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Opting For A Natural Birth? Here Are 3 Things To Consider

Natural birth can mean many things. For some, it simply means not having a C-Section. For others, it could mean giving birth at home in a tub of warm water. But for most, natural birth refers to birth without the use of drugs. This is what we will mean when we discuss natural birth.

Pros and Cons of an Epidural

An epidural is a common and effective painkiller used to numb the body from the waist down during birth. It is administered to the lower back with a needle. An epidural can be requested at the beginning of labor, or at some point during.

The biggest advantage of an epidural is pain relief. Contractions can be difficult to bear. There have also been situations where the mother wasn't progressing properly through labor because her body was so tense from the pain. When the epidural did kick in, her muscles relaxed and she was able to avoid an impending C-section.

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Like all drugs, an epidural has risks and possible side effects. Epidurals can cause blood pressure to drop (so a laboring woman needs to be monitored). Since she cannot feel, she's no longer able to push properly, and therefore her doctor may be more likely to need forceps or vacuum suction to help deliver the baby.

Labor will also be slowed. Since labor is slowed, the laboring woman is likely to be given the drug Pitocin to speed her labor back up. However, this drug causes intense and painful contractions, and that means she'd need more painkiller. Then she'd need more Pitocin, and so on! This cycle can even send the baby into distress, increasing the likelihood of a C-section.

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In very rare cases, the needle can strike a point on a woman's spine that causes severe headaches.

What's so bad about a C-Section?

A Cesarian Section is a surgery where the baby is moved through cutting open the abdomen. C-sections are common, with celebrities even scheduling them so that their birth fits into their demanding schedules. However, a C-section is a major surgery, which means a slow recovery. It's not desirable when caring for a new baby.

Drugs replace Natural Processes

During childbirth, the body releases endorphins to help with the discomfort. After the baby is born, the mother's body releases a cocktail of brain chemicals which bond her to her baby. Drugs inhibit these processes. The endorphins that the body naturally releases aid in a speedier recovery.

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Natural Birth is Plan A

Those with low-risk pregnancies are likely to have the most success with a natural birth. However, it doesn't mean that drugs should never be used. There are plenty of situations where interventions have saved a baby's life. In fact, that's why they were invented. Everyone also has their own pain tolerance and birth experience, and no mother should feel ashamed if extenuating circumstances occur. The point of Natural Birth is to try one's best. A woman should go into childbirth trusting her own capability to do what her body is built for.

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