Natural Birth

Why Natural?

What is your reason for choosing a natural childbirth?

To me it just makes sense. I am spending my pregnancy without taking any medicine to make me feel better, forgoing alcohol and eating  more healthfully than ever. It makes little sense for me to give all that up on delivery day and go for narcotics and various other artificial substances.


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Re: Why Natural?

  • I did it mainly because of the effects on the baby. That is what convinced my husband. We did not want her born drugged.

    I also did it because I do not like medication and because it is a natural process women are made to go through. Most of the world still do not use drugs during childbirth...I don't understand why Americans see it as necessary.


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  • I work in women's health and read peer-reviewed studies from the ob/gyn journals as a big part of my job. To me, interventions are often a cascade--you accept one, you increase your risk of having to accept another and another, etc, until you end up with a birth that's not at all how you wanted it. While I was initially not averse to the epidural and felt it was almost standard, when I really looked into the risks (tearing, particularly--a woman I know had a 4th degree tear and that frightened me!) that come along with it, I just wasn't willing to accept that and asked my OB how she suggested I try to go natural. She recommended hypnobirthing and I never looked back!

    While the decision was initially for me (and based on risks and benefits to me) I am so happy know thinking of the benefits for my baby. I can't wait to have baby on my chest after delivery, and try to establish a latch right after.  I know things can happen where baby may need to be checked out, but I feel like my choice to go natural reduces the risk of many of those things, as well.

  • My strongest reason for wanting a med-free at homebirth is because I am not sick, I am not a patient. I am full with life so why choose a hospital and medications? I want to be regarded as a healthy birthing mother and I have taking every precaution possible during my pregnancy to maintain as healthy as possible.

    Birth is not an illness and it is supposed to be a "natural" process. I do not go to the hospital to defecate (excuse my crudeness) or to get a laxative to be able to ease my pushing. The same with birthing. I was meant to birth and I do not need pitocin or an epidural to help me do this. My body will know when to push and when to allow this baby to be born.

    I trust myself (if I don't, then who would) and therefore I want no intervention if at all possible.

  • I'm not happy with how a lot of hospitals (I understand not all hospitals are bad) handle labor and delivery.  I feel interventions are overused and lead to more drastic interventions.  I also feel a lot of decisions doctors make to use these interventions are for liability reasons and not for the health of mother and child.  I've also read a lot about how pitocin, epidurals, etc. interfere with your natural birth hormones and if you use those, you miss out on better bonding right away, better chances for breastfeeding success, and better chances of avoiding PPD...among many other things.

  • after all my research, I was more petrified of hospitals than of natural birth.
  • I agree with what all of the ladies before me said.  I am soooo thankful that my hospital is a natural childbirth, mom/baby friendly hospital.  I have a midwife and a doula and I'm using the hypnobabies program.  I am actually excited to give birth naturally..... I can't wait!!!!
  • I too am more scared of hospitals and interventions than of natural birth. ?Also I think after I've done it, I will be really proud of myself.
  • I truly believe that if my body had been allowed to do its own thing, I wouldn't have ended up with a horrible, traumatic induction-cesarean.  I think the hospital's procedures and policies directly led to my having a c/s.  For example, my cesarean happened because my daughter was in the OP position.  Well I had an epidural, and there is a huge correlation between epidurals and OP position.  So it's not unreasonable to conclude that my epidural contributed or even caused my cesarean.

    I really want a VBAC and I think avoiding unnecessary interventions gives me the best shot at avoiding another cesarean.


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  • I want to have a VBAC.  Based on my research, my odds are much better of having a successful VBAC if I have a natural childbirth.

    The birth of my DD featured a failed induction with Pitocin, awful experiences with Foley balls and Foley catheters, an epidural that didn't work, and ended with a c-section.  I really don't want to go through any of that again.

  • My husband came home one day (I was maybe 5 weeks along) with news that the wife of a friend had a baby with no meds and said, "WOW! I just think that is awesome!"  I got a little miffed and said, "well, what if I can't do that?  Are you not going to think I'm awesome?"  Of course, I was being unreasonable, but he was so in awe of this woman's ability to birth a baby med-free and I thought, "gee, what if I can't do that?  What if my body can't handle that?"  Fast forward a couple months, that same friend's wife and I were chatting online and she mentioned the Bradley method and how it really changed how she thought about birth and her ability to give birth.  I did some research and then read Dr. Bradley's book.  I was sold.  It just made logical sense.  Barring serious medical concerns that are rare, it is healthier for mom and baby.  DH was sold too and I was glad that he was so interested in the process of birth.  I was always astonished at the women on the bump who said their husband should have no say in whether she gets the epi. because it is HER body and HER birth, and HER uterus.  But the point is, it is my husband's child - he should get a say in the welfare of his baby.  It doesn't mean that he gets the final word, but I definitely think his opinions and thoughts should be seriously considered.

    So yeah, combination of a friend's referral to the Bradley method, my own research, and DH's research and opinions on what was best for his family - me and DS - led me to believe that natural was for sure the way to go :) 

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  • I think having a natural home birth decreased my chances of a c-section in a c-section-happy metropolitan area.  Half of hospital births in the DC area end in c-sections, which I think is completely insane.  C-sections have their place, but they are vastly, vastly overused, and the recovery takes so much longer than a natural birth recovery. 

    I also believe fewer interventions are safer for baby.  (I was completely horrified when my Bradley instructor told us how internal monitors are placed.  Why would anyone do that to their baby unless it was truly a matter of life or death?)

  • image momofolivia:
    after all my research, I was more petrified of hospitals than of natural birth.
    And this, too.
  • i wasn't really an active participant in my first child's birth.  i said i would try to go without drugs, but i didn't understand at the time how much preparation would be involved in that, and that for most people it's not enough to say you'll "wait and see how it goes."  i didn't like being stuck to the bed and felt like i had some aftereffects from the medications that lingered for a long time.  even still, i have a lot of positive feelings from my 1st L&D, no "regrets" per se.

    this time i'm hoping to actually experience it more, feel my body respond to the changes in labor, be free to move and adjust myself and be confident in my body.  

  • Because paralysis is just not my thing. 
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  • I didn't want drugs affecting my baby; I didn't want an ugly scar; my husband didn't want me drugged or cut either.  And I'll get flamed for this, I wanted to prove to myself that I could tough it out and get that baby out on my own.  I did, and I'm proud of myself. 

  • I didn't like the statistical cycle of interventions - pitocin followed by epidural followed by more pitocin followed by more drugs followed by fetal distress followed by c-section.  I'd like to have at least 1 more kid, and with every c-section there's a longer time you're supposed to wait between pregnancies and greater risk of uterine rupture, etc.  These were my main reasons.  I chose home birth over hospital because I don't want to fight with nurses when I'm in labor, I didn't like the statistics about infection and fetal monitoring, and I don't want to have to get up and go somewhere either while in labor or after giving birth.  I also tend to lose blood pressure fast and pass out when I get foreign objects inserted - whether needles or scopes or whatever, and I'm pretty positive that if I start to pass out at the hospital everyone will freak out, even though it happens to me all the time and doesn't bother me.

    Other more minor reasons (minor for me) for natural are that I don't want the baby to be born drugged, I like to feel my legs, I'd like to prevent tearing as much as possible (which seems more probable when you can have some control over the pushing), and I hate needles.

  • For me it was really simple.  Vaginal birth is better and easier for both mother and baby than a c-section.  Most interventions can lead to a domino-effect, which results in a c-section.  Not to mention that epidurals can increase your chances of tearing.  It's a risk vs. reward sort of decision.  If I think that the risk of having an epidural outweighs the reward, then I'm going to avoid it.  However if I get to a point where I'm exhausted, not laboring effectively, then the reward side of the epidural (getting to rest, laboring more effectively, thus lessening the risk of a c-section) outweighs the potential risk than that is the path I will take.  Medical interventions in my mind should start with the least invasive, and work their way up the ladder as it becomes necessary.  When you have a headache, you don't take morphine when two tylenol will do the trick, and you don't take tylenol when all you really need is to drink a glass or two of water and lie down and rest.  I will use the same philosophy for birth.  I'll start off with using low intervention means of coping, relaxation, massage, water, and go up the scale as needed.  No more, no less.
  • why interfere with the natural process is more the question... for me at least. There has to be a good reason.

    Just because you can have pain meds or interventions doesn't mean they are the best thing. They are there for emergencies or complications, which is great. But for me, if you don't need them, why do it? Every action has a reaction.

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  • When I was 21, I had an LP to test for brain cancer. It didn't heal, and I leaked spinal fluid for 4 days, had to go in on the fifth day after it to get blood taken, have it clot, and then injected into the original LP site to start it healing. After that (and I never really wanted to be pregnant, I hoped to adopt instead), I swore that if some freak of nature hit and I did get pregnant, I would NOT have a needle anywhere near my spine.

    Since then, I've become much more of a hippy, and much more aware of and against a lot of common medical procedures that take the person out of the picture and rely on protocol instead of responsive action and reaction to particular situations.

    So when I wound up pregnant, natural (no meds, no intervention, immediate contact and as much as possible with baby) just seemed the obvious choice.

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  • With my first I wanted to go natural b/c I was afraid of a needle in my spine but the more I read the more I bought into the idea that my body was designed to do this, and that messing with that would just make things more difficult on me and my baby.  I don't see birth as a medical event and think you should just work with your body to let nature take its course.  Now having been through both a c/s and a vaginal birth I feel pretty positive that going natural is best all around both for labor and delivery as well as postpartum. Unfortunately now I believe this so strongly I have to really remember to bite my tongue when my friends talk about wanting c-sections, signing up to get their epi in the parking lot, and wanting to be induced.
  • image *speedracer*:

    ...for most people it's not enough to say you'll "wait and see how it goes." 

    100% yes. This was my plan--I wanted no drugs, but didn't realize I really needed a whole strategy to accomplish that. My OB was quick to explain that it's the women with a plan and who have practiced that succeed and I quickly changed my tune.

  • I want to go natural because my body was designed to do this.  I know that there can be complications and things can change, but I'm willing to at least give it a fair shot before I resort to an epi, pitocin, etc. 

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  • Because the thought of a needle in my spine really really really bothers me.  I had a spinal tap in high school and swore unless I was dying no needle was ever going back in my back.  And then there are the potential side effects....

    My recent experience with general anesthesia also reinforced my fear of the side effects.  I've had a twitch in my right eyelid since I went under for my D&C in January.  The first time I was under general I just came out nausous, but the twitch really concerns me.

  • 1. I have always beleived that it's better not to mess with Mother Nature if you have a choice and lean towards holistic, preventative, and gentle healthcare.

    2. Women were perfectly designed to give birth and nurture babies, I am a woman, and the implication that I will screw it up if someone else isn't controlling my body for me is ridiculous. Not to sound too out there - but I think the way the US has medicalized & politicized birth is a load of patriarchal crap designed to subjugate women and make $.

    3. I hate needles. I REALLY hate needles.

    4. My 1st birth experience really drove all of the above points home. This time I am fighting for a natural (VBAC) birth because I beleive it can be an empowering, healing, spiritual experience and it is what is best for baby.

  • image momofolivia:
    after all my research, I was more petrified of hospitals than of natural birth.

    haha! me too. but more scared of an epidural than a natural birth! and thats also why i chose a hospital an hour away just because they had a great relationship with midwives!

  • Ditto Ready: I work for a medical journal and have read enough statistics, studies, and papers to understand that your risk for major complications goes UP with epidurals, not down--3rd and 4th degree tears, episiotomies, vaccum and forceps, and c-sections all increase with epidural use, exponentially, period. There is no medical benefit to them, and, in fact, quite the contrary. The only time they are truly helpful is if the mother is utterly, completely exhausted, nearly 100% dilated and effaced, and needs a break long enough to relax and finish the job. Beyond that, if you walk away from an epidural without any additional complication or intervention, you're lucky. Nevermind that I cannot get over the medical need to control and quantify a natural process. How ridiculous!

    Besides that, all my life, my mother has talked about her 2 natural births as if they were the most natural, though difficult, things in the world, and that was on her back in a crowded hospital room using 70s Lamaze. Hell, if she can do that, I sure can.

    I went into researching and considering the options 10 years ago with my mind open and really didn't have too much problem with anesthesia as a concept. But since then, I've never read anything that convinced me to go in that direction. One of my biggest AHA moments was reading an unassisted childbirth blog called rixarixa, where the woman had been researching UC for her graduate thesis and ended up birthing her daughter in her home with only her husband. I wouldn't do that personally but wow.... What we can do!

  • Why not? I'm not one to jump to western medicine for the sniffles so why would I want to be loaded up with drugs for his birth? I just didn't see the reason why I needed drugs my body was designed to do this and I knew I could do it.
  • Fear of interventions cascading to a c-section

    Belief that my body could do it and a desire to fully experience L&D as a rite of passage

    Seemed to be best choice for baby, breastfeeding, recovery

    My mom did it and my best friend did it, so dammit, I was gonna do it come hell or high water

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  • Your reasons were exactly why I did.  In hind sight, you get the added bonus of feeling like you could literally go run 5 miles.  The rush is a crazy natural high.
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