It is said that giving birth is the most challenging thing a woman can do. The pain alone can be unbearable. The months of waiting can be stressful especially if there are complications. If the main part of the pregnancy is in the height of summer and it is hot, it can be even worse. Clothes don’t fit any more. Breasts become sensitive. There are all kinds of things to consider.
One way to alleviate the pain and expectation of pain is to prepare for a natural birth. There are many techniques used to induce the birth and to make life easier. Natural birth is just one of them. The belief that the woman can give birth without medical intervention is nothing new. The concept has been around since 1930 when Grantly Dick-Read published his book “Natural Childbirth”. The idea that childbirth can be achieved without surgical intervention – forceps, episiotomies, forceps, ventouse deliveries and caesarean sections was an alien concept until relatively recently.
Sarah J Bucklet from Ecstatic Birth says, “Giving birth in ecstasy: This is our birthright and our body’s intent. Mother Nature, in her wisdom, prescribes birthing hormones that take us outside (ec) our usual state (stasis), so that we can be transformed on every level as we enter motherhood.
This exquisite hormonal orchestration unfolds optimally when birth is undisturbed, enhancing safety for both mother and baby. Science is also increasingly discovering what we realise as mothers – that our way of birth affects us life-long, both mother and baby, and that an ecstatic birth – a birth that takes us beyond our self – is the gift of a life-time”.
The majority of women gave birth at home in days of yore. Natural childbirth practitioners advocate and recognise how important emergency medical intervention can be and act accordingly. There are many levels of natural birth. Some women may insist on no medical or surgical intervention at all unless it is an emergency. Others may allow some, others more, but it could still be called a natural birth.
Giving birth in water is one natural birth method. It has been described as having a bath to alleviate aches and pains. The main thing with water is that it makes you relax. This in turn helps in the process of labour. Being tense can affect the rhythm of contractions which in turn has an impact on the baby. A water birth can also help you keep calm. Once you are immersed in water the stress on the joints and the woman is able to give birth standing up and use gravity to assist the exit of the child.
There are many different types of birthing pools. You should always look for one made by a reputable and experienced manufacturer. The midwife may be able to help with this, if you have already elected to have a natural birth at home. The birthing pool should be strong and rigid enough to support the body whatever position it is in. The floor should be inflatable as well for maximum comfort when the user is sitting or kneeling in it. Most have grab rails to hold on to, which is useful when the user is in the throes of childbirth.
The mother’s safety and comfort should be considered at all times. If she needs to get out of the pool at any time, she should be able to without fear of falling over because the side of the pool collapses. The baby can even be born in the water. How much more of a natural birth do you need?