“I Believe…..That birth is inherently safe. The same loving, intelligent consciousness (All That Is, Goddess, God, Nature) that knows how to grow an egg and a sperm into a human being, knows how to get it out. Our job is simply to relax and trust. Birth is not a function of the conscious mind any more than digestion is.”
Laura Shanley – Bornfree.com
Author: Angel Estrella
Natural childbirth is defined as a birth that attempts to minimize the intervention of modern medicine, including the use of medications and/or surgical procedures. Experts who believe that natural childbirth is beneficial to both the mother and child feel that anesthetics may increase the possibility of complications during birth due to the fact that the woman may not be capable of pushing properly during the final stages of delivery.
Natural childbirth often promotes a healthier delivery overall because it eliminates the risks associated with cesarean sections and possible side effects from certain medications. Lamaze is a technique that is designed to help women who choose to deliver via natural childbirth and provides direction in breathing and relaxation. Regular classes are given at local hospitals or clinics by a qualified individual. The father of the child is usually present for each class in order to provide support for the mother. In most cases, the father of the child will also be in the delivery room, which is why it is so important that he also be present to help learn how to coach the mother on breathing and relaxation exercises.
Not all physicians believe that natural childbirth is a positive experience, noting the pain involved as being difficult for the mother. Others believe that it is beneficial as the process of natural childbirth leaves the new mother feeling empowered and also allows her to be alert as the child is brought into the world and placed in her arms.
“The British and American experience, now powerfully supported by the Dutch results, tells us convincingly that homebirth and midwives are indeed ‘safer than we thought.’ Together they offer the safest option. The danger of home as a place of birth does not lie in its threat to the healthy survival of mothers and babies, but in its threat to the healthy survival of obstetricians and obstetric practice.” -Diana Korte & Roberta Scaer, A Good Birth, a Safe Birth, Harvard Common Press, 1995
Depending on the expectant mother’s overall health, certain labor interventions may often be required in order to ensure a successful and safe childbirth. Whether or not a natural childbirth is an option will be assessed by the physician and the expectant mother. Unless it is a matter of life and death or extreme concern as to the health of the mother or child, the choice will ultimately be left up to the mother as she will have the final say in the delivery method. It is advisable, however, that women listen to their physician and carefully consider his/her recommendations.This article is to be used for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as professional medical advice. The information contained herein should not be used in place of, or in conjunction with, a doctor’s recommendation . Prior to deciding either for or against natural childbirth, the expectant mother must consult a licensed physician for proper diagnosis and a recommendation.
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Natural childbirth is about much more than “pushing properly” and avoiding a cesarean section. Every expectant mother has a basic human right to experience the primal, magical experience of birth. Medically managed births rob women of this rite of passage. There is simply no way around it. Giving birth in a hospital exposes women and babies to a myriad of unnecessary risks and interventions that benefit the birth attendant because the intervention conveniences them in some way such as a better view or faster delivery.
These interventions are always harmful (on some level) to the mother, baby or both. In addition to harming mother and child physically and psychologically, many interventions impede successful breastfeeding which will have physical and psychological ramifications on both the mother and baby for a lifetime.
The unfortunate fact is that doctors and many midwives will choose to simply ignore the patient’s wishes or birth plan if it does not suit them. Mothers are not choosing to have natural births to be martyrs or because they have a hero complex. They are trying to protect themselves and their baby while welcoming their baby into the world into warm, welcoming arms.
P.S. a word to the wise. Never, ever listen to an OBGYN, labor and delivery nurse or certified nurse midwife about “proper pushing”. They unfortunately do not know the first thing about pushing. For them, it’s all about their view. If give birth at home with a lay midwife or unassisted and you have the luxury of ignoring the idiots, trusting what your body says, and you can get on all fours or squat and you will not have to “push properly” because your uterine contractions will work with gravity to hug your baby out naturally.
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