The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
What if I told you that there was a way to bring your child into the world without going through the process of delivery. Well, I would be lying. However, there are alternate means of delivery and I would like to talk to you about the differences between medical intevention childbirth and natural childbirth, also known as “prepared” childbirth. I will be noting research from several books, but most importantly, I will be giving you firsthand insight into this beautiful procedure. I chose to have my daughter by natural childbirth and I believe that if you are facing an uncomplicated delivery, you should too.
Too many parents rely on unnecessary medicalized childbirth. Most parents feel like they need complicated medical supervision for this procedure that has been common since the dawn of man. Many mothers do not believe they can endure the pain without medication. Many parents have not been properly exposed to the concepts of natural childbirth and have therefore never seriously considered and researched prepared childbirth as a feasible option.
Medicalized childbirth presents certain health risks. Painkillers can cross the placenta and cause adverse effects on your baby. According to the Fundamentals of Human Sexuality, these risks can include irregular heartbeat, higher rates of jaundice, breathing and temperature regulation problems and reduced muscle strength. According to Choosing Waterbirth, women who receive epidural during labor are twice as likely to have a cesarean section delivery. Fundamentals of Human Sexuality expands on this, noting that the U.S. has the highest cesarean birthrate in the world. Pain is something that no mother wants to deal with, but there are natural alternatives to painkillers. Massage therapy and other relaxation techniques can help a woman manage pain. According to “Choosing Waterbirth” the body produces natural endorphines to help you feel less pain.
Medical intervention is more chaotic than natural childbirth. Studies show that adrenaline has a negative impact on the delivery experience and can actually offset the natural effects of pain fighting endorphines. The process of natural childbirth often involves serene settings with calm music and dim lighting. This contrasts sharply with the hospital experience. Maternity patients in a hospital are rushed though a checklist of medical procedures that can agitate an already nervous expecting mother. According to the New Midwifery, Midwives work hard to relax the patient, adapting their normal processes to the needs and desires of the parents. This helps promote a tranquillity that you won’t find in a sterile hospital environment.
And finally, there is a cost component to hospital delivery that may not be necessary for most births. Hospitals use complicated procedures to manage risks that are not always present. Impressive, but expensive, medical technology has been developed in recent years to help doctors manage complicated high-risk births. However, the basic birthing process has been around since the beginning of time and the secrets of safe, effective delivery were thought out long before these modern advancements. Natural substitutions can achieve the same results as costly medical alternatives. For example, an IV solution to keep a woman hydrated during labor will cost more than simply allowing her to drink juice, as is customary in natural childbirth.
Now, you may be thinking that this sounds like a great procedure but it is not for you. You may think that you cannot handle the pain or that you don’t want to deal with the risk. However, consider how you will feel after delivery as you are preparing your baby book for nostalgia. Do you want your recollection to be a blur of doctors, machines, and drug induced gaps in your memories or do you want it to be a happy remembrance of a loving experience with your family? With the right preparation, this can be a wonderful way to welcome your new addition into the world.
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