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Natural Birth

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Gynae-Laproscopy
Gynaecologist, Delhi  •  35 years experience
Natural Birth


A variety of methods are used during natural childbirth to help the mother. Pain management techniques other than analgesics and epidural analgesia include hydrotherapy, massage, relaxation therapy, hypnosis, breathing exercises, music therapy etc. These days ldr (labour, delivery and recovery) rooms are available in many hospitals for a better experience of the delivery as the husband or any other close relative can be present in these rooms along with the labouring mother throughout labour. The comfort of these rooms along with safe analgesic methods help in increasing the incidence of natural childbirth.

Some myths are attached with labour and the methods used in aiding the mother during labour-
1. Epidural analgesia leads to caesarian sections in most cases.
This belief is still held by some, but recent studies have shown that epidurals do not cause an increase in caesarian sections. In fact this aids in making the labour smoother and by reducing the extreme pain it helps the mother both mentally and physically.
2. Induction of labour always leads to a faster labour.
Some mothers wish for a normal delivery but do not want to wait for natural pains. They want to deliver on the day of their liking. This can be done by induction of labour. But induction of labour does not always work. It works best when the cervix has already begun to soften and dilate. You may go in for your 39 or 40 week appointment hoping for a labour induction only to be told that your cervix is not favourable to be induced
It is also possible to have a failed induction. This means that inspite of giving full dosage of labour inducing drugs you do not get pains at all.
3. Childbirth is best without any medication.
Natural childbirth, with the aid of relaxation exercises and deep breathing in between contractions, offers one option for pain management. But there are situations when labour is much prolonged due to a slight abnormal presentation of the baby’s head, or the uterine contractions are not effective or the mother has got exhausted, here medication will definitely help in aiding the mother to go through the labour and have a normal delivery. Therefore an unmedicated birth is ideal, but a happy, healthy birth is also possible with the use of medicines.

4. Once a caesarian birth always a caesarian birth.
This may or may not be true depending on the reason of your caesarian section. Vaginal births after caesarian are becoming increasingly more common. You will need to discuss with your doctor whether a normal delivery will be possible for you.
8. Next labour will be easier.
This may or may not be true for you. Generally speaking, consequent labours are shorter in duration, but that is not always true. Shorter does not always mean easier. This time your baby could be bigger than your first or the baby’s head could be in a slightly abnormal position leading to a longer labour which could be even longer and more difficult than the previous one. Also if there is a long gap of many many years in between the pregnancies then it may be like the first labour.
All said, always think positive, labour is a wonderful experience. The pain just vanishes on seeing your baby’s face. Take antenatal classes where you are told about various exercises which will help you go through a smooth labour. Discuss with your doctor about various pain relieving methods during labour. God has made all women brave enough to go through a normal and natural childbirth.
 

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