One of the most important decisions that a woman has to make during pregnancy is how she would like to birth her child. As a crunchy mom, many of my choices go against the “norm” here in the United States and I tend not to accept the status quo. Just like most crunchy moms, I read and research extensively to become fully educated and informed before making any decisions or blindly following the advice of medical professionals and other authority figures, in order to make the best choices for not only myself, but also my soon to be born child. Often, the result of researching extensively leads me, like most crunchy moms, to make choices that go against the “norm.”

When my husband and I first started talking about starting a family, my heart told me that there had to be another alternative to a medicated hospital birthing. I just knew that there had to be a better way. I began doing what crunchy moms do best, researching and becoming informed of my options. My research lead me to make the choice to have a natural un-medicated childbirth for many reasons including:

1. Uncomfortable with Complications of Exposure to Narcotics

One reason I chose to go the un-medicated natural birth route is due to the fact that I am not comfortable with exposing my child with any combination of narcotics. Exposure to drugs such as pethidine, morphine, fentanyl, and dissociative anesthetics can have many complications that can arise such as: allergic reactions, respiratory distress, and other complications.

2. Natural Childbirth Facilitates Breastfeeding

Studies and research shows that babies who are born through natural, or un-medicated, childbirth are more alert than those born with the use of drugs and show more interest in breastfeeding once delivered. The reasoning behind this is that the pain medication received by the mother is passed on to their baby, causing them to be born slightly “drugged” from the medications that were passed on to them. Being in this “drugged” state interferes with a newborn’s innate suckling ability and can cause difficulty with latching on for hours or even days.

3. Natural Birth Promotes Bonding and Parenting Confidence

Research suggests that mothers who birth their babies naturally are more responsive to the cries of their baby. Birthing naturally triggers the release of oxytocin, believed to play a major role in shaping maternal behavior. When drugs, such as Pitocin, are used to induce labor mothers typically miss out on a large part of oxytocin’s bonding effects and her maternal behaviors are not switched on naturally. By using Pitocin, a synthetic oxytocin, the natural release of oxytocin is prevented, which in turn can increase the risk of poor bonding.

What are/were your reasons for having a natural un-medicated birth?