Benefits And Downsides Of Natural Birth Or Epidural.

Whether to have a Natural birth or use epidural is one of the decisions a mum will have to make. In many developing countries though, mothers just prepare for a natural birth as the epidural is uncommon.


Natural Birth VS Epidural?

Pros of an Epidural.

Cons of an Epidural.

Pros of Natural Birth.

Cons of Natural Birth.

                                          Preparing for a natural birth.


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Thankfully, in most developed countries, doing the epidural has become more of the rule than the exception. Yet in countries like the Netherlands, natural birth is still the most popular. In fact the vast majority of Dutch mothers give birth at home.


Why then would the Dutch, with all their economic and technological advancement prefer natural birth to the epidural? Well, I had my first child in Amsterdam and the Dutch child birth philosophy is that conceiving, pregnancy and child birth are very natural.


They do not think it’s always necessary to give birth in hospitals. Yet, the Netherlands is structured in a way that should a natural birth go run into trouble, hospitals are just around the corner and well prepared for emergencies.


If you need advice as to the pros and cons of natural birth vs epidural, this page does offer very useful hints.

How painful is childbirth

Natural birth or Home birth Vs Epidural?

An epidural is a blend of medications administered to laboring women for numbing and dulling pain. Under the effect of an epidural, you remain conscious and may have sensations in your body during labor and birth.


Of course an epidural is only administered during a hospital birth. A hospital birth is a good idea if you want to be sure that you have access to all that modern technology has to offer. Yet, not all hospital births are done with the help of the Epidural. Like i mentioned earlier, the Epidural isn’t common in some African countries hence hospital births in such countries are equally natural.


I’ll describe a natural birth as one done without medical interventions like an epidural. Birthing naturally is said to be a rewarding and empowering experience. You can have a natural birth in the hospital, a birth center or your own home. Be it as it may, you’ll most likely be attended by a midwife.


Certified midwives that run private childbirth/delivery centres work with hospitals so that in case of complications, the mother can be relocated to a hospital.


To have a natural birth, you may want to learn different ways to manage the pain without medications. There are breathing techniques, to ease natural birth. You may also want to consider the use of a birthing tub.


Pros of an Epidural

  • Very effective pain relief during labour.
  • You’ll be able to rest, sleep and talk as wouldn’t be possible without the Epidural


Cons of an Epidural

  • May require forceps or vacuum extractor to pull out baby, for some this makes childbirth less laborious and may be considered as a pro of using the Epidural.
  • You’ll be wearing external fetal monitor constantly throughout labour
  • It requires that you have fairly constant blood pressure monitoring.
  • limited movement during labor whereas, without using the epidural, you are even advised to walk about until the baby is ready to come out.
  • You may experience pain in your back after birth, of course not anything compared to the pain associated with natural birth.
  • Shaking and chills as effect of drugs wears off
  • Side effects of the epidural may bother you during labor, including itching, headache and nausea.


Pros of Natural Birth

  • Usually progresses faster than birth with epidural once the baby is ready to pop out.
  • Lower the need of forceps or vacuum extractor
  • You are at liberty to move and change positions during labor. In fact mothers move around a lot until the baby is about poping out.
  • No epidural side effects
  • Natural birth pain may after all not be as bad as you thought. Some natural births have happened without the usual pain even before a medical personnel attends to the mum.
  • Most women report feeling like “super heroes” after a natural birth.


Cons of Natural Birth

  • Worry and anxiety about pain you’ve imagined over the years. The fear of this pain have made some scared of becoming mums.
  • Not being able to talk or chat as much as you’ll be focused on managing pain.
  • Alas, the pain might be worse than you imagined. Some have had to endure for several hours trying to push out the baby.

Preparing for a natural birth

Non-medication ways to ease labor and delivery include:

Getting massages

Getting a warm bath or using a hot pack

Applying breathing techniques

Changing your position frequently to adapt to changes in the pelvis

Preparing For Baby Arrival

In making up your mind about having a epidural or a natural birth, you and your doctor will consider:

  • Your overall health and emotional well-being
  • The size of your pelvis
  • Your pain tolerance level
  • Intensity of contractions
  • The size and position of the baby


Further reading on epidurals for childbirth 

Further reading on why natural childbirth


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