The term “natural childbirth” or “natural labor” can have a variety of definitions, depending on whom you speak with. I believe that NATURAL means NOTHING. It does not exclusively refer to pain management. This means no induction i.e. sweeping membranes, foley bulb, artificial rupture of membranes (AROM), Pitocin, I.V fluids etc. Your baby comes when they are ready with no pokes or prods whatsoever. The way nature designed, the way God intended. The term “natural birth” has also been termed “pure birth”.
God, the Creator of the heavens and earth, designed our amazing bodies to nurture, develop, labor and birth children. What an awesome privilege to experience pregnancy and to bring a beautiful child into this world. A passage from being a woman into motherhood. For thousands of years women have been birthing babies. Trust in Him. Trust you body in birth. You can do it.
As a doula, I want to educate and empower you to consider a natural birth, not only in the physical sense, but mentally and spiritually. Surround yourself with women that have had positive birthing experiences; whether it be friends, films and books. As a mother of 4 natural childbirths once told me, “Nothing is better than looking into your babies eyes and having them not be clouded by drugs.”
In the United States, our cesarean section rate has raised to an historical, astronomical high of around 35%. Medical interventions and maternal mortality have risen, since our model of care has shifted from the home to the hospital. At the hospital, understand that the sand-filled-hour-glass is turned over once you walk through the door. The scenerio 5 times out of 10 typically plays out as follows: Woman admitted to hospital. Woman induced. Woman receives Pitocin to increase and strengthen contractions. Woman receives epidural to cope with contractions. Woman put on oxygen due to fetus in distress. Then the woman either ends up getting vacuumed or forceped or ultimately c-sectioned–because 1. she does not have enough sensation to push effectively–ineffective pushing exhausts woman or 2. epidural stalls labor or 3. has a malpositioned baby or 4. fetal distress brought on by the induction and Pitocin or 5. all of the above! I’ve seen it over and over again and it’s heartbreaking. Be educated. Be well prepared. Take childbirth classes that prepare your mind AND your body. (See Resources section.) Be well informed of medical interventions. Please also understand you need to be flexible and fluid with your birth plan. Only God knows how your birth will play out. Complications are rare in labor, but if you have a basic understanding and knowledge of variations from the “norm”, you will better be able to make decisions accordingly.
My 2 cents, if you are considered a low-risk pregnancy, have your baby out-of-hospital. This could be in the comfort of your own home or at an alternative birthing center with midwives. There is nothing like being in the comfort of your own home, with your family, with all of your things, wearing what you want, where you feel safe, you are relaxed, you may be able to go outside, take a bath, lie in bed and eat and drink what you want! If you’re thinking about the “what ifs,” there are always back up plans in place. Again, complications are rare and are typically discovered well in advance. You can always look into it with no cost or commitment. ♥
Please visit Giving Birth Naturally. “Our mission is to encourage each woman giving birth naturally to make informed decisions and to stimulate open, honest discourse with care providers to improve outcomes for the families they serve. We provide evidence-based resources from a variety of reputable sources: peer-reviewed research, scientific journals, government statistics, & guidelines for prenatal and postpartum care.” http://www.givingbirthnaturally.com/
Want a waterbirth? Can’t have that waterbirth you wanted? Stay at home longer by laboring in a birthing pool! Laboring in water has PROVEN physical and emotional benefits! http://www.birthpoolinabox.com
10 Methods For Natural Pain Relief In Labor. (Click on to enlarge).