You might be surprised to hear that many women are deciding to use an epidural during labor or even choosing to get a Caesarean section unnecessarily, in order to avoid going through natural childbirth.
A natural childbirth generally means a vaginal birth without the use of medications for relieving pain. Although it has the stigma of being a painful or traumatizing experience, natural childbirth has many benefits. Here are some of the reasons why you should opt for natural birth.
- It’s Less Risky. As with any medication, there are risks of side effects or complications with the epidural. If the dosage turns out to be too large or if it sinks down in the sacrum, the muscles might relax too soon and result in the baby’s “failure to descend.”
- The Pain Is Useful. Nature deliberately made pain a part of the birthing process. It helps the mother to stay in tune with what her body is doing during labor and allows her to feel the endorphins that are released as a natural pain reliever.
- Empowerment. Some women experience a great feeling of confidence and satisfaction from giving birth the way it was intended. That feeling of empowerment can carry over into everything from parenting to a career.
- Faster Recovery Time. After giving birth, you’ll want to spend time with your newborn baby and resume your responsibilities, but that can take longer with major surgery such as Caesarean section or with medications from an epidural. Natural childbirth affords you the best chance of a quick recovery.
- You Are Fully Present. Having a baby is a very special moment, and women have described it as everything from inspiring to surreal to spiritual. As one of the defining aspects of being a woman, it’s worth knowing what natural childbirth is like and being fully present for the event.
- Reduce Other Interventions. There’s a cascading effect that happens when you get the epidural. Suddenly, you have a more difficult time actually delivering the baby and that means the doctors might have to use other means such as forceps, vacuum extraction, catheters and other unwanted means. Natural childbirth reduces the likelihood of other interventions.
The Bottom Line:
Clearly, there are some compelling reasons to give natural childbirth a try. From reduced risk for you and your baby to an unforgettable feeling that connects you to the experiences of other women, natural birth has its benefits.
Still, it could make you nervous to commit to giving birth without any pain relief. That’s why, if you’re having the baby in a hospital, you can be comfortable knowing that there are medical personnel present who can help you if you end up needing medication or other interventions. Unless you already have some reservations for why natural childbirth won’t work well for you, it very well might be worth giving it a shot. The real question you should ask yourself is, “What reason do I have not to try?”