What's the Deal with Natural Birth?




What is a natural birth?


I don't know.

There is no medical or scientific definition for natural birth. This name was probably coined to differentiate births without pain medications from births with pain medications.



So a natural birth is an unmedicated birth?


Not necessarily.

Just because you didn't receive pain medications if doesn't mean that you didn't receive any medications.


If you got Pitocin to help your contractions, that is still a medication. So someone who had an induction or augmentation of labor without an epidural technically had "medications," just not pain medications.



If I didn't get an epidural, but got other pain medications, is that a natural birth?


I don't know.

Pain medications, such as morphine and its derivatives, may be able to take the edge off, but they are not as effective pain control methods as epidurals.



If I had no pain medications, but had a vacuum-assisted delivery, is that a natural birth?


I don't know.

Modern medicine helped you deliver a healthy baby. It is up to you whether you consider that "natural" or not.



What about getting an episiotomy?


I don't know.

Fortunately, those are not performed as routinely as they once were (although 100% of my babies were delivered through an episiotomy lol!). Your provider will only perform it if absolutely necessary.


If I delivered my baby without any medications, but received medications with the placental delivery, is that a natural birth?


Technically, you are officially not pregnant once the placenta and the membranes and everything else is out of your body.


It is recommended that we administer oxytocin (pitocin) with the delivery of the placenta or just after, to prevent a postpartum hemorrhage.


Why does a natural birth matter?


That is the real question, isn't it?!

To me, it doesn't. Maybe some people feel stronger telling others that they pushed out a baby without pain medications?


If you did not get an epidural but got morphine, is that natural? If you did not get an epidural but had a vacuum assisted vaginal delivery, is that natural?



My suggestion:


Delete that verbiage from your vocab and shut down all those who say otherwise. If you must, you may can it an "unmedicated birth," although we know that isn't completely true.


Is it still considered a natural birth if I have an epidural?


Furthermore, as I always say, there is nothing natural about pain.

My job, as an OBGYN and a mother, is to tell you this: You got this.


Birthing a baby into this world is beautiful. It does not matter if you get an epidural, if you are unmedicated, if you have IV pain medications, if you loved every minute of your labor, if you hated every minute of your labor, if you pushed your baby out, if your baby was pulled out with a vacuum or forceps, if your baby was delivered by cesarean, if you have a doula, if you screamed, if you smiled, if you cried.


I have participated in beautiful deliveries with all of the above. They were all incredible in their own right.


I want you to empower yourself to make the pain control decision for yourself.


If you decide to go unmedicated then change your mind, then change your mind. You did not "give up." You are no less of a mother. Please do not internalize what others said a birth should look like. Please do not feel disappointed. But if you do, it is also ok. It is ok to have expectations and be disappointed with reality. Feel your feelings, think about them, talk to others if it is helpful, and when you are ready, let them go.



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#Naturalbirth #unmedicatedbirth #vaginaldelivery #cesarean #csection #csectionwarrior #epidural

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