When you’re pregnant, your top goal is to have a happy, healthy baby. Natural childbirth can help. This method of labor and delivery means using alternative methods of pain management, like massage, visualization, or hypnosis, to help you successfully navigate giving birth.
At the private practice of board-certified OB/GYN Kelly Morales, MD, in San Antonio, Texas, our team discusses the right labor and delivery options for your needs and the needs of your baby, from gentle C-sections to all-natural births.
While the method of delivery isn’t always under your control, natural childbirth can be a wonderful option, offering many benefits. Here’s a closer look at seven advantages of natural childbirth for you and your baby.
Getting an epidural during labor may ease your pain. But it also means you need to get a catheter inserted since you won’t be able to feel when you need to use the bathroom. In other words, once you get an epidural, you won’t be able to move around, walk, or change positions.
Natural childbirth gives you added freedom to walk and change positions during labor. This increases your odds of a vaginal delivery and gives you more sense of control over the entire experience.
You also can eat and drink during natural childbirth, helping you keep up your strength for labor and childbirth.
The medications used to ease your pain have a way of slowing down contractions and interfering with your body’s natural labor. This can increase the time you’re in labor.
When you can’t feel your contractions or what’s happening to your body, it’s difficult to know when it’s time to push. Natural childbirth can mean faster labor and delivery.
The same pain medication that helps ease labor pain passes to your baby. It’s not unusual for babies born after the administration of an epidural or other medications to be sleepy, a little uncoordinated, or have problems latching on.
On the other hand, babies born after natural childbirth are often more alert and interested in breastfeeding after delivery.
Without an epidural, women who experience natural childbirth can get up and move around more quickly after labor and delivery. This helps promote healthy blood circulation and stimulates healing.
In addition, many women report feeling especially well after natural childbirth, most likely because of the rush of endorphins the body naturally produces to help you manage pain.
Research shows that women who receive pain medications during labor don’t have close to the same number of endorphins as those who experience natural childbirth.
Since epidurals can slow your labor, studies show you’re more likely to receive drugs that stimulate contractions or to need other interventions, like forceps or a vacuum, to help move your baby along.
Epidurals and other drugs also increase the need for a fetal heart monitor.
Labor and delivery medications can affect your baby’s health. An epidural can cause your blood pressure to drop. The result is less oxygen-rich blood reaching the baby. This can sometimes cause the baby’s heart rate to drop and can increase the chances of a C-section. Other pain medications can affect the baby’s central nervous system, respiration, and liver.
Without drugs, women often feel alert and connected to their bodies in new and different ways during labor. Many women report feeling empowered by their ability to give birth naturally. They feel stronger and more confident about other challenges, including becoming a mom.
Learn more about the advantages of natural childbirth by scheduling an appointment today with Dr. Morales in San Antonio, Texas.