Completely natural means just that: a woman having a baby without the help of the many drugs and painkillers made possible by modern science. It's a reasonable choice to make, but the first step is to know all you can about how to prepare for the inevitable pain. Talk with your health care provider about all of your options.
A childbirth class at a hospital or community medical center can
help you learn techniques such as breathing, relaxation or self-hypnosis. In
addition to general courses, you may benefit from specific techniques such as
Lamaze, the Bradley method or hypnobirthing. For example, registered nurse
Judith A. Lothian writes on the Lamaze International website that learning
conscious breathing can reduce your anxiety level and perception of labor pain.
Positions During Labor
A proper body position during labor can alleviate some of the
discomfort. Body positions to practice include a supported squat with your
partner standing behind you, sitting on a chair or birthing ball, squatting
down to the floor and lying on your side. Another option is osteopathic
manipulative treatment, or OMT. An osteopathic physician moves your body to
relieve pain through stretching, resistance and applying gentle pressure.
Sometimes, all you may need is a hand from a supportive
childbirth partner. Certified childbirth educator Carl Jones, author of
"The Birth Partner Handbook: Everything You Need to Know for a Healthy,
Positive Birth Experience," writes that a partner can help you relax just
by sitting by your side and holding your hand. The partner, who can be your
spouse, a family member or a friend, can use a guided imagery relaxation
technique to help you visualize a calm setting.
Since there's no rule saying you have to give birth in a bed,
doing it in another setting might work for you. According to a 2014 research
study published by BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, a group of mothers who tried
water birthing experienced less pain than the test group that went through
conventional labor. The buoyancy created by the warm water helps decrease the
pressure of labor notes the American Pregnancy Association. It's also not
dangerous to the baby.