We’d love every woman to be able to experience natural home or birth center birth. But this should only be pursued by mothers experiencing normal healthy pregnancies.
Why do women love unmedicated, natural birth?
It’s a great question. And there’s a multiple of reasons. Here are a few:
- Babies born to unmedicated mothers are more alert.
- Babies born to unmedicated mothers are more likely to breastfeed successfully.
- Unmedicated mothers are more likely to be able to push their babies out successfully because they are not numb from an epidural or groggy from the influence of other narcotics through their I.V.
- Epidurals often slow labor, which often necessitates the addition of Pitocin to keep the labor going.
- The addition of Pitocin to a labor is clearly correlated with an increase in fetal distress and an increase in cesarean section delivery.
- Pain relief, such as epidurals, can cause changes in the mother’s blood pressure due to the medications administered (thus, sometimes dropping the fetal heart rate), shivering, increased perineal trauma, hormonal disruptions, and even fever.
- Studies have shown that Pitocin in labor can increase jaundice in the newborn.
- The pain of contractions in labor is valuable in that it actually helps women find their own ways of facilitating birth. The pain of the contractions and positions and activities a woman chooses in response to what she feels often increase the strength and efficiency of the contractions as well as positioning her body well in relation to the angle and descent of the baby. When pain is removed from the picture, the feedback system is disrupted, and often a mother becomes comfortable remaining stationary, lying in bed where a baby is less likely to position and descend correctly as he/she works and molds his/her way through the mother’s pelvic structure.
- When a mother is fully alert and conscious of her birth experience, she often feels connected in a profound way to her body and her baby and the experience of giving birth. Pain medications often dull a woman’s senses, leading to a physical detachment from the birth process, and many mothers report a dissatisfaction with the experience when they felt disconnected from the experience and the arrival of their baby. The pain of labor and the rush of adrenaline she experiences as she births her baby often heightens a woman’s internal consciousness as well as memory as she feels and sees her baby for the first time and falls in love.
- The euphoric feeling which many naturally birthing moms experience is caused by the release of calming and pain-relieving endorphin hormones during labor. The body naturally produces endorphins when dealing with pain. Tests have shown a woman’s body will not release nearly as many endorphins if the mother is given pain medication during labor.
Not Everyone Should Pursue Out-of-Hospital Birth
Certain medical conditions, health history, and other factors can increase the risk profile for mothers having a home or birth center birth. Sometimes the safest decision for mother and baby is to have their birth in a hospital setting, where certain advanced procedures and life-saving care can be administered. We offer doula labor support for women choosing to have their babies in the hospital. Our midwives also provide the option of co-care to women planning hospital births who want the added midwifery education and prenatal motivation on diet, fitness and holistic health throughout their pregnancies.
We Desire Good Relationships with Hospitals
Although birth is a natural event that does not normally require advanced intervention, there are times when quick access to the critical care and technology available only in a hospital is key to saving a life. The Family Birth and Wellness Center team strives to promote healthy relationships with doctors and hospitals in an effort to provide the best possible care for mothers and babies. We are grateful to be able to recommend many quality physicians to clients with health concerns or with a pregnancy profile not suited for out-of-hospital birth.