Benefits of a Natural Childbirth
A natural childbirth — meaning an un-medicated birth — has a number of benefits that we want women to know about. Pain medication and epidurals have become so normal in our society that doctors assume patients want one, and women completely expect one. Epidurals, cesarean sections and induction seem to be the norm these days and having an intentional natural birth is actually very uncommon. We are going to give you the breakdown on the many different benefits of an un-medicated birth. Read on to find out how you (yes, you!) can do it too.
There are a number of benefits to everyone involved in a natural childbirth. Benefits for mom, dad and baby can be seen when an un-medicated birth happens. First, lets go over some of the benefits for mom (and dad).
Benefits for mom
Feeling: Perhaps one of the biggest advantages moms have when delivering a baby naturally is that she can feel everything. Women who have not had an epidural report being able to feel the baby moving down inch my inch. They also say that, with more feeling, they know exactly when to push and for how long. The chance of having an episiotomy or 3rd and 4th degree tears decreases significantly when the mother has all feeling.
Partnership: If you are going to birth naturally, you are going to need a lot of support from your partner. This means your partner can be more involved by helping you with pain coping techniques, getting you water and ice chips, and just being close by.
Empowerment: Let’s face it, natural child birth is just straight up empowering for women. Women who deliver naturally usually feel an amazing sense of empowerment along with a strong sense of accomplishment post delivery.
Intervention: Women who have an epidural are more likely to endure some form of intervention while delivering her baby. Such interventions could include, pitocin (for inducement), vacuum extraction or forceps delivery amongst many others.
Shorter labor: Women who avoid any medication tend to have a shorter labour than those who receive the medications. Epidurals can often to lead to a slower delivery because the body has a natural way of labouring, and pain medication can slow down or interfere with contractions.
Movement: Women who receive an epidural are usually asked to stay in the hospital bed for as long as labour and delivery lasts. Some hospitals will administer a walking epidural, but even in that case you must be constantly hooked up to a drip. Movement can be a huge pain coping technique for you to use to your advantage. Another “pro” with being able to move is that you get to go to the washroom. Movement can also help to reduce the risk of a cesarean section, forceps and vacuum extraction because it allows the mother the freedom to move around however she feels comfortable and will instinctively use positions to encourage her baby to move around for the perfect position for birth.
Pain Relief: Hot water is a major pain reliever but if you have an epidural you will not be able to take advantage for the hot shower and/or bath.
Recovery: Recovery seems to be much quicker for a new mom who didn’t receive an epidural. Moms who delivered naturally did not have tubes and needles stuck in to them and were not drugged, makes it easier for mom to get up and walk around shortly after birth if she wants. Endorphins are released when a mom delivers naturally and she’ll experience that euphoric feeling, which actually helps the body deal with pain better.
Choice of birthplace: The best thing about having an un-medicated birth is that a woman can choose exactly where she wants to birth her baby. You have way more option than a woman who knows she will need an epidural will. You may choose to birth at home, a birthing center or in a hospital.
Choice of birthing position: Not everyone has to have a baby on their back laying down in a hospital bed. Perhaps you want to be in a birthing tub or in the squatting position or, perhaps, on the ground on all fours. If you are are hooked up to drips, and can’t feel your legs, some of these positions just aren’t going to work for you.
No Side effects: Epidurals can cause some pretty awful and serious side effects. Common side effects can include severe headaches that can last many weeks after birth, postpartum urinary track infection and dysfunction, increased risk of postpartum hemorrhaging, postpartum back pain that can last anywhere from weeks after giving birth to a life time. Those are some of the more common side effects but here are some less likely side effects that could take place: convulsions, cardiac arrest, respiratory paralysis, severe reaction to medication, and death.
Benefits for Baby
Research has show that once a baby is delivered naturally it is often more aware and more interested in nursing straight away. Any pain medication a women receives may be passed onto the baby, although this is widely disputed. Think about it this way: if mom and baby have not been medicated in any way, than the natural instincts come through normally between a mother and her baby can happen right away. Baby will not have any medications in her body
There will be a lower risk of fetal distress during labor and delivery. Once an epidural is given it can slow down labor which then increases your chance of receiving pitocin to then speed up contractions. At that time, contractions can come on so fast and so strong that there is not any recovery time in between them. This means there is less oxygen getting to the baby which could possibly damage its brain.
It has been seen through the eyes for many doctors, midwives and ob/gyn’s that babies who are delivered naturally come into the world much more alert than babies who were birthed under drugs. Babies who are birthed naturally are usually more connected to their mothers, they can use their instincts better and are generally more responsive.
- Removes other dangers:
Birthing naturally removes any chance that you or your baby are coming into contact with any toxins. Sometimes anesthesia can do more home to the mother and baby, but birthing naturally can totally eliminate this. Often, a mother doesn’t know if she is pushing correctly because the epidural leaves her without any feeling. This is when the use of forceps are most often used. Forceps are know for hazards they may bring. For example, they can leave marks on the baby’s head for a very long time, or they could even cause brain damage. A woman who has not had an epidural can feel her baby moving down, and knows when to push. Because of this, the use of forceps greatly decreases.
Looking for Un-Maternity Wear?
If you need to add some maternity clothing to your wardrobe, but don’t want to spend money on pieces you’ll only wear for a short period of time, then head on over to Melody Lane for the best in regular clothing that is versatile enough to wear before, during, and after pregnancy! They offer trendy, classic, and comfortable clothing that is hand-picked for all the life stages women usually experience. With nothing over $100, always free shipping, and new styles featured every season, Melody Lane makes sure your “fashion meets life”.
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Lauren is a new mom living in Toronto, Canada. When she is not at home being a mom, she is working full time as a model, playing competitive baseball, and working on her personal blog. In her “spare” time, Lauren is aspiring to become a childbirth educator. You can find her at Lauren Hardy Blog