The Great Benefits of Natural Childbirth

By: Mary Olsen

There are many benefits to natural childbirth both for the mother and the baby. Childbirth occurred naturally for thousands of years before somebody decided that putting women in a hospital full of sick people was a brilliant idea. And drugs, that's a whole other story now, isn't it? Natural childbirth is having a baby the way nature intended - without drugs and other unnecessary medical interventions. By today's definition natural childbirth is just childbirth without pain medication, but there are many other layers to truly natural childbirth and the more natural it is, the better.

One of the first benefits of natural childbirth is that the baby isn't born under the influence of drugs. Many people underestimate the effects of strong pain medication on a yet unborn baby. Babies born to mothers who are given pain medication are often lethargic at birth and may even stop breathing and have to be resuscitated. They may be "sleepy" for hours and have difficulty nursing right after birth which makes helping them latch on properly later more difficult.

Another huge benefit of natural childbirth is the bonding that occurs between a mother and her new baby in the immediate moments after the baby is delivered. The pain of labor ceases the instant the baby is born and so subconsciously the mother associates the baby with relieving her pain, contrary to the belief that the mother will "blame" the baby for the pain of labor. The mother is also more aware of what is going on around her and is able to fully concentrate on the baby immediately after birth rather than on overcoming the effects of the drugs. Endorphins are released after childbirth that give a new mother a rush of energy, happiness and peace and these effects are nullified by the use of pain medications.

When considering the many benefits of natural, vaginal delivery to those of an unnecessary C-section, there are several things to consider. One is the heightened risk of hip dysplasia that occurs in C-sections because the journey through the birth canal actually compresses and aligns the baby's hips during birth. The mother's uterus returns to its normal size more quickly after a vaginal delivery and her healing time is dramatically reduced. The cervix and vagina are created to heal more readily than the skin are, so scarring and other complications are rarer with a vaginal delivery.

The benefits of natural childbirth are numerous. It is a rewarding experience that is healthier for both mother and child. Giving birth is the most natural thing in the world and it is definitely worth considering if you are expecting.

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Mary Olsen is the main contributor for Mothers Naturally. Mothers Naturally is a public education program for the Midwives Alliance of North America. Mothers Naturally celebrates the journey of natural pregnancy and>natural child birth, and believes in informing the public of their birth options and the importance of the role they play during pregnancy.

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