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'...
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
" 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.
8) I tried to remind myself that our bodies are built to give birth
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
'My labour was pain-free': One mum's story
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