** This is a guest post written by Miranda, a natural pregnancy and motherhood blogger from theyogans.com Read more about Miranda in her author bio at the end!
Yay! You’re pregnant. One of the most important things you can do during your pregnancy is to create a birth plan. With epidurals and c-sections a normal part of deliveries today, you will want to understand the amazing benefits of natural birth and why it’s better for baby and mama.
3 Amazing Benefits of Natural Birth
When you are nearing your due date, it’s important to have an active rule in your labor and delivery. If you don’t make decisions about breastfeeding, cord clamping, or medical interventions, someone will make them for you. Natural childbirth is a way of the past with scheduled c-sections, medical interventions and epidurals as the new norm. Most women choose these new methods because they haven’t been told about the amazing benefits of natural childbirth. Having a natural birth has endless benefits but read on for the top 3 amazing benefits of natural birth.
One of the most amazing benefits of a natural birth is the immediate and intimate mama and baby bonding that takes place. When a mama has medication during labor, there is a likelihood baby is impacted as well. Everything mama eats or drinks passes through the placenta to nourish baby. The same is true about medicine. If you think about it, you have an epidural to relax and lessen pain. Some mamas relax so much that they even can sleep or become drowsy! This sounds amazing, right? This same medication passes through the placenta to your baby, so baby has similar symptoms of drowsiness and sleepiness. When they are born, they are exhausted from birth and from mediation that they sleep right away. No immediate breastfeeding or skin-to-skin for this little one. Some babies may even become fussy over the next few days, almost a delayed birth reaction.
A naturally born baby is alert and lively. Shefully awake during the birth process and comes into this world bursting with life, crying and making her entrance known. As she is put to mama’s chest for skin-to-skin she knows her mama. She smells mama’s scent, hears her heartbeat and instinctively knows where she is. Many natural babies breastfeed right away wanting comfort and knowing to get that liquid gold colostrum (a nutrient-rich milk filled with immune boosting capacities). Some natural babies are even known to instinctively crawl up mama’s belly to reach the breast and nurse. Being born is hard work, but she knows she is safe and secure in her mama’s arms and drifts off to sleep.
Mama and baby bonding is heightened in a natural birth because both are alert. Natural endorphins and oxytocin levels are heightened, not having been suppressed by medicine, and there is a euphoric and indescribable bonding that takes place in a natural birth.
Faster Labor & Recovery Time
Having a faster labor and recovery time is another amazing benefit of natural birth. A mama gets an epidural so that she doesn’t feel her contractions and therefore, has less pain. There are two problems with this: she doesn’t know when to push and she doesn’t push as strongly.
Because she feels her contractions less than the natural mama, she doesn’t always know when to push. In this case, she waits until her contraction shows up on the monitor. There is always a delay in recording, so while a contraction starts, it takes a few seconds to register on the monitor. This causes a loss in pushing time, which means mom pushes longer because she has to make it up during another contraction. All that extra pushing and strain makes for a longer birth and harder recovery.
Not only does an epidural lessen pushing time, it also lessens pushing strength. When the contraction finally begins recording for mama to push, she doesn’t feel her body and muscles as well. She gives a mediocre push which only slightly moves baby down the birth canal. On the other hand, the natural mama pushes with all her strength and moves baby much further.
It’s for both of these reasons that the natural mama labors and heals much more quickly than a medicated mama.
Helps Avoid a C-Section
There is a cascade of interventions that can follow the choice of having a “simple” epidural. An epidural is made to lessen the feeling of labor. This can be great for some mamas. But for others it is what leads them down the accidental route of having a c-section.
When an epidural does its job, it numbs the feeling of labor. Your body is a fine tune machine and was made to have contractions and give birth. If something interrupts your contractions and your body can’t “feel” labor, it can stall, contractions may stop all together. If contractions stop, you’ll be given pitocin to speed them up again. Pitocin is a strong medicine that can cause intense contractions. Intense contractions means a stronger epidural. A stronger epidural means labor stalls. (Do you see where this is going?)
All of this intervention and medicine can cause havoc on your body and baby. Baby can go into distress, her heart rate and blood pressure may drop causing an unnecessary c-section. Or you are in labor so long and your body goes into distress causing an unnecessary c-section.
This can all be avoided in the natural birth. Keep you and baby out of distress and stay off the operating table by going the natural route.
Remember that you have a say in your birth story. Educate yourself on the pros and cons of all birth decisions. It’s important to make a birth plan that you, your partner and your doctor agree on. And remember that no matter what happens in labor and delivery, a health baby and mama is the number one goal!
This guest post was written by Miranda, owner and blogger of TheYogans.com Miranda is a stay at home mama of two babies and a cat! After having a natural birth and struggling as a new mom, she became passionate about natural birth and helping other mamas. At theyogans.com, she provides resources, tips and freebies to give women the birth of their dreams, conquer motherhood and redefine themselves through parenting.
When she isn’t blogging, raising kids or cleaning the house, you can find her exercising, eating pizza or baking!