Few topics are as emotionally charged as the subject of “natural birth.” Inevitably when a woman announces that she is planning on “going natural” when almost everybody else gets an epidural, a few eyebrows are raised. Then of course, somebody asks the question, “WHY?!”
Why choose natural birth? The answers are as varied as the women who choose it. Let’s explore a few reasons why women birthing with us here at Edenway Birth Center say they decided to “go natural.”
~Women are designed to birth~
For many women the idea of having an unmedicated birth just feels right. They have faith in their Creator and they simply believe that they were designed to birth and that their bodies work. Many women believe that they were beautifully and magnificently designed for the special work of women- birth. This belief gives them the desire and the faith to birth naturally.
~Natural birth benefits the baby~
Sarah Buckley, famous natural birther and medical doctor, talks about the many benefits to the baby of natural birth. They include: shorter labor, less instrumental delivery, benefits of normal labor hormones which are disrupted by drugs used to numb pain, negative impact on the fetal heart rate, and transmission of the drug to the baby through the placenta, to name just a few. Truly, a woman who desires a natural birth is not selfish, but is doing a great service to her child. (You can read the whole of Dr Buckley’s thoughts here.)
~Natural birth benefits the mother~
The benefits of natural birth don’t just stop with the baby though. There are numerous benefits for the mother also. A mother who experiences a medicated labor may experience more need for Pitocin in order to speed her labor, changes in her blood pressure due to the medications administered, shivering, increased perineal trauma, hormonal disruptions, and even fever. Not only that, some studies find that women are simply MORE satisfied with their birth experience when they birth naturally.
~Natural birth benefits breastfeeding~
The connection between natural birth and breastfeeding is well documented and vast. Studies have found that drugs in labor can increase jaundice (Pitocin), and decrease the strength of the babies suck reflex (Demerol). Not only that, some of the common newborn procedures that occur during a medicated birth can negatively impact breastfeeding. The increased use of epidurals and thus c-sections causes numerous problems, included delayed onset of milk. (You can read more about the benefits of natural birth on breastfeeding here.)
There are countless reasons to pursue a natural birth, but one of our favorite ones here at Edenway Birth Center is simply that natural birth…is beautiful. We love seeing the way that birth changes the family, the mother, the father, and the baby. We love watching the beauty of new life begin just as it was meant to- naturally and without unnecessary intervention.
We would be honored to join you on your journey.