10 Advantages of a Natural Birth 

The advantages of a natural birth are well documented, but not broadly understood. The miraculous experience of labor and childbirth can seem daunting, but it's important to remember that a woman's body was created to handle natural delivery - without medical intervention.

Natural Birth Midwife: Image of smiling parents with newborn baby.

Welcome back, Mama!  This is Part 1 of a 5 part series which will demystify your birth options and understand the benefits of natural birth.  As we shared in the Introduction, our topics include:

  1. What are the advantages of a natural birth?  How does it differ from a typical hospital birth?
  2. How much does a natural birth cost?  Does insurance cover it?  How can I pay for it?
  3. Does a natural birth hurt more than a hospital birth?  How can I manage without pain medication?
  4. How does a midwife compare to a doula compare to an OB / GYN?  Who should I have on my natural birth support team?  
  5. What is the single most important thing I can do to prepare for a natural birth, regardless of the care setting I choose?

By the end of Part 5 you will have your personal answer to the most important question:

What is the right kind of pregnancy and birth experience for YOU Mama?

AND for your baby?

And as I shared earlier, I am here to help.  Please ask me any question, any time, using the ASK ME button below.

If you did not see my Introduction and would like more information about me, you can find it here. In the meantime, let's talk about the advantages of natural birth.

Remember:  Pregnancy is Not a Medical Condition

In our modern world filled with medical technologies, it’s easy to believe that pregnancy and childbirth are “conditions” that need to be “treated” like a disease. Expectant mothers are often concerned about health issues and all the things that could potentially go wrong. 

But childbirth is not a disease. As I shared in the Introduction, the vast majority of new moms have low-risk pregnancies and delivery occurs without complications, making most moms a good candidate for a natural birth. 

While there are certainly exceptions, requiring the occasional emergency c-section, it’s important to remember that problems with the birth experience are just that, exceptions.

Natural childbirth is defined as a vaginal delivery involving no medical interventions such as forceps, vacuums, or epidurals. 

Medically trained professionals like licensed midwives and doulas are available to assist with natural, unmedicated birth, whether the birth itself takes place in a hospital, stand-alone birth center, or at home.

Some of the Advantages of a Natural Birth

For the vast majority of women, natural childbirth is not only safe and possible, but also has many advantages for both the mother and newborn child. Here are some of the biggest benefits of a natural birth plan:

Natural Birth Midwife:  Image of blissful Tiffany and with newborn, being examined by midwife.

1. Perfect Timing

Your baby and your body know when it’s the right time to begin the labor process. Natural childbirth means the best timing for a baby's arrival. Interventions such as cesarean section and inductions are often scheduled for the convenience of the healthcare provider, and in some cases, can cause more difficulties if your body or baby is not ready.

2.  Freedom to Move

Contractions during active labor serve a purpose in the delivery process, but they can certainly be uncomfortable.  Freedom to move can ease the discomfort and help move the process along. The ability to change positions when desired is obviously more difficult if you’re being machine monitored or have an epidural.

3.  Lower Risk of Complications

Unfortunately, many medical interventions and drugs can have side effects or unintended consequences. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, “there is an increasing body of research that suggests that the routine use of each of these interventions, rather than decreasing the risk of trouble in labor and birth, actually increases complications for both women and their babies.”

4. Less Vaginal Tearing

When labor progress occurs naturally without pain medication, it’s easier to push instinctively, rather than simply 'on command' from the health care provider, reducing the likelihood of tearing.

5.  Shorter Pushing Time

Labor pain helps tell the body what is happening and what to do. Medicated pain management can interfere with the body's natural impulses during childbirth (remember, there are many natural approaches to pain management and relaxation techniques that we will discuss in Part 3 (link().  Being able to feel contractions means that you’re working with your own body instead of against it as baby progresses through the birth canal.

6.  Sense of Accomplishment

Everyone takes pride in completing something “all on their own."  Childbirth is no different. The sense of accomplishment felt by mama after such a magnificent achievement is usually more powerful than anything she has done before.  I know that sounds dramatic, but I hear it every day from the mothers in my care.  It is definitely one of the advantages of a natural birth.

7.  Immediate Bonding

Mothers that choose natural childbirth are often alert and ready to breastfeed immediately after delivery, which leads to immediate bonding.

8.  Fewer Side Effects

While it’s true that your body will need time to heal after labor and delivery, natural childbirth means you’re only healing from the birth - NOT recovering from the side effects of medications and other interventions as well.

9.  Faster Recovery

When comparing a vaginal birth with a c-section birth, the National Partnership for Women and Families, reports that “even though labor and vaginal birth can be hard work, they are generally easier on a woman's body than a cesarean. Recovery after vaginal birth is usually shorter and less painful than after a C-section, and allows the woman to spend more time with her baby.” Any medical assistance including forceps or vacuum assist, epidurals, or other interventions can also lengthen recovery time.

10.  Ability to Return Home Sooner

Most new mothers are anxious to return home after labor and delivery to begin the joyous and challenging process of child-raising. Since natural childbirth means a faster physical recovery and fewer side effects to monitor, it’s easier to make that transition.

It’s important that women and their support team decide what is best and most comfortable for them when it comes to labor and delivery. The advantages of a natural birth are many and deserve consideration during this exciting time. 

Questions for Part 1

Choose the statement that is MOST true for you at this point of our discussion (you can always change it later):

CHOICE A: I want the certainty and safety of a hospital birth experience

CHOICE B: I want the personal choice and control of a natural birth experience

Now you may be asking:   Do I have to choose between A and B?   What if I want a little of both?  Can’t I have the best of both worlds from my health care team?

Spoiler alert:  Yes, you can!  Later on in this series I will show you how.  For the moment, just choose the answer that is ‘most’ like you.

We will refer back to your choices as we move forward in this series.  By the end of part 5, you will have all the tools and information you need to make an informed decision about Natural Childbirth.

Quick reminder:  Don't forget to  Ask me ANY question that has occurred to you as you read this letter.  Simply tap the ASK ME button below.  I will make every effort to get back to you within 24 hours.

In Part 2 we will focus on the questions:  "How much does it (natural birth) cost?  Will Insurance pay for it?"  I can’t wait to tackle this important topic with you. 

In the meantime, thank you for your continued interest in Natural Birth Midwife.  I'll see you in Part 2!

Warmly –

Paula Grady LM, CPM

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