Why are Women Choosing Natural Childbirth

by : Carol Stack

Many women choose natural childbirth in order to participate fully in the birth of their baby and to have control over the birthing experience. By choosing natural childbirth, she will be using a minimum of routine interventions during labor and is expecting to be unmedicated throughout the birth.

Natural childbirth means that the birthing mother accepts that she will probably feel pain and discomfort as part of labor and birth. Positive aspects of natural childbirth include no loss of sensation. She will also remain alert during labor and birth.

By choosing natural childbirth, you can move around freely and use whatever positions you find comfortable throughout labor. Many women feel a sense of empowerment or accomplishment after giving birth unmedicated. Even though they had pain, many choose to remain unmedicated for future births.

Most techniques advocated with natural childbirth are non-invasive. Partners and other family members will feel more involved as they help the mother cope and work through her contractions.

Childbirth classes teach techniques to help the mother attain a natural childbirth. These techniques may be practiced before labor begins. By practicing and understanding these techniques, some of the fear and anxiety she may be experiencing is lessened.

Unlike an epidural, these techniques do not remove the pain. They give you means to cope with it. If you still find that you cannot deal with the pain, an epidural or other pain relief can be given in the hospital if you are not too close to delivery.

Getting ready for natural childbirth helps a family prepare for their new baby. First, you develop your birth plan. This is a written plan for you and your caregivers that give them an idea of your wishes during labor and birth.

You can have a natural childbirth without drugs in a hospital, a birthing center or at home. Birthing centers are an option that is family-centered and is a compromise between a hospital and birthing at home. Hospitals are moving towards this design by calling their maternity wards birthing centers, and creating a more home-like environment. Relaxed visitation hours are often employed.

Achieving a natural childbirth can be easier when you use a midwife, a doula or other birth attendant. Midwives are familiar with comfort measures to help you cope with labor pain without resorting to drugs, and can provide a more personalized prenatal care routine than you can get from an obstetrician.

If you have an obstetrician, your labor care will be provided by the hospital nurses. Some nurses have studied natural techniques, but they are only available until their shift is over. You may get assigned a nurse on the next shift whose preferred method of labor management is to repeatedly offer an epidural.

Even if your heart is set on a natural childbirth, it is important to remain flexible. No one can predict how labor will flow, and sometimes interventions are truly needed.

Studies have proven that if a woman has continuous support, they are less likely to need pain medication for labor and delivery than if they are alone or feel unsupported. Partners can learn to do this in childbirth classes, and doulas can be hired to help. Unlike nurses, doulas don't work by shifts... they are there for the duration of the birth.

Studies have also proven that mothers who prepare with certain types of pain management methods before labor are more likely to succeed in having the birth they want. Breathing, positioning, relaxation, hypnosis, acupuncture, massage and hydrotherapy are a few choices a woman may look at when deciding how to prepare for birth.