Every mom-to-be has a vague idea about how she wants her labor to go. Maybe you've known you wanted an unmedicated birth from the day you got pregnant, or maybe the idea grew on you as your baby grew inside you. Either way, wondering if you'll be able to handle an unmedicated birth is one of the most common worries of expecting moms. Although you won't be able to completely know what it's like until you go into labor, there are a few ways to know you can "take" an unmedicated birth that can give you a boost of confidence that, yes, you can do it.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with wanting pain medication or an epidural during your labor. For some moms, however, going medication-free is their preference. I had both of my daughters without pain medication or intervention of any kind and although it wasn't easy (what labor is?) I can say that the experieince of a "natural" labor and the feeling afterwards are unlike any other feeling I've ever experienced. Whether you're wanting to avoid an epidural for the effects it may have on your baby or you're just curious if you can do it, knowing that your body is made to give birth is one of the most confidence boosting thoughts you can have.
Although an unmedicated birth isn't for everyone, if you're feeling any of these signs about your pregnancy and labor, it might just be the birth plan for you.
1. You Don't Like The Thought Of Not Having Control Over Your Labor Experience
For some women (myself included,) the thought of not being in total control of their body while they're giving birth is more frightening than the pain they'll experience. One of the benefits of a medication free labor is that you'll be able to feel everything — the bad and the good, and control how your body responds to it. It takes focus and determination, but to me, that was better than not being able to control my own body.
One article from Today's Parent noted that with proper birthing techniques, different positions, and breathing control, managing the pain is completely doable. Natural labor allows for the mother to lead the experience, feeling more in control.
2. You Don't Automatically Reach For Pain Medication In Other Situations
Women who prefer other natural methods of pain relief are also more prone to choose medication-free labor as well. If you're the type to "tough it out," or wait before you reach for medication, The Stir noted that drug-free labor might be right for you.
3. You're Excited About Feeling Empowered During Labor
For most women, deciding to have a natural birth is partly for the feeling of accomplishment and self-confidence that comes afterward. According to Kids Health, most moms report feeling empowered after giving birth naturally.
4. You Have A Solid Support Team
According to one study published in the National Institutes of Health, having a support team is one of the most integral parts of a successful natural labor. If they're confident in delivering naturally and believe in your ability to do it, they'll support you and help you through the entire process.
5. You've Had A Low Intervention Pregnancy
According to Fit Pregnancy, women who choose low intervention pregnancies (the minimum amount of testing and medication, for example,) are more likely to choose a medication-free labor.
6. You've Done Your Research
Although you can have an unmedicated labor without doing much research or learning useful birthing techniques, the aforementioned Fit Pregnancy article noted the importance of having a solid prenatal education whether it's via birthing classes, videos, or books about natural labor. The more prepared you are the better.