The Benefits of Unmedicated Natural Birth

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The Benefits of Natural Birth

As a birth coach, I’m here to support your birth choices, whatever they may be. But to make informed decisions, we need to talk about all the options – including the benefits and potential downsides of both medically managed and natural birth. So let’s dive into all your options! 

Medically Managed Birth: A Closer Look

It’s easy to assume that ‘new’ medical technology, tools, and drugs are making childbirth safer and easier. But the truth is, most advancements haven’t focused on getting babies out safely, but on helping women get pregnant.

Don’t get me wrong, medical interventions are invaluable when there is a true medical necessity. But sometimes, as Ina May Gaskin says, “Many of our current problems in maternity care stem from the fact that we leave no room for recognizing when nature is smarter than we are.”

In fact, the World Health Organization publicly called for less unnecessary intervention in childbirth back in 1996…and sadly the trends have gotten worse since then.

What Do We Mean By “Undisturbed” Birth?

An undisturbed birth means a hands-off approach. It’s allowing your body and your baby to do what they were designed to do. This natural physiological process often leads to better outcomes for both of you.

Of course, sometimes complications arise and medical attention is essential. But even in those cases, supporting your body’s natural birthing process can still lead to the healthiest outcome for you and your little one. There is no one size fits all, and we certainly do not have to adopt an all-or-nothing approach in birth. 

Tell Me the Benefits of Unmedicated Birth 

Undisturbed birth comes with a ton of benefits for both mama and baby:

  • Hormones: Natural birth lets your hormones work their magic, leading to stronger contractions and a smoother birth experience for your baby. Plus, these hormones help your baby adjust to life outside the womb and get breastfeeding off to a solid start.
  • Pain Management: Your body releases its own natural painkillers to help you cope with contractions. As we see an increase in artificial labor induction, we also see a rise in pain medication, due to the complexities and intensities of Pitocin and other labor augmenting medications. 
  • Less Intervention, More Success: When your body takes the lead, there’s less need for medical procedures during labor and delivery. This means a more natural experience for you, but also a smoother transition earthside for your newborn. 
  • Confidence Building: Natural birth has been shown to leave a mother feeling physically and emotionally strong. Who wouldn’t want to walk into motherhood feeling capable and powerful?

 

It’s All About Trusting Your Body’s Amazing Design

We spend so much time talking about the mechanics of birth that we forget the incredible story: your body is perfectly designed to give birth naturally.

Think about it this way: in the last month of pregnancy, your body prepares for birth – softening your cervix, getting contractions going, and making sure your baby is in an optimal position in your pelvis.

The Magic of Contractions

As labor starts, your body sends signals in the form of contractions. Think of this as your body’s way of guiding you. Let’s reframe this message for a moment: the pain of contractions serves a purpose! It triggers the release of oxytocin, a natural painkiller that helps you manage the sensations more effectively. Plus, oxytocin plays a crucial role in your baby’s smooth descent through the birth canal.

Inner Strength Awakened

As labor progresses, your body releases another amazing thing: endorphins – those natural feel-good chemicals. This uptick in endorphins contributes to a shift from a rational mind-set to focusing inward. Intrinsic experiences become more important than the external environment. As labor progresses and the pain of labor increases, women move into “labor land,” and become much less aware and, at the same time, much more focused on the work of labor- truly tapping into her inner wisdom.

Finding Your Comfort Zone

Natural birth isn’t about being stuck in one position or environment. You get to move freely, listen to music if you want, take a warm bath – whatever helps you feel comfortable and cope with the contractions. This is YOUR birth experience, and you should call the shots, because your body and baby are communicating with you.

Trusting Your Body’s Wisdom

As labor intensifies, you’ll instinctively know how to respond to your body’s signals. You might change positions, make sounds, or even adapt your breathing – it’s all part of the natural birthing process. This not only protects your body but also helps your baby navigate the birth canal safely.

Becoming Hyper-aware

After all the hard work, you’ll experience a surge of adrenaline, keeping you alert for that precious golden hour. As you lay skin to skin with your precious baby, you will regulate each other’s temperature, blood sugar and breathing. This will also aid in the birth of your placenta and establishing a breastfeeding relationship. 

Nature Knows Best

There’s a reason why some women choose natural birth – it’s about trusting your amazing body and its incredible birthing wisdom. It’s about feeling empowered, strong, and totally connected to this incredible thing your body is doing.

Why Not Natural Birth?

The more we learn about how well-designed birth is, the more we might wonder: why not natural birth? It’s a beautiful process that prepares both you and your baby for the journey ahead. It’s never too early and it’s never too late to alter your birth plan and advocate for your deep desires. 

-Coach Lisa

References

Lothian, J. (2000). Why natural childbirth? PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1595040/

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