Mother and Baby

9 mums explain why they chose a 'natural birth'

Section: Labour & Birth

As soon as the positive pregnancy test flashes in sight, it's likely to find yourself swarmed with decisions to make.

From choosing the colour of your nursery to understanding your maternity leave options - you're suddenly inundated with things to choose.

Another thing you may want to consider is whether you'll opt for a 'natural birth'.

Here's everything you need to know, plus nine mums tell us their personal reasons for choosing one... 

What's considered a 'natural birth'?

A 'natural birth' means different things to different people. To some, it means no interference during birth - including no pain relief nor medical help. For others, the concept is more about forgoing medical pain relief. A 'natural birth' is sometimes referred to as a 'normal birth'.  Of course, whether you choose a natural birth, is completely your own prerogative and shouldn't be seen as a status symbol. A lot of mums may plan to have a 'natural birth', however, due to unforeseen circumstances (including birth difficulties) may change their mind during labour.  

Is 'natural birth' safe?

Generally, a 'natural birth' is safe, unless advice concerns d by healthcare professionals or potential medical intervention is ignored. Always consult your doctor to see if it's the best option for you and your baby. 

9 mums reveal why they had a 'natural birth'... 

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1)  I had a natural birth by 'accident'

"I had a natural birth by 'accident' - I'd always planned to have whatever pain relief was on offer but once I was in labour I didn't feel like I needed it...the midwife kept offering through out but I just kept thinking I'll wait a bit longer until it gets bad, but before I knew it my little one was in my arms!" - Jenny Illsley 
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2)  The midwife “knew” I could make it because I have ‘good hips’

"I did and it was only because the midwife “knew” I could make it because I have ‘good hips’. I thought I was gonna die but hey, here I am! Had my boy 6 weeks ago, he was born with 9 lbs." - Tamara Howells 
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3) "I felt like I didn’t need pain relief second time around"

"I had gas and air with my first and no pain relief with my second. My second labour was very quick so that’s why I had nothing for pain. I also had waterbirths so gas and air was all I could have. I felt like I didn’t need pain relief second time around" - Katie Croft
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4) I definitely begged for pain relief at one point

"A natural birth was important to me and I wanted as little intervention as possible... the midwives were wonderful and the experience was just as I’d imagined, although certainly more challenging!
I think I definitely begged for pain relief at one point but my little boy was already on his way out! I did end up having pain relief afterwards and local anaesthesia for stitching some tearing, but it was important to me to birth without for many reasons, all for the benefits of my baby, rather than myself.
I’d definitely opt for natural again, but I would try something like hypnobirthing next time." - Sarah Alexandra
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5) I felt there was biologically no reason for pain relief

"I did a hypnobirthing course during pregnancy so felt that there was biologically no reason for pain relief. I had planned to have a water birth but by the time I got to the hospital I was too far long so managed to birth my baby with just gas and air." - ​Laura Fitzgerald 
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6) I wanted to feel the emotions and connection

" First birth was completely natural by choice. I wanted to feel everything, the emotions and connection to my baby straight away. I wanted my baby to be born drug free, so he was alert straight away. I did a lot of reading into natural births and went down the hypnobirthing route. It was an amazing 24 hour labour and birth experience. We were back home less than 4 hours after delivery 

Second I chose a home birth. Again natural labour with no pain relief. Agnes was born at 10pm and we were tucked up in bed before midnight.

I am very grateful for my two births. With both births there were small complications that without the support of the midwives could have had a very different outcome for my babies.

My first was back to back and had the cord around his neck twice. His placenta took over an hour to deliver, but I did it in the end.

My daughter was born very quickly only a 40 min labour and after her heart rate dropped I had to deliver her fast. One push later and she was born healthy if a little blue" - Aimee Turner
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7) I have to be in severe pain to take paracetamol

"I've had two. My first daughter, now 8, was tough ended up with epidural and forceps and I didn’t enjoy any of it or the recovery and being numb for ages and they damaged my urethra. My second baby was amazing - no pain relief water birth and my most recent (6 weeks ago) was a 26 hour labour 6 week premature baby and I was determined to go pain relief free and I did! Just stubbornness I think and I’m anti drugs anyway, I have to be in severe pain to take paracetamol" - Alexandra Bufton 
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8) I tried to remind myself that our bodies are built to give birth

" I had a 'natural birth' at home for a few reasons - first being I had the best support in a midwife that anyone could wish for, so totally trusted them to deliver my baby.
I tried to remind myself that our bodies are built to be able to give birth, and that it's not an 'illness' or something that needs medication or relief (unless of course something goes off track, then we are so lucky to have that option of medical intervention and hospitals etc)....so I tried to trust my body that it would know what to do involuntarily..and that was why I didn't want to interrupt that process as much as I could.
O chose not to have gas and air as I hate the feeling of being dizzy or sick, and I know that is sometimes how people feel with it. So, with some breathing techniques and water, and most importantly an incredible support network it happened 'naturally'
Of course, just want to repeat, this was just my choice, everyone has their own preferences, and it's neither better or worse, we are all unique and awesome that way" - Maryanne Jones
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9) If I were to do it again I’d ask for an Epidural 

"I did hypnobirthing, so a drug free birth was important to me. I wanted to feel in control and know what was going on, remember it all and didn’t want to feel off my face.
I also wanted a quicker labour and quicker recovery. I ended up using breathing techniques throughout labour and just had some gas and air. I did have a quick labour 6 hours for a FTM and recovery wasn’t too bad. If I were to do it again though I’d ask for an Epidural! I had a Ventouse assisted delivery and that shouldn’t be allowed to be done without pain relief!! I also have no memory of 95% of my labour despite not having drugs." - Katie Shelton 

Now read:

'My labour was pain-free': One mum's story

6 ways to increase your chances of having a quick birth

How to have a natural c-section

 

Alongside her role as the Digital Editor at Mother&Baby, Aimee runs the #mumtribe Facebook group and leads the M&B Awards content strategy.


Winner of Immediate Media Award for 'Magazine Journalist of the Year 2016. Her hobbies include truffle mac and cheese, Class Pass and relentlessly checking (and scolding!) the weather app.

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