Should You Have A Natural Birth Or Epidural

Natural childbirth has become a way of the past. Medication, scheduled deliveries and IVs are the new norm. Most women opt in to these new methods not knowing the amazing benefits of natural childbirth. Read on for these 9 surprising benefits of natural childbirth.

9 benefits of natural birth

Every person that I told I wanted a natural labor thought I was totally crazy. Why would I choose to be in pain? There are so many ways to avoid the mess and agony of labor. The problem is that most women opt for these newer, pain-free ways when they don’t know the amazing benefits of natural birth. Plus, there are so many ways to prepare for natural labor that will put you in control of your birth experience and pain. Here are 9 surprising and amazing benefits of natural birth.

Mobility during labor

Having an epidural means that you will be required to have continuous labor monitoring and will be confined to a bed. This means you won’t be able to walk, change positions or get comfortable, which can stall labor. Don’t forget that an epidural also means having a catheter!

On the other hand, staying clear of an epidural allows you to move around with intermittent or no monitoring. You can walk, bounce on a ball, and stretch to help your contractions work to further labor. You can also change positions to get comfortable. During my second labor, I spent a lot of time on all fours, and it was glorious!

Avoiding medications also means that you can eat and drink during labor. Fueling yourself makes you strong and able to labor and push!

Shorter labor

Changing positions in labor allows you to get comfortable and relaxed. This lets contractions work better and stronger to help effacement and dilation, which lessens labor time!

When it’s time to push, being able to feel your contractions during your natural labor is so important! You know exactly when to start pushing because you know the starting and ending to each contraction. The medicated mama needs to be told when to push, losing precious seconds of work. Ultimately, the natural mama pushes about half the time!

Speeds recovery time

Without having to wait for medications, such as an epidural, to leave your system, you’ll be up walking in no time. And because your body knew it birthed your baby and wasn’t suppressed by drugs, it knows to start healing and recovery right away.

Skin-to-skin and immediate breastfeeding increases energy and oxytocin to help healing. It also increases uterine contractions to begin the recovery process.

Immediate & better breastfeeding

If having medication in your body makes you, a full grown person, tired and groggy, imagine what it does to your baby! A baby born to a medicated mama may feel sleepy. This interferes with immediate breastfeeding and delays baby getting that superfood colostrum.

When I had my second baby, I could literally feel her trying to crawl up to my breast with her legs. When I put her to my nipple, she latched immediately! It was the most beautiful and amazing experience. We have had a perfect nursing journey ever since.

Avoid C-sections

Planning a natural childbirth lessens the risk of having a c-section. Epidurals are thought to cause a higher risk of c-section, although more studies still need to be done. It is proven, however, that having an epidural increases the risk for forceps and vacuum delivery.

Safer for baby

Further studies are still proving the following to be true. But generally, babies born naturally have better APGAR scores, healthier heart rate, normal blood sugar levels and temperature immediately after birth.

Baby also has added benefits from going through the birth canal. As she squeezes through the birth canal, amniotic fluid is pressed out of her lungs lessening respiratory issues. She also picks up bacteria from mom that is known to strengthen immunity and lessen allergies, asthma and diabetes.

Avoid the cascade of intervention

In childbirth, the cascade of intervention is when making one medical decision leads to more and more medical intervention. Although it may not happen in every instance, it’s likely that having an epidural, induction or other intervention can lead to several during birth.

An epidural masks your contractions so you and your body don’t feel them. It sounds great! However, this one small decision can cause a lot of other factors. It can slow labor, causing a need for additional drugs. It can impact your ability to effectively push, which means various extraction methods or a c-section. None of this is what was asked for when getting an epidural.

You’re present during labor

Adding any kind of medication, especially pain-reducing, to your body can make you tired and groggy. Even just having an epidural can cause a feeling of disconnect between your mind and body. Not knowing when to push or being able to feel labor is known to make mamas feel out of touch with delivery. An epidural often has a lot of side effects, such as a rash, itchy skin and a groggy feeling that takes away from your connection to labor and delivery.

Natural laboring moms are fully connected and immersed in their laboring experience. They are fully aware of their contractions, comfortable laboring positions, when to push and delivering their baby. You become so present that you tune out the rest of the world, focusing solely on yourself and your baby. Immediately after birth, your body and mind are flooded with endorphins and hormones that give you a state of euphoria. It’s a challenging journey but most natural mamas enjoy their natural birthing experience!

It’s empowering

Being present for your baby’s birth and having a natural labor is so empowering. It’s something every mama needs to experience. To be able to feel your body and mind working to birth your little miracle is amazing. You get to feel every contraction, your baby crowning and birthing and know what it feels like to bring life into the world. You will never feel so connected to your body and mind than you do in natural labor.

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