Giving birth to a baby without surgical or medical intervention is termed natural childbirth.  Some women choose this path as they feel empowered during the process; their maternal instincts and sheer grit allows them to undergo the discomfort of child birthing sans medical support. A natural childbirth does not mean that the process itself must be carried out in a non-hospital setting.  A woman choosing a natural childbirth can choose the doctor and the hospital, the midwife in a hospital setting or even the midwife at home.  If there have been problems with the pregnancy such as placenta previa, preeclampsia or toxemia among others, undergoing a natural childbirth in a non-medical setting may not be recommended. But otherwise, there really is no reason to plan for anything besides a natural childbirth according to many experts.

For some women, a natural birth may last a few hours while for others it may exceed an entire day in duration. While there are definite advantages to having a natural childbirth, it also comes with its own set of disadvantages.

Advantages of natural birth

A natural childbirth is considered safer than delivering a baby with the help of medication such as an epidural or surgery such as caesarean section.  Some women are prepared to endure the pain of labour and delivery rather than put their baby through the risk of what surgical or medicinal interventions might cause. It is believed that these medications can either increase or decrease the frequency of contractions that can cause a drop in blood pressure along with severe nausea.

Another definite advantage is how a natural childbirth allows the woman to be in control of the labour and delivery process.  Many women experience a tremendous sense of accomplishment as they go through this process without any external help. Just knowing that they did it on their own is enough to want to do it again in spite of the pain they underwent. Natural childbirth also allows a woman to be fully aware of the process by staying alert.  Medical interventions may not lend themselves to remembering every part of the birthing process.

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of a natural childbirth is the ability for the dad to get involved in the process more so than when the woman is receiving medical help.  As the mom-to-be will be fully alert, they can work together to help get the baby out. Sometimes, just loving words of encouragement from a caring partner can do wonders in helping the woman deal with the labour pains.

Disadvantages of natural birth

Natural childbirth can be very painful for many women. It is not uncommon for women that plan on a completely natural childbirth to ask for pain medication when the going gets rough. While there are many natural methods to deal with the pain of labour such as changing positions, listening to your favorite music and even hypnosis, if the woman is already in extreme pain without even being fully dilated, it should come as no surprise that a woman chooses to opt for medical intervention.

Natural childbirth can be a fulfilling experience but the decision to undergo one must be made with careful thought and in consultation with your obstetrician. Also allow yourself the flexibility of changing your mind if your circumstances change. After all you must do what is best for you and your baby.