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Natural Birth at Beaumont

Natural birth is based on the belief that healthy women are adequately prepared and are innately able to give birth without routine medical interventions. It is a method of childbirth that is woman-centered; allowing women to lead the labor and delivery process. According to Cynthia Gabriel in her book, Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds, "For most women, it means giving birth spontaneously (without induction), at one's own pace (without drugs to increase the speed) and under one's own power (without anesthetics)."

During a natural birth, there are many methods women use to stay comfortable during labor, including breathing exercises, visualization, positioning, massage, hydrotherapy, music therapy and hypnobirthing.

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Advantages of Natural Birth

Many women experiencing a natural birth have a strong feeling of empowerment during labor and a great sense of joy, accomplishment and satisfaction afterward. For some women, being in charge helps lessen their perception of pain and discomfort. Most women choose this method because it helps them remain in control of their bodies and be an active participant throughout labor. Another reason women choose to birth naturally is to minimize risks of medication.

Some of the benefits of natural childbirth are:

  • You will be an active participant in the birth of your baby.
  • You can move around freely (unless there are certain complications) and can find positions that will help you cope with the pain.
  • You're less likely to need medical interventions like catheterization to help you pass urine, drugs to make your contractions stronger and speed labor along, or delivery help, such as vacuum extraction or delivery using forceps.
  • Your partner can be fully involved in the process. This is often true with traditional childbirth and even c-section deliveries, but there tend to be more opportunities for involvement during natural childbirth.
  • The coping and relaxation skills you learn while preparing for natural childbirth can be very helpful once your baby is born as you’re dealing with some of the challenges in the first few days and weeks at home.
  • Your recovery time is often faster with a natural childbirth, allowing you to go home sooner.

Preparing for a Natural Birth

Once you've decided that natural childbirth is for you, it is important to choose a health care provider who will support you in your efforts to birth naturally. Education is an important part of preparing for natural childbirth. Some of the things you will want to know include:

  • Finding a childbirth educator who understands the elements of a natural childbirth experience. This can help you learn and practice techniques to make your labor and delivery as comfortable as possible.
  • Learn about the process of labor and delivery and how your body is changing in order to be able to move your baby into the world. Knowing what happens to your body and how those changes help deliver your baby can be empowering and can aid you in visualization techniques. It can give you confidence, reduce anxiety and tension and aid in relaxation – and all of these things can help ease your pain and may also help your labor progress more quickly.
  • Learn about medical pain management and other medical interventions. In case you change your mind or your labor and delivery don't go as planned, knowing what to expect can make you feel more in control no matter what happens.