5 Amazing Benefits of Natural Childbirth

Dr. Group
by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on

birth-baby

The wondrous experience of birth is often destroyed by the routine practice of medicine, with many medical professionals and mothers alike assuming that birth needs pharmaceutical interventions (i.e., epidural). In reality, nothing could be further from the truth! While there are certainly instances when assistance is required, the vast majority of births do not require medical intervention. Still, a natural birth can be successful and rewarding for many mothers.

There are many astounding benefits when delivery is done the way nature intended. [1] Giving birth is the ultimate expression of femininity. Sure, giving birth is difficult, that’s why it’s called labor. But work and effort certainly have their rewards, and bringing a new child into the world has its joyous aspects. Handing the process over to a doctor and a bunch of strangers who, with the commonplace coldness inherent in modern medicine, probably think of your delivery as just a job and not a triumph or miracle.

5 Benefits of Natural Childbirth

Childbirth is a liberating, empowering, challenging, and joyful experience. Giving birth fully aware and in a warm and comforting environment, like your own home, may provide memories for years to come. Here are five incredible benefits giving birth the old-fashioned way.

1. Empowerment

Yes, there is pain involved, but women who have opted for natural childbirth often take a different view, thinking of the pain as a rite of passage. Studies have shown that it helps prepare a woman for her new role as a mother and also helps her facilitate the birth process. What could be more empowering than being in charge? The process of birth produces endorphins, nature’s pain reliever. If pain isn’t felt because of unnatural intervention, then safe and joyous natural pain relief can’t happen. [2] [3]

Women are usually denied the right to refuse episiotomies during childbirth. This unneeded intervention is associated with excessive bleeding and, though it’s claimed that the practice prevents tearing, the reality is that tearing is safer and heals more rapidly. Epidurals also increase the use of other medical interventions. The more interventions, the greater the risks to both mother and baby. A woman who chooses natural childbirth assures that this unnecessary intervention does not happen. [4]

2. Safety

Why should you or your baby unnecessarily take the risk of a hospital-acquired infection? The fact is that you are more likely to end up with a life-threatening illness by giving birth in a hospital—and that’s just one of the risks you’ll avoid by choosing a natural delivery. [5

Bleeding is one of the greatest risks during birth and is often given as a reason for validating the safety of hospital deliveries. The reality, though, is that a woman is more likely to bleed to death as the result of a hospital birth than if she chooses a natural birth. [6] The best way to assure safety in childbirth is to do it the way nature intended.

3. Healthier Baby

Natural delivery assures that babies are born on schedule—the real schedule, the one nature intended for both infants and their mothers. Now more than ever, deliveries are scheduled for the convenience of doctors and hospitals. Scheduled deliveries are usually earlier than natural ones, resulting in babies that may be deprived of development time. Recent studies have documented that home deliveries produce slightly better outcomes than hospital births. One of the most important thing a woman can assure through home delivery is that the umbilical cord not be cut right away. [7] Yet, that is the standard procedure in hospital deliveries. This single intervention may do more harm than any other, and it may also be the reason so many babies are oxygen-deprived or jaundiced. Waiting just a short time to cut the cord allows the baby’s own blood to flow from the placenta into his or her own body. Premature cord cutting is said to steal a baby’s blood cells, antibodies, iron, and even stem cells. A natural childbirth can prevent all of those losses. Some people argue that natural-born babies–or babies born without medical intervention–are more alert and vital. Whether this is true or not, many women feel that they would rather have a baby born without direct exposure to medications as soon as they enter the world. Not only can they gain the advantage of maintaining their own blood, but they are also fortunate enough not to suffer the adverse effects of drugs, forceps deliveries, or any other routine interventions. Finally, the process of a natural childbirth helps prepare the newborn for life outside the womb.

4. Healthier You

Many women believe avoiding medical interventions during and after delivery results in healthier mothers. The woman who opts for natural birth often avoids all of the adverse effects of drugs and interventions. She avoids the risk of arachnoiditis–a permanent, debilitating, and horribly painful condition–for the temporary relief of an epidural. [8] The new mother, undrugged and non-hospitalized, can recover from labor more quickly and move into the role with vigor and strength.

5. Money in Your Pocket, Not the Medical System

In this time of tight budgets, one of the best things about natural childbirth is the low cost. It’s a shame that saving money should be considered one of the most amazing benefits of natural birth, but the amount involved makes it so. Instead of seeing your hard-earned money lining the pockets of a medical system that, in all likelihood will do more harm than good and will assuredly steal any sense of empowerment, you can use it to provide a more comfortable life for your baby, yourself, and the rest of your family. Surely there are times when modern medicine can do wonders and even save lives, but the fact is that natural childbirth enriches the lives of both mother and child and possibly provides a more rewarding experience. Natural birth is truly the most awesome experience life can provide, empowering each mother in her new role as caretaker of that most precious of things–a new being.

References (8)
  1. Judith A. Lothian. Why Natural Childbirth? The Journal of Perinatal Education, 2000 Fall; 9(4): 44-46.
  2. Nicky Leap, Jane Sandall, Sara Buckland, Ulli Huber. Journey to Confidence: Women's Experiences of Pain in Labour and Relational Continuity in Care. Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health. doi.org/10.1016/j.jmwh.2010.02.001.
  3. Olsen O, Clausen JA. Planned hospital birth versus planned home birth (Review). Issue 9. Art. No.: CD000352. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD0003 52.pub2.
  4. Elizabeth R Cluett, Cheryl VC Nikodem, Rona E McCandish, Ethel Burns. Immersion in water in pregnancy, labour and birth. The Cochrane Library. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000111.pub2.
  5. Ank de Jonge, Jeanette A J M Mesman , Judith Manniën, Joost J Zwart, Jeroen van Dillen obstetrician, Jos van Roosmalen. Severe adverse maternal outcomes among low risk women with planned home versus hospital births in the Netherlands: nationwide cohort study. BMJ 2013;346:f3263 doi:10.1136/bmj.f3263 (Published 13 June 2013).
  6. Romero-Arias AI, Luján-Prior M, Alcázar de San Juan. Incidence and factors related to excessive intrapartum blood loss. Enfermería Cliníca. 2011 Sep-Oct;21(5):256-63. doi: 10.1016/j.enfcli.2011.07.010.
  7. Tonse N. K. Raju, M.D., D.C.H., Nalini Singal, M.D., D.C.H. Optimal timing for clamping the umbilical cord after birth. Clin Perinatol. Dec 2012; 39(4): 10.1016/j.clp.2012.09.006.
  8. Susan Donaldson James. Epidural Steroid Injection Risks Include Incurable Arachnoiditis. ABC News. October 25, 2012.

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