One of the first things many women start to consider when they become pregnant is their birthing experience. Deciding whether or not to use pain medication was a big choice for me and other mothers I know. It's not an easy decision, since there are pros and cons to both scenarios. What it comes down to is how having an unmedicated birth affects your body and how that's different from receiving pain management during delivery. Once you've learned all the facts, it may be easier to make your choice.
Although the benefits of each method appeals to everyone differently, there are some perks to going the unmedicated route. As the website for Baby Center pointed out, "a natural, unmedicated approach to labor and birth will suit you best if you want to remain in control of your body as much as possible, be an active participant throughout labor, and have minimal routine interventions such as continuous electronic monitoring." This also means your body is going to feel every bit of what happens during labor, but don't worry, your body has its own way to help handle the pain.
To better understand what goes down when giving birth with no medication, here are seven ways your body manages an unmedicated birth.
1. You Maintain Sensation
By foregoing medication, you are going to feel every single thing, including pain. But as Baby Center's website pointed out, many report that they'll choose an unmedicated birth again the next time, despite having to endure pain. Additionally, the site noted that some women feel being in charge helps lessen their perception of pain."
2. You Create Your Own Pain Meds
Thanks to good ole anatomy, your body is equipped to help to handle labor pain, drug-free. As the website for the National Childbirth Trust reported, beta-endorphin is a hormone that kills pain and is made naturally by the body. It kicks in during the first stage of labor.
3. You Let It Do Its Work
It's highly likely that allowing your body to give birth naturally makes for a faster delivery. According to Parents magazine, using too many interventions can slow down the labor process, and add complications for both mother and baby.
4. Your Body Follows Its Instincts
When the endorphins from labor kick-in, they help your brain to go on instinct instead of critical thinking. "Endorphins create a dream-like state, which actually helps women manage the tasks of birthing," as a study in The Journal of Perinatal Education discovered.
5. You Experience A "Birth High"
Without the presence of drugs in your system, your body is free to experience a range of sensations. As the website for She Knows reported, some moms report feeling what's known as a "birth high," during delivery, since they are so in touch with their body and emotions.
6. It's Free To Move
Not being connected to machines which are administering medicine means you're free to move around during labor, if you wish, as Healthline pointed out. Having that options to switch positions or move around the room can be nice once the process begins.
7. Your Body Prepares Breastmilk
Thanks to those hormones, soon after you give birth your body starts to prepare breast milk right away. As the National Childbirth Trust reported, levels of beta-endorphins start milk production within 20 minutes of delivery.