7 Ways to Know If Natural Childbirth Is Right for You (or Really Not)
You’re a Viking! A trooper! A superhero-esque creature when it comes to all things pregnancy. Or not. Labor day (and not the one that means the pool is getting ready to close for the year) is just over the horizon, and your birth plan needs some buffing up. Natural birth leaves you med-free and focused, while the other option involves some sort of doc-lead intervention. It’s a one-of-a-kind type of day, and you want everything to go the most “right” it possibly can. Weighing the pros and cons of natural birth is a totally normal part of during-pregnancy planning. If you’re on the fence, check out some of the reasons to (or not to) go natural!
1. No: You’re a pain wimp. Okay, so no one is making fun of you here. It’s perfectly normal to get kind of creeped out when it comes to things that hurt. Did you stub your toe and scream loud enough for everyone in LA to hear you (oh, and you happen to live in NYC)? Well, maybe natural childbirth isn’t for you. Hey, that’s okay. There’s no labor and delivery prize for shouldering the most pain.
2. Yes: Focus is your friend. You’re a meditation master. When you have a pain (any pain — even a migraine-level pain), you can focus it away. Your friends are in awe at how well-trained your mind seems to be. If you’ve got the breathing focus thing under control, the natural way may make more sense than dealing with drugs.
3. No: You’re beyond exhausted. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. This includes childbirth. You’ve been contracting for hours, and you’re exhausted. That’s it. You’re done. Mama out. You can’t possibly stand one more moment of pain. If this sounds like a possibility, consider the idea of medication. This doesn’t mean that you’ll get an epidural the moment you feel the teeniest, tiniest twinge. Instead, keep the option open just in case an overwhelming wave of tiredness takes hold.
4. Yes: You’ve totally got this. Positivity is on the brain, and you’re 100-percent sure that you can do this whole childbirth thing, medication free! If your mind is completely made up, then go for it. As long as the doctor doesn’t have anything to say otherwise, stick with your gut and let your confidence flag fly high. Your Mother Nature-esque mindset will help to carry you through the childbirth process, without asking for meds.
5. No: You totally don’t have this: Childbirth is scary. You don’t know what’s going to happen and you’re scared, excited, happy, anxious and impatient all at once. When you’re wavering and not sure that you can manage the pain of childbirth, talking to your medical provider about your options is entirely in order. This doesn’t mean that junior has to be born all drugged up. But, consider the possibility that a little medical helper might make you feel better about the whole birth process.
6. Yes: The idea of being medicated makes you squirm. When you had your wisdom teeth removed, the oral surgeon offered you something super strong. You filled the script, but left the pill bottle in your medicine cabinet for the next four years. Unless you absolutely need them, you tend to shy away from meds. Obviously, if there’s a real medical issue and your doc says they’re a must, you take the medication. If not, au natural may be for you.
7. No mama’s better than another. Whether you go completely natural or you’re all about feeling nothing from the waist down, keep in mind one thing — this is your decision. You need to do what’s best for you, and not what you think other people expect. Don’t worry about what anyone else says (unless it’s your doctor, midwife or other medical pro who is part of your pregnancy process). This is your pregnancy, your delivery and your baby. Not some judgy mommy friend’s choice. Just be you!
What’s your take on natural vs. medicated birth? Share your ideas and tweet us @BritandCo !
(Photos via Getty)
Back in January, we introduced you to a feel-good cause to inspire your New Year's resolution: a walking challenge to help raise funds for the amazing cancer fighters at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I took part in the challenge with the Brit + Co team and ended up walking 105+ miles in January — it was awesome.
This spring, there's a new challenge on the horizon, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Big Climb. The ask: On May 15, 2021, you can step up to take cancer down by committing to climb 1,311 steps, walking 3.2 miles, or doing 440 chair step-ups at home as part of the Big Climb. If you need some motivation to bring movement back into your daily routine — look no further!
As always, it's free to sign up, but climbers are encouraged to set a fundraising goal to help beat cancer. We'll be organizing another Brit + Co team to step up, and I hope you'll join us too! Keep scrolling for a peek at where I'll be completing the challenge in my Los Angeles neighborhood around the hidden Silver Lake Stairs. Happy climbing!
Never underestimate the power of an accountability buddy! I asked my in-laws, my partner, and a few friends to join me so we can keep each other motivated and accountable in completing the challenge — virtual high-fives all around! Also, my dog Fox is a great climber, too.
An aesthetically pleasing backdrop is a huge motivator for me! I'm fortunate to have all sorts of painted steps around my neighborhood to keep the challenge interesting, but you can also keep cool inside with at-home chair step-ups.
Don't forget to share your progress on social — #BigClimb!
Feel free to break the challenge up if you need to by tackling half the distance in the AM and half at sunset. Here's me 1,311 steps later and ready for a break — but, think I earned this one!