5 Reasons Women Want a Natural Childbirth

Why do some women choose natural childbirth?

Young woman enduring labor pains in hospital.
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Also see: 9 Reasons Women Want an Epidural

Natural childbirth is certainly a hotly debated topic. There are those who wonder why with the advent of epidural anesthesia a woman would "martyr" herself by not having pain relieving medications in labor. There are others who aren't sure what they want and go in and try to have an unmedicated birth. And then there are women who know exactly what they don't want - pain relief in labor.

Here are just a handful of the reasons a woman might choose to avoid pain medications in labor:

1. No Risks to Baby

Many mothers who have chosen to have an unmedicated birth do so because they do not want to assume the risks of medications in labor. They worry over the potential problems that can occur when there is medication involved. So they opt to skip pain medication for their childbirth experience. Some pain medications can increase the risk of fetal distress or other interventions. Some mothers are opting out of these added risks.

2. Unimpeded Labor

Susan was a mom who I worked with for four of her births. She said that she hired a doula to help her avoid pain medication. I asked her why she did not want pain medication. Her response was that she wanted to avoid an unnecessary c-section. She felt that having an unmedicated birth removed some of that risk by lowering the chance that she would need pain medication and other medications, allowing labor to progress normally.

Most of the time labor is merely plodding along, one contraction at a time. There is a time for interventions, but there is also a time when interventions add to the mix of potential complications.

3. Natural Mindset

There are many families who believe in doing everything with a natural mindset. This can include healthy eating, exercising, avoiding unnecessary medications and generally living a healthy lifestyle.

When it comes time to give birth a mother who has followed this philosophy may believe that this is a natural extension of her current lifestyle. She is also likely to chose practitioners who share her belief that pregnancy is a natural process, not a medical event.

4. Unable to Have Medications

There are also some women who cannot have pain medications for a variety of reasons. They may be unable to have an epidural because of previous spinal injury or other reasons. Perhaps IV pain medications are not an option because of allergies or even previous addiction issues. These women have no real choice but to find a way to labor without medication. They may need additional support.

5. Previous Birth Experience

Positive or negative, some women choose to give birth without pain medication because of a previous birth experience. Perhaps they had an epidural previously and were not impressed with the results. Or perhaps they had an unmedicated birth previously and had a great experience and wish to repeat that experience for this birth.

How you gave birth before will impact your choices for having an unmedicated or medicated birth in future pregnancies.

Labor is the great equalizer. Sometimes you have planned to get medications and you change your mind or something happens and they are no longer an option for you. Sometimes you plan to avoid medications, and they wind up being the best option for you. An open mind is imperitive in labor.

See Also: The Natural Childbirth Guide

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