Advantages of natural childbirth

October 5, 2008

Why choose a natural birth?

Despite the option of a pain free medicated labour, many women choose to give birth naturally. The belief is that natural labor allows you to have more control over your body and your labor choices. With the right preparation, natural childbirth can be a very empowering and satisfying experience for parents.

The advantages of Natural Childbirth

A non invasive labor- natural childbirth aims for minimal intervention throughout labor, and lowers risks to the baby and mother. Studies show that women who have epidurals are more likely to need Pitocin, vacuum extraction or a forceps delivery than those choosing natural childbirth.

Mobility - if you are not medicated or restricted by a monitor or IV, you can move around. This can help lessen the intensity of contractions and allow more control. Many women enjoy the freedom of taking a bath and walking around during labor, rather than being restricted to the bed.

Empowerment - despite the pain, some women feel a strong sense of empowerment and achievement after natural childbirth. They feel that being in control of the labor process and having a positive approach helps them to deal with the pain.

Healthier postnatal period - recovery is usually much easier and quicker after natural childbirth. There is no surgery or medical interventions such as an episiotomy to recover from, and no side effects from the epidural (which sometimes causes headaches and backaches.

Where to give birth?

If you choose a natural childbirth, you have several options where to give birth. You must make an informed choice that feels comfortable and right for you.

Hospital-  it is possible to have a positive natural birth in a hospital. It is important to choose a hospital that supports this type of birth. Midwives are usually trained to give support in drug free labors.

Birthing center - many women like the option of a home like environment combined with some of the medical attention that hospitals provide. Birthing centers generally have a low intervention rate.

Home birth - home births are an option for women who do not have any pregnancy complications. It can offer an intimate birth in the home environment.

Tips for natural childbirth

Supportive practitioner - choose a practitioner who is supportive of natural childbirth.

Birth plan - write a birth plan, so that you can communicate your choices with the people helping you during labor.

Natural childbirth classes - this is a great way to learn breathing techniques and pain management, as well as to meet other parents with similar goals.

Labor assistant - whether you hire a doula for professional support or involve your partner or friend, it's important to have a committed labor partner to give you reassurance and support.

It is good to make informed choices about your ideal labor beforehand, but to remain flexible, as things do not always go exactly as planned. Delivering a healthy baby is the most important goal.

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