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  • Writer's pictureHands and Hearts Birth

Advantages of a Natural Birth

Updated: Sep 11, 2022

Natural birth is difficult, but a woman's body is designed for this function.

When a woman births without drugs, anesthesia or medical interventions she realizes she is strong and powerful. She grows in self-confidence. She learns she can trust herself, even in the face of powerful authority figures. Once she realizes her own strength and power, she will have a different attitude, for the rest of her life, about pain, illness, disease, fatigue, and difficult situations.

When a mother births without drugs, anesthesia, or medical interventions she will approach mothering differently. She see that it took hard work to bring this child into the world, and it will take hard work to raise this child into an adult. Through all of this she will grow as a person, becoming more confident in her own abilities to handle any situation that she might face, and more take on more responsibility for her own destiny.

Natural birth allows the mother a larger range of options in terms of care giver, places to birth, positions for birth, the conduct an

d delivery of birth. This allows a woman an internal focus of control (where she makes decisions and accepts the challenge of labor personally) versus an external focus of control (where the care giver or hospital makes decisions and challenges of managing the labor).

Natural birth is medically safer for mother and baby. Anesthesia and other interventions, when used without medical indication, present risks to their health, which may include:

~ Drop in maternal blood pressure

~ Drop in fetal heart tones

~ Decrease in uterine contractility

~ Increased incidence of labor dystocia

~ Increased need for Pitocin augmentation

~ Rise in maternal temperature

~ Difficulty for mother in voiding

~ Impairment of maternal pushing ability

~ Increased use of forceps for delivery

~ Increased use of episiotomy and greater perineal trauma

~ Increase in need for cesarean section

~ Increased incidence of fetal hypoglycemia

~ Increase in need for sepsis workup for baby: spinal tap, IV, prophylactic antibiotics, 3-7 day stay in the nursery

~ More maternal/infant separation

~ Increase in breastfeeding problems

~ Greater incidence of anesthesia headache for mother

~ Increased likelihood of separation from family

~ Greater likelihood of postpartum back pain for mother

~ Increased chance for nerve pa

lsy or paralysis for mother

Of course all of the planning and preparing for a more natural birth experience goes out the window if mother or baby are not healthy, or progress of labor is clearly not normal. Mom and Baby should always be the top priority

Every step of birth impacts another step.

For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.

Before you can truly give informed consent, you need to fully understand those equal and opposite reactions for yourself as well as for your baby.

1. Thorp,James, et. al. The Effect of continuous epidural analgesia on cesarean section for dystocia in nulliparous women, American Journal or Obstetrics/Gynecology, September, 1989, p.670-675.

2. Perez,Paulina and Snedeker, Cheryl, Special Women: The Role of the Professional Labor Assistant, Pennypress, 1990. p. 64-65. Used with permission By Polly Perez BSN RN, ,CD

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