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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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:
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: