Why a natural birth?
Due to our culture today, most of us find ourselves faced with the question of having a natural or medicated birth. When medicated birth appears to be the “normal” we are left to question its counter part natural birth. We often ask…. Why would or should I birth naturally?
Common motives for a women to have a natural birth are physical, mental, and even spiritual. In the following I list some reasons women give for having a natural birth.
Safety- For many mothers this is the primary reason they choose a natural birth. A cesarean section is major abdominal surgery and most will agree that its risks are great in comparison to a normal vaginal birth. Drugs and interventions raise the risk of having a cesarean birth especially when used in compound. Along with a cesarean, the use of drugs or interventions can increase the chance of many other issues with mother and infant (hemorrhaging, perennial tearing, infant being lethargic at birth, respiratory issues for baby, difficulty breastfeeding, and the list goes on).
Want to be a Participant- When having a medicated birth you body is no longer functioning normally, because of this you need to be observed by a monitor and need to be told when and how to do things. Even basic things like peeing or pushing out your baby are now tasks that are hard to manage without more interventions. Examples being a catheter or a person telling you when to push. For some women this is a far cry from what they want. Through relaxation and movement moms find themselves in a sort of dance with their babies. Feeling their birth allows many women to feel apart of their birth.
Needing to know that their body works- Many women share stories about infertility, not being the “average” size body, or even sexual abuse and how natural childbirth proved to themselves that their bodies were not “broken”.
Showing that their body works- Women know that their bodies work and that childbirth is not a sickness but a natural process of the body. These women want to show others that they need not be saved by the medical model. Often these women feel a duty to correct the stigma or social role that their society has placed upon them.
Pain relief for baby- When using an epidural women do not release the amount of pain relieving endorphins that they usually would. Because the mom is not creating the endorphins the baby is not getting any either. Though the mother may not be feeling any more pain because she has an epidural, the baby no longer has its natural pain reliever during the birth.
Religious/Spiritual- Many women decide to have a natural birth because they feel more connected to God, ancestors, or other women when they labor and birth.
A general fear of needles etc.- Some women’s greatest motivation is to avoid needles, episiotomies, and other hurtful and/or scary things.
Oxytocin crave- After a woman gives birth naturally she will have higher oxytocin levels in her body than at any other moment in her life. This hormone of love is an addictive feeling! You find your self so happy and over the moon in love with your partner and your baby. Heck, some women find themselves desperately wanting (or you do) to make love with their partner during labor.
Freedom/Control- Women know that when they birth naturally they have the freedom to move, eat, and do what feels best. Some women want to know that they have control over their body and not someone else.
These ideas are just tips of the iceberg. I myself was originally motivated by the fact that I did not want anyone to decide how many children I had. I knew that if I had one or ten children it would be my decision, my husband’s, and God’s. I knew from studying that if I chose drugs or other interventions my chance of a cesarean would rise. I also knew that if I had a cesarean that many doctors would feel strongly that I should only have cesareans thereafter and that those cesareans would be numbered. After having an amazing natural birth I find that I want my future babies to be born naturally for hundreds of reasons.
So why a natural childbirth?
There are many reasons… you just have to pick one.
Written by a fellow instructor- Kendra Parry, BBCI