article by BYG Publishing
A natural birth (also known as an unmedicated birth) is just that – it is the delivery of a baby without using drugs or surgery during birth. A common phrase heard when talking with people about natural birthing practices is, “birth is a natural process, not a medical procedure.” In today’s society this is definitely a radical concept for most doctors, but it is true nonetheless. You really can have a beautiful, drug-free experience in childbirth even if you have your baby in a hospital. You simply need to know it is possible, you need to find a doctor (or midwife) who will support you in your point of view, and you need some training to help you prepare yourself so you can let nature take its course.
The advantages of a natural childbirth are huge. You learn about all of the advantages when you take a natural childbirth class such as those offered under the Bradley method. Here are the three big advantages:
1. Natural childbirth is much better for the mother. The mother has a completely different experience during birth if she is not drugged – a significantly more fulfilling and beautiful experience. She also feels much more in control of her body and the health of her baby.
2. Natural childbirth is much better for the baby. The baby arrives in an undrugged and therefore much more active and alert state. It is amazing to see videotapes showing the differences between drugged and undrugged babies immediately after birth. Undrugged babies are active and responsive. Drugged babies can barely move.
3. Natural childbirth is much better for the family. When an alert and active (undrugged) baby is placed on the abdomen of an alert and undrugged mother, an amazing thing happens: the baby and mother bond in a significant and real way. The baby will naturally find the breast and begin feeding. The baby will make significant eye contact with the mother and father and respond to them. This simply does not happen when mother and child are drugged, and as a result breastfeeding starts off on a much rockier road.
Make no mistake about it – you cannot have a natural childbirth in today’s society unless you take active steps to make it happen. You and your spouse must decide in your own minds that you want a natural birth. You must find a doctor or midwife who supports that decision. You and your spouse must train for the birth so you know what to expect, how to manage pain and what to do at different stages of the birth. You also need to prepare a birth plan so that you can state your desires about a host of variables including: drugs, fetal monitoring, episiotomies, IVs, birth positions, etc. The first time you look into birth plans, the number of options is bewildering. It is amazing how all of these options actually make sense once you have done the research into the type of birth you want.
There are a number of different ways for you to have a natural birth. Here are the five most common:
- With an “enlightened” doctor at a hospital
- With a midwife at a hospital
- With a midwife at a birthing center
- With a midwife at home
- Unassisted at home
You can look at these options, weigh the risks and benefits, and choose the style that works best for you.
(For more information on BYG’s take on Birth Plans, Natural Childbirth topics, Birth Assistants (Doulas), and Midwife visit bygpub.com)