all pregnancies, and be especially vigilant if you’re carrying multiples.

The Importance of Movement

Finding time throughout your day for movement is also good for your health during pregnancy. Consider having what Katy Bowman calls “movement snacks” throughout your day – get up and move around!

The human body was created for varied and dynamic movement. Walking, dancing, and prenatal yoga or stretching are ideal for pregnancy. Stay safe, but try to walk or hike on varied terrain to give your body plenty of movement variety.

Gentle stretching and dance also help you explore breathing, which is good preparation for labor. Movement helps with good circulation and alignment so you’re prepared for a smoother, easier birthing time.

Plenty of daily movement, particularly out in nature, is good for emotional health, too. It can alleviate mood swings and help you feel more positive and energetic!

Mental and Emotional Health

Mental and emotional health is a essential to a healthy pregnancy. This is a great time to explore journaling, art, or other practices that help you tune into yourself and explore the profound change of your childbearing year.

Black women, Native American women, Indigenous women, and other minority women may need more time for self-care and more access to support because of the collective impacts of racial trauma on pregnancy and childbirth. Extra support to allow for self-care complements your decisions for your pregnancy and birth.

What Should Prenatal Care Look Like?

We think of “prenatal care” as going to appointments with a doctor, midwife, or similar professional. They monitor you, and may ask or answer a few questions. Then you go about your daily life.

While these appointments serve a purpose and many women find them helpful, YOU are the one doing your “prenatal care” day-by-day! You’re pregnant for around 280 days, and you would see a midwife or doctor only a handful of those days.

You’re taking care of yourself and your baby in the time between appointments, and if you choose a wild pregnancy with no midwife or doctor, you fully do your prenatal care.

This could include some level of standard monitoring, such as checking your own blood pressure regularly. But it centers on how you take care of yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually. That could include:

  • Eating a nourishing pregnancy diet
  • Getting in varied movement each day
  • Spiritual practices that resonate with you (such as prayer, reading, etc.)
  • Exploring your feelings about pregnancy, birth, and motherhood
  • Journaling, art, or any other practice that helps you explore and honor your feelings
  • Talking with your baby
  • Tuning into your baby’s movements
  • Feeling your baby’s position and listening to his/her heartbeat with a fetoscope
  • Monitoring blood pressure, weight, and other clinical signs of health
  • Honoring your body’s needs for rest, hunger/thirst cues, needing to go to the bathroom, etc. (honoring these “small” cues builds your intuition!)
  • Assessing your overall sense of well-being
  • Taking time to do enjoyable things every day
  • Allowing your life to shift as you honor your needs during pregnancy
  • Asking for help with things

Choosing to consult with a midwife, doctor, doula, childbirth educator, pelvic floor specialist, chiropractor, etc. – any practitioner of any modality you want to consult with is also part of your self-care.

“Prenatal care” is really about honoring yourself and what you need during pregnancy.

The birthing year truly is a time of transformation and offers you a chance to tune into yourself, step into your power, and of course connect with your new baby. This is a time for growth and exploration. Enjoy!

Want personal support to stay healthy and low-risk through your pregnancy? Longing for authentic guidance to make your sacred birth dream a reality?

Click to book a pregnancy and birth visioning call with me. We’ll talk about your hopes and dreams and explore if my pregnancy coaching program is a good fit for you.

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Can You Work with Health Care Providers During a Wild Pregnancy?

While some may strictly define no outside professionals during a wild pregnancy, you can choose what you want in this experience.

As you walk through this, you are a sovereign being and an autonomous woman.

You get to talk with your husband or partner during this time, choosing what resonates with both of you. And if you want to consult with a doctor, midwife, naturopath, chiropractor, acupuncturist, holistic doctor, or any other practitioner during this time, you can!

It’s okay to seek medical advice if something comes up and you want that, or even to choose medical support through specific conditions or periods.

Considerations for Consultation

An experienced birth worker may be willing to consult with you and give you insight into your particular questions. They can offer you recommendations about issues you’re experiencing.

This is your pregnancy and birth, so you get to consult with whomever you want to, knowing that you ultimately decide whether to follow that advice or not.

It is essential to realize that medical professionals may be biased toward medical intervention, and they may pressure you to make decisions.

While they’re likely well-meaning and may not even realize that they’re putting pressure on you, you should be aware of power dynamics in the relationship and ultimately make the right decisions for you.

Medical advice is not inherently wrong, and there may be times when the support of a doctor or midwife resonates with you. You get to lead your care and choose wild pregnancy and consultation with birth professionals and alternative care practitioners.

Trimester-by-Trimester Pointers for Wild Pregnancy

I’ll share some specific thoughts and decisions for each trimester briefly below:

First Trimester

Many women experience a wild pregnancy during this trimester because you often don’t get a prenatal appointment until the end of it! But when you intentionally choose wild pregnancy, this is an exciting, even magical, trimester.

Most women are offered a few tests during this trimester:

  • Pregnancy test
  • Ultrasound
  • Doppler monitoring of baby’s heartbeat
  • Genetic testing
  • Prenatal Workup

You do not have to do pregnancy testing to confirm your pregnancy if you don’t want to! Some women want to go by intuition and knowing; if that resonates, you can do that! 

If you need confirmation of pregnancy for any reason (an employer, healthcare benefits, etc.), getting a pregnancy test done at your local health department may be an option. You do not have to seek care after that point, however.

Genetic testing in the first trimester can be both invasive (such as the CSV test) and non-invasive (NIPT) blood screening (your blood is drawn and tested) Click here for more information about first trimester testing and ultrasound.

The “prenatal workup” is a series of blood tests done early in pregnancy. It does a complete blood count, including iron levels, and usually testing for thyroid hormone and other levels. This can be useful information to have, but is optional.

This trimester is often special because you know you’re pregnant but not many others do. You can enjoy the secret and begin the inner work of connecting with your body and growing your intuition.

Hormone levels increase dramatically during this trimester, so even though your baby is tiny, you’ll likely feel more fatigue and may experience other signs such as nausea and bloating. Listening to what your body needs is a cornerstone.

Second Trimester

The placenta fully develops during the second trimester. It takes over hormone production for your body, often bringing some relief and increased energy levels. You may begin to show as your pregnancy progresses.

This is when you’re more likely to get questions about your pregnancy, your doctor or midwife, and your birth plans. It may help to consider how you’ll answer these questions 😉

This is also the time when most families opt for the anatomy scan, an ultrasound scan done around 18-20 weeks of pregnancy. Consider if you want this testing done, and how to talk to those who ask you about it (if you choose to answer any questions).

You’ll also likely feel your baby begin to move, and around 16 weeks or so, you can start listening for your baby via fetoscope – click here and scroll down for a video on listening to your baby in the womb!

Tuning Into Your Baby

This trimester is another good opportunity to tune into your baby and body. You may begin to experience vivid dreams. These pregnancy dreams may give you insight into your baby and what your body needs during this time. And sometimes they’re just crazy (after 8 pregnancies, I’ve found that while I greatly value and vividly remember some of my dreams, others were just strange 😉

As you move toward the third trimester, you may also think more about your baby’s upcoming birth. This is natural and a great time to visualize what you want for yourself and your baby. It’s a good time to discuss changes and shifts in your family with your husband or partner.

(NOTE:Want Labor Pain Techniques that REALLY Work? Get these 11 mom-tested techniques for handling contractions from start to finish Get the mom-tested natural labor techniques here.)

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Your Third Trimester

The third trimester is when you begin to feel nesting urges and really prepare yourself for the birth physically, mentally, and spiritually.  

Continue caring for yourself in the ways detailed above – good nutrition and movement are essential to your ongoing health.

Go back and review in the information on feeling your baby’s position – this is a great time to really feel your baby in your womb and bond with him or her.

This is also an ideal time to go through a childbirth class that honors your freebirth choices.

Read on to the next section for more information on preparing for your baby’s birth:

Your Freebirth

It’s time for your baby’s birth!  Freebirth is exciting, but it helps to know what’s going on during labor!  I’ve written extensively about giving birth and will link to some of the most helpful posts below:

The first is about the stages of labor.  Sometimes moms are unsure if labor is beginning.  Getting excited when you’re in the vital pre-labor stage is okay, but you don’t want to wear yourself out.  

Understanding how your birthing time shifts and changes can help you welcome this time and understand when it’s time to relax and try to rest – or when it’s time to focus all your energy on birthing your baby. This post on what a contraction feels like can also be helpful.

My seventh baby was a beautiful experience.  Read my freebirth labor play-by-play with her here.

Undisturbed birth often moves quickly and can get intense. Though this can be challenging, it often means baby is coming soon.  If needed, take time to change positions between rushes.  This can help you re-center.  Your birth partner can also help you breathe through the waves if they feel overwhelming.

Check out my post on preparing for natural childbirth for how to tune into your body and work with your baby (it includes links to many other resources).

What You Deserve

I’m fully supportive of women choosing to experience wild pregnancy, but I can’t finish out a guide to unassisted pregnancy and birth without noting that many women choose this because they feel they have no other option for respectful care that honors them as birthing women.

That’s a big problem because many women would choose an experienced, respectful woman as a guide if they had that option.

I took time to emphasize that wild pregnancy is on your terms – including if you choose to consult with practitioners of any modality…

…and that’s because you should have a sovereign, automous pregnancy.

You deserve to be honored and respected as the powerful birthing woman that you are.  You are creating your life and co-creating a new life.  That’s a position of honor and power.

I honor and respect you if you choose to walk this path as a wild pregnancy.  I also hope we can bring forth many wise women who are free to serve women fully understanding this place of honor, respect, and sovereignty…

…at home, in birth centers, and in the hospital, because we need them everywhere.  

I offer pregnancy coaching for women worldwide because I feel so strongly that women deserve to have someone who deeply respects them on their team.  If having guidance from an experienced mother and pregnancy health coach resonates with you, feel free to contact me.  While I don’t replace a provider in your area, I can listen to you, help you with childbirth education, custom meal plans, research, support, and more.  

Want personal support to stay healthy and low-risk through your pregnancy? Longing for authentic guidance to make your sacred birth dream a reality?

Click to book a pregnancy and birth visioning call with me. We’ll talk about your hopes and dreams and explore if my pregnancy coaching program is a good fit for you.

Handle Labor Pain

Frequently Asked Questions

Can your first pregnancy be a wild pregnancy?

Yes, your first pregnancy can be a wild pregnancy!  Any mother can choose to walk through her pregnancy and birth experience without a medical provider.  First-time moms should educate themselves on how to stay healthy and low-risk.  You should also understand possible pregnancy and birth complications and how to prevent those or respond to them.

The most important part of choosing wild pregnancy is understanding your responsibility and sovereignty in this process, and doing the practical and inner work to prepare for the journey.

Can a first-time mom have a freebirth?

As noted above, a first-time mother can choose a freebirth or an unassisted birth.  As with wild pregnancy, it’s best if you’ve taken time to educate yourself and prepare for the birthing process.

You don’t have to anticipate complications, but understanding how undisturbed birth progresses can help you navigate through the journey calmly.

Awareness of true emergencies and how to handle them can also increase your confidence.

Can you get prenatal care and then have an unassisted birth?

Yes, some moms choose to have prenatal care with a medical professional or midwife and then have an unassisted birth.  

Some women choose to do this without discussing it with the care provider.  Other providers may be open to this arrangement.  

As with all pregnancy and birth choices, it’s good to explore what you truly desire and why this option resonates with you.

Want more help working through your desires for pregnancy and birth?  It’s my joy and delight to walk beside women during this powerful birthing year journey.  I’m here for you.  Click here to schedule a chat.

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