Pregnancy can be an exciting and nerve wrecking time for the Mom to be. From what you are going to have to how you will decorate baby’s room, there are so many decisions to make in a short period of time. Well if you consider 9 months short. But pregnancy is a roller coaster ride that spans over a period of about 40 weeks. Moms have to pay attention to what they eat and wear; how and when they sleep; when to tell the boss, and how long to take off when the baby comes-so many choices to make.
What about the actual labor and delivery? How many moms are aware of the options in childbirth or rather, the ways that childbirth can happen? We see TV labor and delivery where the mom is screaming in utter pain and the dad is passed out as the audience is laughing. We also see in print media, great pictures of pregnant moms and their pregnancy success stories where everyone is all smiles. But unless we are watching Baby Story (c) or Reality TV, we are unaware of the process of labor and delivery.
Choosing vaginal childbirth vs. C section is a big decision, and natural childbirth is a method of birthing a child. Let’s define each type of birth first.
Vaginal Childbirth refers to a baby being born vaginally-from the uterus, with or without the use of epidural, the common drug administered to cause the mother to relax and to not feel the full pain of labor and delivery. Vaginal birthing can include natural or induced labor.
C (Caesarean) Section births are performed through a surgical procedure where an incision is made in the abdomen to remove the baby. C Sections are performed with the use of an epidural, a local anesthetic, which numbs the pain of the surgery and the labor contractions as well. C Sections can be performed when a baby is too large, premature, or in distress, as well as other issues that pertain to the mother’s health.
Natural childbirth pertains to a vaginal birth that occurs without the use of epidurals, or other medications.
Natural childbirth can be planned out and prepared for through research, classes and other preparations. It is not always recommended for mothers to birth in this manner, it depends on many factors including current health, health risks, and whether or not you are a first time mom.
Some advantages of natural childbirth are:
- It’s non invasive and has no or very few side effects
- It most often includes the father moreso than other types of labor
- You can remain alert to birth your child without much coaching
- You can use natural breathing and positive thoughts to guide you through your birthing experience
Some disadvantages are:
- It may be difficult to transition to a C section, should an emergency arise
- If monitors are not used, you may not know if the baby is in distress
- You will experience all the pain labor has to offer
- You may become exhausted because of the length of labor
If you are deciding to go through with a natural labor and delivery, you will need to determine if you will have an in home delivery or a hospital delivery. This depends on your physician’s preferences and other factors from religion to your overall health or medical conditions.
If you plan to have a natural birth, you should prepare as soon as you can, after you have learned you have conceived-unless conception itself has also been planned.