Natural childbirth is a method based on the philosophy that women are adequately equipped to give birth naturally, without medical intervention. The application of this philosophy can be varied, as it is based on each individual woman’s perception of what she deems ‘natural’. It may range from no intervention at all to limited intervention when deemed appropriate.
Natural Birth Stories in History
Benefits of Natural Childbirth
Giving birth naturally requires a positive attitude. Each woman’s body and each case of birth is unique, so listening to your friends’ natural birth stories, especially if they are negative, will only serve to frighten you. Giving birth naturally allows you to be more in control of your body and your labor. This method is noninvasive and poses little harm for your baby. Despite having to endure labor pains without medication, giving birth naturally will leave you with a great sense of accomplishment.
Pain Management During Delivery
Prepare for natural childbirth by taking birthing classes, reading books on the subject, and practicing breathing and relaxation techniques. When the time comes for giving birth naturally, there are many methods of pain management including massage, hypnosis, hydrotherapy, and acupressure. Changing positions, using hot compression packs, or getting personalized labor support from a midwife can also help in your pain management efforts.
There are many methods of natural birth ranging from water birth to home birth with a midwife. If you are unsure natural childbirth is the way to go and are concerned your pain may be too great, you can always decide to opt for medication while at the hospital.
Epidural: Popular Alternative to Natural Childbirth
The main pregnancy related basic medical intervention is an epidural. An epidural is a popular medical procedure which presents little risk for the baby and greatly helps decrease your labor pain. The epidural is administered by an anesthesiologist through a catheter inserted into your back that delivers the drugs. It takes about 15 minutes to kick in.
Most epidurals will eliminate all contraction pain by numbing the lower area of your body. However, some hospitals offer a combined spinal epidural, also known as a walking epidural, which relieves some pain but still enables you to feel your leg muscles.