Childbirth is one of the most beautiful and natural things that we can experience in our lives, and we want it to be as natural as possible, but also as calm and relaxed as possible. Having a natural and undrugged child birth has plenty of advantages, not only for baby, but also for parents as well.
The Advantages of a Natural Birth
A natural birth (also known as an unmedicated birth) is just that - it is the delivery of a baby without using drugs or surgery during birth. A common phrase heard when talking with people about natural birthing practices is, "birth is a natural process, not a medical procedure." In today's society this is definitely a radical concept for most doctors, but it is true nonetheless. You really can have a beautiful, drug-free experience in childbirth even if you have your baby in a hospital. You simply need to know it is possible, you need to find a doctor (or midwife) who will support you in your point of view, and you need some training to help you prepare yourself so you can let nature take its course.
The advantages of a natural childbirth are huge. You learn about all of the advantages when you take a natural childbirth class such as those offered under the Bradley method. Here are the three big advantages:
- Natural childbirth is much better for the mother. The mother has a completely different experience during birth if she is not drugged - a significantly more fulfilling and beautiful experience. She also feels much more in control of her body and the health of her baby.
- Natural childbirth is much better for the baby. The baby arrives in an undrugged and therefore much more active and alert state. It is amazing to see videotapes showing the differences between drugged and undrugged babies immediately after birth. Undrugged babies are active and responsive. Drugged babies can barely move.
- Natural childbirth is much better for the family. When an alert and active (undrugged) baby is placed on the abdomen of an alert and undrugged mother, an amazing thing happens: the baby and mother bond in a significant and real way. The baby will naturally find the breast and begin feeding. The baby will make significant eye contact with the mother and father and respond to them. This simply does not happen when mother and child are drugged, and as a result breastfeeding starts off on a much rockier road.
Make no mistake about it - you cannot have a natural childbirth in today's society unless you take active steps to make it happen. You and your partner must decide in your own minds that you want a natural birth. You must find a doctor or midwife who supports that decision. You and your partner must train for the birth so you know what to expect, how to manage pain and what to do at different stages of the birth. You also need to prepare a birth plan so that you can state your desires about a host of variables including: drugs, fetal monitoring, episiotomies, IVs, birth positions, etc. The first time you look into birth plans, the number of options is bewildering. It is amazing how all of these options actually make sense once you have done the research into the type of birth you want.
There are a number of different ways for you to have a natural birth. Here are the five most common:
- With an "enlightened" doctor at a hospital
- With a midwife at a hospital
- With a midwife at a birthing center
- With a midwife at home
- Unassisted at home
You can look at these options, weigh the risks and benefits, and choose the style that works best for you.
What is this technique and how does it differ from others?
The Bradley method is just one of numerous childbirth classes expectant parents can take before their baby is born. Developed by Dr. Robert Bradley in the late 1940s, the method emphasizes an extremely natural approach, with few or no drugs and little medical help during labour and delivery. In fact, nearly 90 percent of women who use the Bradley method deliver their babies without medication. The method stresses good diet and exercise during pregnancy, teaches deep relaxation techniques to manage pain, and educates a woman's husband or partner so he can be an effective coach.
Some parents find the method empowering. Emily Shapiro, a mother of two, used the Lamaze method for her first pregnancy but didn't find its breathing techniques helpful for her or her husband, Eric. For their second birth, they decided to try a Bradley class. "The difference was remarkable," she says. "My second baby was actually the first baby that I had the satisfaction of birthing at my own pace using my own strength and knowledge." Today, she teaches the method to expectant parents.
For other parents, the method may not be right. Even though the courses aim to teach you how to avoid unnecessary pain, some women prefer to have pain medication as an option. But many people are attracted by the idea of giving birth to a baby who is not exposed to drugs, and consider the Bradley method for that reason.
Further Information Sources
Books can also be a helpful source of information regarding birth options. “Misconceptions: Truth, Lies, and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood”, Wolf's own first experience with pregnancy and motherhood criticises the failure of the medical establishment to provide pregnant women with a safe, effective, and emotionally supportive environment in which to labour. In a narrative that follows the nine months of pregnancy and the first few months of early parenthood, Misconceptions illuminates the conflicting feelings of inadequacy, fragility and even anger that so many women experience along with their sense of anticipation and joy. “Up the Duff: the real guide to pregnancy” by Kaz Cooke gives a more light hearted look at motherhood. Also recommended: The Complete Guide to Pregnancy, by Sheila Kitzinger
Many websites also exist for further information on birthing techniques, birth plans etc.
Pre-Birth - Homoeopathic formulation to help prepare the expectant mother-to-be for childbirth. Prebirth specifically tones and strengthens the uterus to help ensure an easy birth and to reduce complications.
Birth Aid - Birth-aid is designed to follow Pre-Birth once labour has commenced. Use during labour and delivery and for two to three days following the birth to help reduce bruising, bleeding and pain.
Maternity Triple Pack - Homeopathic triple pack containing 3 aids to birthing. Pre-Birth will help tone the uterus & assist with emotional stress. Birth-aid assists with pain & shock during & after childbirth while Nipplemed Relief Cream will soothe cracked nipples.
Caulophyllum 30C - The Homoeopathic remedy Caulophyllum is helpful during labour, when the pains are deficient and the patient is exhausted and fretful. Helps to prepare the body for normal birth.
Pregnancy Tea - A traditional herbal recipe for support during pregnancy. Helps relax and tone the uterus & nervous system, helps ease fluid retention. Also to prepare tissue for speedy recovery after giving birth.
5W - Is a traditional herbal tonic taken during the last five weeks of pregnancy - to help tone the uterus, help prevent excessive bleeding, help to make the muscular tissue of the uterus more "elastic" to help prevent tearing