So just what is "natural
childbirth?" Well, natural childbirth means many things to
many people. For some, natural childbirth is any birth that is not
a c-section. But, we (the founders of Natural Family Boutique) consider
natural childbirth to be a birth with minimal (or no) medical interventions,
no anesthesia, in a comfortable environment, surrounded by loving
people. We say this because we believe that this is how women were
meant to birth since the beginning of time.
Some people think birth without
anesthesia is painful. There are times when this is true, but it
doesn't have to be that way. Much of the pain women experience in
birth these days is due to the massive medical interventions most
doctors use to manage labor. Without these interventions, birth
is not really painful at all, but it is hard work and you must be
Many well-meaning people
register for the childbirth classes given by their local hospital.
While this may seem wise, consider that the purpose of these classes
is largely to prepare you for hospital procedures, not to prepare
you for a natural birth. It is usually best to seek childbirth preparation
from people outside the hospital. Look here for natural childbirth
of North America (DONA)
You may want to consider a doula or birth assistant. A "Doula"
refers to a supportive companion (other than a friend or loved one)
who is professionally trained to provide labor support. A doula
performs no clinical tasks. "Doula" also refers to lay
persons who are trained or experienced in providing postpartum care
- mother and newborn care, breastfeeding support and advice, cooking,
child care, errands, and light cleaning - for the family. To distinguish
between the two types of doulas, one may refer to "birth doulas"
and "postpartum doulas."
A doula provides physical,
emotional, and informational support to women and their partners
during labor and birth; help and advice on comfort measures such
as breathing, relaxation, massage and positioning; assistance to
families in gathering information about the course of their labor
and their options; continuous emotional reassurance and comfort;
non-medical skills such as massage and other non-pharmacological
pain relief measures; assistance to partners who want to play an
active support role; help so the woman has a safe and satisfying
childbirth as the woman defines it.