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  • Published 11 January 2024
  • Updated 27 May 2024
What is a Natural Birth?

Natural birth, often referred to as vaginal delivery, is the term used to describe childbirth that occurs without the use of assisted delivery techniques or medical procedures like cesarean sections.When a baby is born naturally, the pregnant woman goes through many labor phases and delivers the baby through the birth canal.Most of the time, this procedure takes place without the need for anesthesia or medicines, however some women may decide to employ pain relief techniques like hydrotherapy or breathing exercises.Many women believe that giving birth naturally gives them greater physiological and mental empowerment and enables them to take an active role in the delivery process.

Every woman's delivery experience is different, and in certain cases, medical interventions could be necessary to guarantee the safety and wellbeing of both mother and child.

Benefits of Natural Birth

Self-delivery on time is the best scenario for terminating pregnancy. What advantages do they give to a woman and a child? 

Here are the main advantages:

  • a woman can recover quickly and leave the hospital for 2-3 days;
  • hormonal "readiness", rapid application to the breast, joint presence trigger lactation. The breastfeeding process is being adjusted in a short time;
  • the probability of postpartum complications is lower than after surgery;
  • there are no undesirable effects of drug therapy.

Risks of Natural Birth

Despite the significant advantages, natural childbirth can be accompanied by certain risks, such as:

  • Prolonged labor: In some cases, natural birth can lead to prolonged labor, which puts both the mother and the baby at risk of complications such as exhaustion, dehydration, and infection.
  • Perineal tears: Natural birth can sometimes result in tears or lacerations to the perineum (the area between the vagina and anus), which can be painful and require stitches to repair.
  • Episiotomy: In some cases, an episiotomy may be necessary to widen the vaginal opening and facilitate delivery. This surgical incision can lead to increased pain, swelling, and a longer recovery time.
  • Pelvic floor damage: Natural birth can put strain on the pelvic floor muscles and tissues, leading to issues such as urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and sexual dysfunction.
  • Postpartum hemorrhage: Natural birth can increase the risk of postpartum hemorrhage, or excessive bleeding following delivery, which can be life-threatening if not promptly treated.
  • Maternal exhaustion: Natural birth can be physically and emotionally exhausting, especially if labor is prolonged or complications arise. This can increase the risk of postpartum depression and other mental health issues.
  • Fetal distress: In some cases, natural birth can lead to complications for the baby, such as fetal distress or oxygen deprivation, which may require emergency medical intervention.
  • Infection: Natural birth increases the risk of infection for both the mother and the baby, particularly if proper hygiene measures are not followed during delivery.
  • Shoulder dystocia: In rare cases, natural birth can lead to shoulder dystocia, a complication where the baby's shoulder becomes stuck behind the mother's pubic bone, which can require medical intervention to resolve.
  • Emotional trauma: Natural birth can be a physically and emotionally intense experience, and some women may experience feelings of fear, anxiety, or trauma during or after delivery. Counseling or support may be needed to process these emotions.

How to Prepare for an Unmedicated Birth:

1.Choose the right provider 

Choose a medical professional who supports natural childbirth, is familiar with dealing with doulas, is knowledgeable about birthing plans, and has a low rate of cesarean deliveries. Look for a location where staff actively work with parents to ensure their birth goes according to their plans. 

2.Exercise regularly

Being physically healthy will boost your chances of giving delivery naturally. Five to six days a week, you should engage in a regular 30-minute workout that involves physical activity. When the time comes to shove, your flexibility will come in handy. One or two days a week, try to get in 30 minutes of prenatal yoga.

3.Take a natural birth class

Attending childbirth lessons increases the likelihood of vaginal delivery for women. Classes on natural delivery, including Bradley and hypnobirthing, include labor pain management techniques. They also give you realistic expectations and instill confidence.

4. Hire a doula

A doula offers you certainty, support, and direction during labor and delivery. Doulas stand up for you even if they don't give medical advice. In addition to being more likely to give birth vaginally and require fewer forceps or cesarean sections, mothers who had continuous labor support from a spouse, midwife, or doula also reported quicker labors and higher levels of satisfaction with their delivery experiences.

Related: How to Choose a Doula.

 5. Write a birth plan

What makes a birth plan necessary? First and foremost, in order to ensure that you remember to go over all the pertinent aspects of this, one of the most significant events of your life, with your physician. You will also need this plan for Doula, an assistant in childbirth, if you have one. You can read more about it here. 

It is worth remembering that childbirth always proceeds unpredictably. You need to trust the situation, take care of everything in advance, and then relax.

That's what you need to think about before giving birth:

  • what types of medical intervention are you ready or not ready to approve;
  • what methods of pain relief do you want to use, your position on epidural anesthesia;
  • do you want someone close to you at the time of delivery;
  • if you have any diseases, do doctors take your condition into account when making all decisions during childbirth (of course, they do, but it's better to say it again);
  • what you can and would like to drink and what to snack on during childbirth, which can take a day or more. We are talking about broth, juices, applesauce, a small portion of pasta without sauce — every doctor has his own opinion about food during childbirth, and it is better to clarify it in advance;
  • in which positions would you like to give birth — to do this, you need to know in advance what opportunities exist in your maternity hospital;
  • do you agree to the presence of interns? They can help and support you during childbirth, but it is advisable to communicate with them in advance so that you feel comfortable;
  • if the father of the child has a desire to cut the umbilical cord, you need to clarify whether this is possible in the maternity hospital of your choice;
  • what will the newborn be wearing after giving birth, where do you want to breastfeed the baby for the first time — in the delivery room or later, in the ward;
  • do you agree to vaccinate a newborn — in case of refusal, you will have to sign a statement about it.

 6. Spend early labor at home

For most women spending the early part of labor at home is recommended and safe. It's crucial to conserve your energy by eating, drinking, and sleeping throughout the early stages of labor. It might be challenging to know when to visit the hospital during early labor.It's crucial to conserve your energy by eating, drinking, and sleeping throughout the early stages of labor. It might be challenging to know when to visit the hospital during early labor.

7.Learn to face contractions

One of the secrets to an unmedicated birth is being able to relax in response to pain. Fear increases tension which increases pain. If you can stay somewhat relaxed in the face of strong contractions, you'll have less resistance to opening up for the baby to come out. 

There are some of them:

  • rhythmic breathing, 
  • meditation self-hypnosis, 
  • other relaxation techniques are excellent tools for all stages of labor.

8. Take advantage of pain management techniques

There are plenty of techniques that can help you manage pain without the use of drugs. Consider using some or all of these:

  • Water therapy
  • Massage
  • Acupressure
  • Birthing ball
  • Relaxation/meditation/hypnosis
  • Move around, walk, pace, squat, rock, sway, dance 
  • Warm compresses 
  • Breathing techniques
  • Essential oils/aromatherapy
  • Nitrous oxide

9. Prepare yourself mentally

Certain fears and uncertainties related to labor can be reduced by reading books, going to childbirth education programs, and speaking with other women who have given birth.

Why the Soula app can complement Prepare for an Unmedicated Birth? 

Soula app will accompany you throughout pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. It will help you physically and emotionally prepare for the experience of motherhood. Through personalized resources and evidence-based care, Soula app breaking down barriers.

What is a Natural Childbirth


What is more painful c-section or natural birth?

Before the cesarean section, the doctor will give you anesthesia so that you do not feel the incision or the surgical process. During a cesarean section, you will most likely not feel much pain. However, after a cesarean section, you may experience quite severe pain. Recovery time after cesarean section is also usually longer than after natural childbirth.

Ultimately, a natural birth can be more painful than a cesarean section. Nonetheless, the agony following a cesarean section could be worse than the first anguish of childbirth because to the elevated danger to both you and your kid.

To receive the best guidance for you, be sure to speak with your physicians. Every pregnancy and delivery are unique experiences. For someone else, what seems totally safe to you might not be, and vice versa.

How painful is natural birth?

The scientific world is always trying to find answers to every question on earth, and how painful it is to give birth is one of such questions. Some scientists may feel this pain for themselves, while others will live their whole lives without realizing how painful it is. This means that science is trying to answer this question by using a unit of measurement of pain in order to bring it to a single denominator and be able to compare it with other types of pain.

There are units of pain in numerical terms, and this is how scientists have determined how painful childbirth is. It is believed that the human body can only withstand an interval of up to 45 units of pain. But during childbirth, women can feel pain up to 57 units! This is equivalent to a simultaneous fracture of 20 bones. Such an example is given by scientists to show people what kind of pain a woman can endure for the sake of having a child.

Why is natural birth better than c-section for baby?

There is a misconception that children born by caesarean section are born without abrasions and bruises. Meanwhile, this shortened path, which is the surgical pulling of the child from the abdomen, is not the best way out for him.

When a child squeezes through naturally, his chest contracts and the amniotic fluid that is in them comes out of the airways. Children born this way are less at risk of respiratory failure or pneumonia. Children who feel contractions of the uterus for several hours are exposed to stress, which has a positive effect and prepares them for "struggle", that is, for independent life activity.

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