Natural Childbirth

Is Natural Childbirth Right For You?

Pregnancy is a long and perplexing time for all women, filled with decisions. Not the least of those decisions is whether or not to attempt to have a natural childbirth. Most people would define "natural childbirth" as a drug free labor. But this is a painful process, and not for everyone. What are the risks? What are the benefits?

Purists will tell you that natural childbirth is the only safe way to go-that the risks involved with using medication are too great not only for the baby, but for mom as well.

The opposing side will explain that, while there are risks involved with having a medicated childbirth, that there are risks with any childbirth, and that the risk is so small, why would any woman endure the pain that goes along with labor when she doesn't have to?

When women choose to have a natural childbirth, most choose some sort of preparation beforehand. There are three general types of preparation and labor techniques: The Bradley Method, The Grantly Dick-Read Method and, perhaps the most well-known, the Lamaze Method.

The Lamaze method places emphasis on breathing and making productive decisions during laboring, rather than counterproductive decisions (I.E. Screaming).

The Grantly Dick-Read Method is an attempt to remove the cycle of fear and pain from childbirth, relaxing both mother and father.

The Bradley Method teaches relaxation techniques, and uses basic self-hypnosis style birthing.

Many women make the decision to find out what happens as it happens in the delivery room - testing their own thresholds to see if they can bear the pain of labor throughout the entire delivery. Some do, most don't, but the fact remains that the choice is (usually) up to the individual woman. There is no wrong answer, only personal preference.

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