Natural childbirth

Specialty of Obstetrics & gynaecology

What is natural childbirth?

A natural birth is one that occurs without the help of drugs such as an epidural. Some women with low risk pregnancies opt for this natural way of giving birth in order to avoid the possible risks that drugs can pose.

Why is it done?

Many women choose this form of delivery to avoid the risks that medications can cause in the mother and the baby. Other women opt for a natural birth because they want to experience giving birth in a more natural way, more in contact with the baby and letting nature taking its course.

What does a natural birth consist of?

Natural childbirth involves rejecting most technologies that are used to facilitate delivery:

  • Going through labour and delivery without the help of medications, including analgesics such as epidurals.
  • Using few or no medical interventions such as episiotomies or foetal monitoring.
  • The woman leads the birth itself, moving and choosing the position that is most comfortable, with the doctor and midwife or partner assisting her.
  • Some women choose to give birth outside the hospital environment, e.g. in water or at home.

Preparation for natural childbirth

Before a natural birth it is necessary to prepare a birth plan and prepare the environment in which the woman will give birth, as well as the team that will support the birth. The pregnant woman can count on the help of doctors, nurses and doulas that help during the whole birth. It is also essential that the mother be informed about all types of pain management techniques; to go without pain medication, she will need measures such as breathing techniques to reduce the pains of childbirth.

Care after the intervention

Aftercare will be similar to that of a mother who gives birth in a conventional delivery, and will vary depending on the course of delivery, how the mother is and whether she has had many complications or interventions.

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