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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 prepared.

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 preparation.

Bradley Method
Birthing From Within

Doulas 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.

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