Giving birth without medication or other medical interventions can be a powerful and joy filled experience for both the birthing woman and her partner. There are many benefits, both physical and emotional, for the mother and father.
Choosing to give birth without medication means that you are statistically less likely to avoid the cascade of interventions that so often follow the administration of drugs via an epidural or IV. As far as physical issues and potential emergencies, you are less likely to have a cesarean section due to a prolonged labor or issues with your baby’s heart rate, amongst other issues that can occur.
There is a lot of information available about the physical benefits of birthing without medication, but what about emotional benefits? If you haven’t given much thought to this aspect of birthing naturally, there are a few things you might want to consider in your decision making process.
Whether or not things go exactly as you wish, the very process of preparing for a natural birth can provide a boost to a woman’s emotional health. Fears can be processed. If there is trauma of any nature in her history, she may use this time to explore and heal old wounds. Attending classes, reading books, or practicing together can strengthen bonds between the woman and her partner, or any other friends or family members who join in the process.
The process of working with your body’s sensations during labor, and being able to feel your baby move into position to be born and coming down the birth canal, can be very encouraging and a wonderful reminder that you are working as a team with your baby. Many women also feel an increased sense of closeness with their partner and anyone else who offers physical and emotional support during the birth.
Post-birth, both mama and baby will be fully alert and ready to bond. Babies who are not exposed to medications during labor tend have an easier time breastfeeding, too. Without the added stress and frustration that can accompany getting off to a difficult start with nursing, new moms tend to feel more connected to their babies. They also gain confidence as a mother, feeling capable and confident.
Because of the rush of hormones that are released during natural birth, mothers also benefit from what is often referred to as a birth high. This feeling of euphoria helps contribute to positive feelings towards the baby and the formation of positive birth memories. Many women report that in the time immediately after a natural birth and throughout the first several days, they feel on top of the world, strong and powerful, and view themselves in a positive new light.
Bringing your baby into the world is a beautiful, once in a lifetime experience. No matter how many children you have, this baby will only be born once. You deserve to enjoy the process to the fullest. Happy birthing day to you!