Your Options for a Healthy Natural Childbirth

Your Options for a Healthy Natural Childbirth

By: #TakeTime4U

June 18, 2018

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woman holding her pregnant belly

Are you one of the many women who feel strongly about natural childbirth? St. Vincent Women’s Services will work with you to create your ideal birth experience.

Each labor and delivery experience is unique. From natural childbirth to any necessary medical interventions, St. Vincent Health offers options to help you get as close as possible to the childbirth experience you want. Directly after giving birth, as long as there are no complications, your baby is placed skin-to-skin on your chest and stays with you for 60 to 90 minutes to initiate the mother-baby bonding process and help facilitate breastfeeding.

One aspect of childbirth about which you’ll be asked to make a choice is your preferred pain relief methods.

Pain Relief During Natural Childbirth

St. Vincent offers multiple medication-based pain relief therapies, including local anesthetics, narcotic medications and nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas). Your pain relief methods are your choice, however, and many women opt out of using medication-based methods and instead seek alternatives.

Alternative pain management therapies available at St. Vincent include:

  • Aromatherapy—Essential oils such as lavender and frankincense have been shown to help relieve pain, anxiety and fear during the birthing process.
  • Labor balls—Birthing balls, also known as labor balls, keep you as comfortable as is possible during labor and allow you to rock and sway as necessary. You can sit on a birthing ball, lean on it over your bed, or shift your weight to whatever position eases the stress on your joints while using the ball as support.
  • Labor tubs—Whether you choose to give birth in a tub of warm water or simply wish to labor in the water and get out when it is time to deliver, labor tubs are relaxing and reduce pain by decreasing stress-related hormones and increasing buoyancy to allow more freedom of movement.

Other methods that anecdotally help with labor pain include relaxing music, reflexology (the application of pressure to various parts of the feet to reduce pain), and walking or using certain yoga poses that involve pelvic tilts.

Have a conversation about your birth plan with your doctor well in advance of your due date. When everyone knows the plan going in, there’s a much greater chance of the process going as you wish.

Let us help you have the best birth experience possible. Visit stvincent.org/Services/Maternity-Services to learn more.

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