Many people define natural childbirth with a non-medicated, vaginal delivery with minimal medical intervention. The term is specifically used to refer to childbirth without pain relief in the form of an epidural block. An epidural block, or epidural, is performed by inserting a small catheter into the epidural space of the spine and administering medication that blocks pain receptors to the lower half of the body. While commonly used in the United States, epidural blocks do carry some risks and in many cases numbs the lower half of the body completely.
Analgesics can be administered through an IV or in the form of a shot to relieve pain without the loss of feeling or movement. They are often given to laboring women to allow them to rest during the early stages of labor. However, many women forgo even these medications opting instead for hypnobirthing, relaxation techniques, and massage.
Whether a patient is having their first baby or her fourth, childbirth classes offer patients a unique opportunity to connect with their partner while learning new techniques for pain management during labor and delivery. In classes teaching the Lamaze method, focused breathing and massage are taught to the patient and their partner in an effort to increase their confidence during childbirth. The Bradley Method emphasizes the natural process of childbirth and teaches relaxation techniques with the help of a partner or labor coach. For healthy women considering non-medicated childbirth, employing a birth coach or doula to assist with relaxation, positioning, massage, or words of encouragement can be a rewarding experience.
Regardless of the pain relief technique chosen, the doctors at Newport Beach OB/GYN Medical Group, Inc.’s singular goal is to help a healthy mother deliver a healthy baby. For more information on natural childbirth, contact their office for a consultation.
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