Updated: Feb 16, 2022
When you're a new mom dreaming of your baby's birth, you start making a version of your birth plan almost immediately.. where will you birth? Who will be your provider? And the third question people usually ask is HOW WILL THIS BABY GET OUT OF ME?! Of course we all know, but it can seem scary. When people ask about your due date, the next question for nosey people is frequently, "are you planning an epidural or all natural?"
So if you're like me and the thought of a needle in your spine is equally as terrifying as a baby coming out of your vagina, then you're probably wondering, "Can I give birth without an epidural?" and you just might be googling "natural childbirth tips."
If this sounds like you, then you're in the right place! Today we will talk about natural childbirth, what is considered natural childbirth, can you have a natural birth in the hospital, why people opt for natural childbirth, and how you can have the labor you dream of.
What is natural childbirth?
I actually hate the term "natural birth". It's an easy phrase, but an ambiguous term. Everyone seems to define "natural birth" differently. For some, natural birth equates an unmedicated birth. For others, "natural childbirth" means a completely undisturbed birth. For others yet, natural childbirth simply means vaginal birth. There are even some mothers who feel that cesareans are natural because birth in any form is the natural follow up to pregnancy.
For the purpose of this article, I'm using "natural childbirth" to mean low or no intervention. This is simply because as a new mom googling the term, you likely haven't considered the nuances, and when you are searching, I'm going to assume you're seeking more information on avoiding interventions like inductions and epidurals. So let me ask you, what is natural childbirth to you?
Why do people choose a natural childbirth?
Every woman has her own reasons for choosing an unmedicated childbirth. For some women, natural birth, or unmedicated birth, is a way of connecting deeply with God's design. For others, they want to prove to themselves they can do it. Some people can not have an epidural due to medical conditions, so unmedicated is the only option. For others, they feel the risks of interventions are too dangerous for them and their baby. Now that you've figured out what natural childbirth means to you, I want you to think about why you want a natural birth.
Can you have a natural birth in the hospital?
This depends on your definition of natural birth. Yes, you can have a low intervention, empowering birth in a hospital setting. Yes you will probably have to fight harder for it. No, it is not natural to leave your home to go to a hospital and fight with people during labor. See how the definition of "natural birth" can quickly be twisted and changed? I've witnessed many strong women achieve what they considered a natural birth in the hospital. I can say just about every single one of them said, "I really prefer not to do that in a hospital ever again unless I have to". If you're hoping for an unmedicated, vaginal hospital birth, I am happy to help you learn how you can achieve that! There are many books and resources available on the web about how to have a natural hospital birth, however, none of them are nuanced enough to apply directly to you and your dreams for your birth experience. That's why it can be so helpful to work one on one with a pregnancy support person like a doula or maternity concierge.
How to give birth naturally.
If your goal is to have a natural childbirth, the first step is understanding what that means to you. What does natural childbirth mean to you?
Why is a natural birth important to you? There's no right or wrong answer!
Now, we need to kick out the word "natural" and understand what you really want out of you birth. Are you looking for a birth experience where you feel supported? respected? strong? connected to generations of women before you? connected to God's design of your body? Find the words that describe your dream birth in a more material and literal sense... Then you can start figuring out how to assemble a birth team that will support your birth goals.
Next, figure out if your provider will be able to support your birth plan! If you're looking for connection and community as you prepare for your baby's birth, you should make sure you're following me on instagram @littlebearbirthservices. There you'll learn more about the many ways I can support you during your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experience.
Take the first step toward a more empowered, positive birth experience now by joining my Birth Confidence Seminar
Jaimie Zaki is a wife, homeschooling mother of four, Birth Doula, Birth Photographer, and Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Jaimie provides in person support to families in and near Wichita Falls Texas and virtually all over the nation.