A Drug-Free Birth
Women who have given birth tend to be passionately in favor of medication, or passionately against it. Those who have birthed naturally often highly recommend it for a number of reasons. While not everyone may be able to endure the pain of childbirth and to make the decision to birth naturally, it is certainly worthwhile understanding the advantages of doing so.
Should you decide to birth naturally and to write this into your birthing plan, it doesn't mean that it's set in stone. You can always change your mind during labor, should the pain become unbearable. There are a number of reasons to avoid using pain medication, and these can be discussed with your doctor, your spouse, your doula, midwife, and anyone else who can help with this decision.
Move That Body!
No one will deny that giving birth hurts - a lot. One of the major ways to deal with this pain is to move. Women who decide to birth naturally have freedom of movement. They can walk around the room, use the bathroom on their own, sit on a birthing ball, take a shower, and chance positions. Once you decide to take medication, many of these options become closed to you. Freedom of movement gives the woman a sense of control during the labor process while helping to make the laboring woman more comfortable.
Keep Some Control...A Least a Little Bit
Giving birth certainly requires the laboring woman to relinquish control. There are many things that she can't control during the birthing process. When birthing naturally, however, she does feel more of a sense of control than she does with medication. Once you've accepted medication, you are more likely to need more medication and more intervention. For instance, an epidural may slow down the labor, requiring Pitocin. Then, since you don't feel the need to push, you may end up having forceps or even a Cesarean section to get the baby out. Natural childbirth cuts down on the risks of extra intervention and allows the woman to feel more control over each contraction and over the birthing process.
Keep the Baby Safe
You've spent nine months eating right, drinking water and exercising to keep this baby healthy and safe. Now that you're in labor, you might as well continue on this path! The only way to ensure that the baby does not receive pain medication in his system and have adverse effects from these is not to take any medication. When there are no drugs in the baby's system, it creates a more alert, responsive baby who usually has an easier time breastfeeding right from the start. A baby who has been influenced by birthing medication is often more groggy, less likely to latch on quickly or well, and more likely to need intervention.
After The Birth
Most women report that it is easier to recover from a natural childbirth than it is from a medicated one. When you haven't taken anything, you'll be able to get up much more quickly after the birth, to go to the bathroom and to shower. You can immediately get your body moving and won't have to worry about waiting for the epidural to wear off or for the catheter to be removed. In addition, moms who use medication are more likely to tear, hemorrhage, have postpartum infections and suffer complications after the birth.
Certainly, every woman needs to make this personal decision for herself. It's important to have the education and the facts to make the decision in an educated manner, and to consider what will be best for you and your baby at the time of your labor. Natural childbirth is one of many birthing options; it is one that can help you to introduce the baby into the world in a nurturing, drug-free way!