Natural Birth



 What is Natural Childbirth?

In short, natural childbirth is simply childbirth without any medical interventions which includes the use of epidurals, Pitocin, forceps  vacuum extractions, cesareans (C-Sections)  and any other unnatural process of delivering a baby.

Before the introduction of advance medicine and hospitals, childbirth was a natural process.  Women would give birth at home without the need for any medical interventions.  All that was needed was close friends and family or a birth doula to support and guide the mom to be through one of the most beautiful and fulfilling experience of  her life.

Today, we strayed from natural labor and delivery primarily due to the introduction  of modern medicine.  Somehow we were duped in believing that birthing naturally was not the most favorable way to give birth.   As a consequence of medicated birth came the use of many unnatural practices that led to  longer labors, higher percentage of  C- sections,  less success for delivering successfully after a cesareans and an increase in postpartum depression.

However, recently lots of women have been opting to go the natural labor route especially with documentaries like “The Business of Being Born” by Ricki Lake which revealed the business like practices associated with birthing in the hospital setting.

One of the appeal of a medicated birth is the pain relief that comes from using an epidural. An epidural anesthetic is used to numb  the area below the waist of the laboring woman which drastically reduces the discomfort associated with labor pain.  However, introducing an epidural to reduce pain also dramatically reduced the physical sensation in that area and the  ability of the women to be alert and in control of her body in order to effectively and  naturally delivery her newborn.   So the question then becomes:  How do you manage natural childbirth pain?

Natural childbirth classes

Natural Childbirth classes can help with preparing the pregnant women to manage the pain that comes with a natural delivery.  These classes teaches  parents how to use  natural childbirth methods and techniques  to overcome the pain or manage the pain that comes with natural labor.  These can include breathing techniques  massages,  hydrotherapy, acupressure and hypnotherapy   There are a variety of natural childbirth methods you can use which will ultimately dictate the kind of class you choose to enroll in.  Some of the more popular childbirth classes  include The Bradley Method, Lamaze, Hypnobirthing and the Alexander Technique   It all depends on what feels is right for you.

What are the benefits of a Natural Birth?

Now that you know a little background  what are the benefits of having a natural childbirth?  Benefits of natural childbirth are many. Studies show that having birth naturally shortens labor,  reduces the need for cesareans,  the newborn is more likely to breastfeed due to him/her being more alert, mom and baby are healthier  i.e possible reduction of neurological problems for baby.  Shorter recovery time for the new mom.  Lots of new moms experience a euphoric feeling, which is caused by the release of endorphin in the body during natural labor.  Greater connection between mom and baby – medicine during labor tends to numb the mom’s senses  which leads to a physical detachment from the birthing process and hence the newborn.  And of course the empowerment the new mom has to have delivered her baby naturally.

What ever you decide to do, remember it’s your birth.  There will be cases where you may have to have a medicated birth.  You should consult your partner and doctor to make sure that a natural birth is both safe for you and your  baby.

Written by The Doula Services Network Team
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