Natural Birth - Birthing Stories, Pictures and Video
The Brilliance of Birth
There is nothing as breathtaking and moving as watching the birth of a baby. With the help of the internet, it is possible to view natural birth videos and see natural birth pictures of real babies born to real women. It is one of the most amazing sights on the planet - the bringing forth of life. Watching a natural childbirth, where the mother is prepared properly for the event, helps make real the truth that childbirth need not be a screaming, horrific event. It is a natural thing that women are adept at and can do with grace.
Benefits of Natural Birth
The benefits of natural birth are myriad. A woman is as much in control of her body as she can be and she is actively involved throughout the labor. There is minimal intervention during the birth process, including monitoring, and an unmedicated approach to pain management enables her to stay present and participate fully in the birth of her baby. The potential for pain and discomfort during this process is real and expected, but by proper preparation and support, a woman is empowered to go through the process and experience the wonder of giving birth without intervention. Without invasive techniques to monitor and birth the baby, there's little potential for harm or drug side effects for either the mother or baby.
Since drugs are not used in a natural childbirth, there is no loss of sensation or alertness. The woman is present and accounted for throughout the entire birth. This also allows for freedom of movement, to walk, shower, and find the right position for labor and delivery. A midwife working together with a laboring woman can help keep her focused and suggest various positions to make labor and delivery easier. When drugs are used to numb the pain of labor, then the ability to push is lessened. That necessitates the use of additional labor drugs to increase contractions or the possibility of forceps or vacuum extraction. Unlike drugs, natural pain control does not eliminate the pain entirely, and if the labor is particularly long, it can be quite draining without the use of medications.
Preparing for Natural Birth
Part of the preparation for natural birth is the use of breathing methods, like Lamaze, as well as visualizations, and self-hypnosis. These methods of focusing and controlling stress allow a woman to be relaxed going through labor and delivery. A woman who opts for a home birth usually is well versed in relaxation techniques and her midwife can help her remember to use them, coaching and assisting to keep her focused on what she's doing. Midwives are trained to help a woman cope with the demands of a drug-free labor and will remain with the woman through the labor. Doctors typically don't. It is important to have proper support and coaching going through a natural birth, and if the birth is in a hospital or birth center, then requesting a staff midwife or doula to be with the mother is a good idea. Water births are increasing in popularity and some birth centers are facilitated for them. Hospitals, by and large, are not. So, if a water birth is what is desired, the proper apparatus to make it happen should be available and set up in the home for a home birth, or use the pools at a birth center.
Stuff Happens - Be Prepared
It is also important to remember that no matter how well prepared a person is, life can sometimes zig when everyone else is zagging. Medical intervention may be needed for the health and safety of the woman or the baby. It is necessary to stay flexible and have a willingness to roll with what is happening. By being open and willing to look at all possibilities and to go with the labor and delivery as it is presenting itself, disappointments can be avoided. Sometimes alternative medicine can be used if the pain of labor is more than the woman anticipated. Regardless, if changes must happen, then they must - don't allow them to "taint" the ideal birth imagined.
Why Would You Not?
In the instance of an emergency c-section, there is little choice. The life of the baby and the mother may be in mortal danger, so the sooner the baby is taken out the better. However, if there is a decision to have a c-section to avoid the pain of labor or to accommodate a schedule, then a woman may be robbing herself of the most amazing experience of her life. A c-section versus natural birth is what many would call a no-brainer. Again, if there is a physiological reason why natural birth can't be experienced and a c-section is the only way the baby can be born, then there is no comparison. However, if a natural birth is possible, then the question is, "Why would you do it any other way?"
A c-section is done under drugs, it is major surgery and as such carries risk to both mother and baby. It takes a long time to heal and recover from a c-section where most women can be up and going on with life within hours of having birthed their babies. The baby is not drugged and is responsive and alert - no so with a baby born by c-section. These are only a few of the comparisons. We ask again, "Why would you not want to have a natural birth?"