Updated: Sep 26, 2019
Contrary to what some of my friends and family think, I did not have a natural birth because I'm a glutton for punishment. Here are 5 huge benefits of going natural that (for me) outweighed the pain!
Disclaimer: These are personal reasons and in no way constitutes medical advice, as I am not a medical expert. Please consult with your physician.
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It can reduce your chance of complications. The more interventions you have, the more likely problems due to those interventions will arise. Ever heard of the term, "cascade of interventions?" It goes something like this: Mom goes in for an elected induction. Pitocin-induced contractions are very intense, so she gets an epidural. The epidural slows down mom's progress, so the Pitocin is increased. The increase of Pitocin puts the baby in distress, and Mom goes in for an emergency C-section. A C-section is major surgery, with complications that can put both mom and baby at risk. It also affects the number of children a woman can have, as many doctors won't perform VBACs and advise against pregnancy after a certain number of C-sections.
It can give you a smoother birth. Yes, it hurts, but the plus-side to feeling everything is that you can listen to your body to know what to do. My body told me what position to be in during contractions, when to push, and how to push. It made birth very efficient, and this is not possible with a numb lower half!
It increases your chances of a quick recovery. First, pushing when you can feel your body leads to fewer tears, if you listen to your body and go slow. Recovering is much easier without a tear, for obvious reasons. Second, you feel great with your bodies' natural endorphins and without having to let medicinal affects wear off. Plus, your legs aren't numb from an epidural!
It helps promote bonding. Your baby is exposed to the pain medications you use during labor and delivery. Not using any leaves your baby alert instead of groggy. This allows them to really use their instincts to seek out Mom (and other familiar voices, like Dad) and lock eyes for an hour or two after birth! This process is vital for bonding with your newborn, and drugs only inhibit it.
It helps promote breastfeeding. This works for the same reasons as #4. A groggy baby and/or a groggy mom (in the case of some medications) do not make for the optimal conditions for early breastfeeding. Breastfeeding immediately after birth is the best thing you can do to promote a healthy, long-lasting breastfeeding relationship with your little one.
There are many more reasons to have a natural birth. What are yours?
If you are interested in a natural birth, I highly recommend this book: