Childbirth is always “natural” but “natural childbirth” typically refers to labor and delivery without the use of pain medications. Both the board-certified obstetricians at Physicians for Women and the certified nurse midwives with The Madison Midwives in Madison, Wisconsin, commonly support their patients requesting natural childbirth. To find out if you can safely deliver without interventions, call Physicians for Women, or request an appointment online today.
Whether to have a natural childbirth is one of the many choices available to most healthy and uncomplicated pregnant women. If experiencing the labor and delivery of your baby without pain medication or an epidural is something you’d like to try, we encourage a focused discussion during one of your prenatal visits so we are informed and prepared to make your baby’s birth, the experience you hope to have.
Many women prefer natural childbirth to avoid any potential complications related to the medications during the process. Pain medications don’t always cause problems, and they often help you endure the labor and delivery. Even if you’d prefer a natural childbirth, we encourage you to keep an open mind and allow yourself some grace for modifications or changes to your plan in labor. After all, if you’ve never been in labor before, there is no way to truly understand the discomfort or duration that often accompanies it! The obstetricians and midwives at Physicians for Women acknowledge your goals and work very hard to make your birthing experience the one you desire.
There are several available techniques or methods for natural childbirth. Many of these methods have been around since the 1940s and are still utilized today. The team at Physicians for Women can help you review your options so your choice fits your plan for natural childbirth.
Some common techniques are:
In the 1950s, Dr. Fernand Lamaze championed psychoprophylaxis, a method for preparing pregnant women with physical and psychological training. This includes conscious relaxation and controlled breathing as an alternative to drugs for the management of contraction pain during childbirth. You may consider taking a Lamaze class during your pregnancy to learn deep concentration, deep breathing, and helpful massage techniques.
You may choose the Bradley method, sometimes referenced as the “husband-coached method of natural childbirth”. This method ascertains certain conditions are essential for a laboring woman: darkness, solitude, quiet, physical comfort during the first stage of labor, physical relaxation, controlled breathing, and need for closed eyes/appearance of sleep. Dr. Bradley espoused the fundamental premise that the laboring women must have a supportive coach/husband in this process.
The Madison Midwives offer an option for a water birth. Delivering your baby in a tub of warm water helps your muscles relax and may reduce some discomfort. Some believe that being birthed into water is an easier transition for the baby than coming straight into dry air. See our separate section on this type of labor and delivery!
Natural childbirth has a reputation for being extremely painful. Still, many women choose to have a natural childbirth with confidence. The truth is that the sensations of a natural childbirth vary between women. You might feel like you have strong menstrual cramps or intense pressure.
To explore natural childbirth and its many variations, call Physicians for Women to schedule an appointment or book one online today.