June 6, 2010
How Does Natural Childbirth Compare to Medicate Births?
One of the most natural things for a woman’s body to do is give birth. Once a woman knows that she is with child, she begins deciding what will be best for her and her child whether it is what to eat, whether or not exercise, and even what her birth experience should be. Although it is difficult for women to go through the pain of childbirth drug-free, natural childbirth is safest for both mother and baby when both are healthy because unnecessary drugs and surgeries can be dangerous and there are other ways of relieving pain without drugs. Other than the well known options of epidurals and Lamaze training, there are many other options for women to consider. Other ways of providing pain relief besides drugs include a simple change of position, which can be a great non-medicinal way to relieve pain. Some women find that sitting on a stability ball can be much more comfortable that sitting in bed while laboring. And as simple as it sounds, one of the best common pain relief methods is simply walking and moving around. If she can at least move around in the bed the laboring mother can take some of the pressure off where she needs to as well as add pressure in the same way. Some women say that just switching from their right side to their left makes a difference in how they rate their pain. Several breathing techniques can help the laboring mother through her pain. “The Lamaze philosophy of birth stipulates that “birth is normal, natural, and healthy” and that “women have a right to give birth free from routine medical interventions.” But Lamaze courses typically don’t take a hard line against pain relief medication during labor. The curriculum emphasizes giving women the information and tools to feel confident about giving birth and empowered to give true informed consent about medications and other interventions” (Babycenter.com, 2010) Still yet another type of child birth teaching is the Bradley Method, which is also known as Husband Coached Birthing. This method “emphasizes a natural approach to birth and the active participation of the baby’s father as birth coach. One of the major goals of this method is the avoidance of medications unless there is no other option. There is also a strong focus on proper nutrition and exercise during pregnancy. This method also uses relaxation and deep breathing techniques to cope with labor pain. The Bradley method does advocate a medication free birthing experience however; the classes will prepare parents for unexpected complications such as the need for an emergency cesarean section.” (teenshealth.org, 2008) Water births are also becoming more popular as a birthing method. A water birth involves the laboring mother actually sitting in a pool of water while she labors and gives birth culminating in her baby being born underwater. Mothers have found this to be a very comfortable way to labor because the water allows complete freedom of movement and deep concentration. “Some of the other known benefits of water birth are that it speeds up labor, reduces blood pressure, promotes relaxation, conserves energy, reduces perineal trauma (thereby eliminating episiotomies), and encourages an easier birth and a gentler welcome for baby. Of course, water births are known also to provide significant pain relief that in turn reduces the need for drugs and interventions.” (Waterbirth International, 2010) Doctors and hospitals are beginning to recognize these benefits and are making water births more available. Until recently water births were only done in home births in a wading pool, but hospitals are adding this feature to their birthing suites to make the method available and safe for mother and baby as well as the delivering doctor. Whereas drugs and surgery can be necessary and help the laboring mother to feel less pain,...