Natural, drug free, unmedicated, normal birth.
Not everyone’s cup of tea, but definitely something a large percentage of childbearing women want to try.
In order to optimise their chances for a drug free birth, pregnant women are flocking to hypnobirthing classes, hiring doulas, and choosing to birth in low risk settings, such as birth centres, or at home.
Because of this, they are often criticised and judged – by family and friends, on social media and, of course, in the mainstream media.
Instead of offering support and encouragement, people feel free to make comments about something that doesn’t actually affect them.
Things Women Who Choose Drug Free Births Want You To Know
Here are 9 things women who choose to have drug free births want you to know:
#1: It Is Her Choice
A woman who chooses to labour and birth without drugs isn’t being brainwashed by anyone. She is the one growing the baby, and she get to decide how the baby leaves her body. No-one else.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of a drug free birth, that doesn’t give you the right to tell your friend, your sister, or the woman at the shops that she’s a nutcase for even thinking about it.
It’s not your birth and your opinion is just that – your thoughts on a topic that doesn’t involve you.
#2: She Knows Birth Hurts
Yep, she’s probably heard that one a few times by now.
What she also knows is the pain of labour depends on many factors. Some women experience a painless birth, some describe it as intense, while others say it was painful but they coped.
She’s prepared for a normal labour, and she’s chosen her birth setting and a care provider to support her. In a normal and undisturbed labour, pain is a signal her body is working perfectly to give birth.
You might like to become more informed about Labour Pain: What To Expect And Things To Remember.
#3: It’s Not The Same As Dental Surgery
No one in her right mind would have dental surgery without plenty of anaesthetic on board. Yet so many people think this is a great analogy: if you wouldn’t get a root canal without drugs, why give birth without painkillers?
Dental surgery isn’t a physiologically normal event. Labour and birth are.
All human beings have the innate ability to produce natural painkillers called endorphins. During an undisturbed and unmedicated labour, women have the same levels of endorphins as those of male athletes during intense exercise.
The trick is, of course, to create the right conditions for having an unmedicated birth.
An undisturbed labour and letting go of control really help; find out how in Undisturbed Labour – What It Is And Why Aim For One?
#4: She Isn’t A Hippy
Having a drug free birth doesn’t mean you have to wear flowery skirts, and have henna tattoos and a piercing or three. There is nothing wrong with those things but they aren’t prerequisites for having an unmedicated birth.
There are many reasons why a woman might choose to avoid drugs during labour. Perhaps she doesn’t like needles. Or she might want to avoid her baby being exposed to medications during labour.
Maybe she actually trusts her own body and her ability to cope.
#5: She’s Done The Prep Work
A woman who has a drug free birth knows it’s all about the preparation. During pregnancy she learned how to optimise her chances for a normal labour. She understands how the labour process is meant to unfold. And she has invested in birth preparation classes and a doula.
She doesn’t just go with the flow and hope for the best. She takes responsibility for making the best choices for herself and her baby. She chooses the right setting, and the people to support her in achieving a drug free birth.
#6: She Isn’t Showing Off
Or being a hero. Or a martyr.
A woman who chooses to give birth without medication isn’t trying to prove something to anyone; it’s a personal achievement she can own.
Her motivation has nothing to do with making you feel bad about your choices or circumstances; it has everything to do with what she thinks is best for her and her baby.
When she achieves her personal ambition for birth, why shouldn’t she feel proud of the effort and energy she put into making it happen?
#7: But She Does Feel Like A Badass
Giving birth should be THE pinnacle achievement of a woman’s life – not the most traumatic day she’s ever experienced. A normal, unmedicated birth can feel like the hugest rush and who wouldn’t feel like a badass afterwards?
If she is making all the decisions, surrounded by people who are cheering her on, and being respected for her power as a birthing woman, then she’s going to come out of the experience feeling like she can do anything!
Most women are on a high for days after a drug free birth and that’s perfectly ok.
#8: She Cares About Her Baby
The woman carrying and giving birth to her baby is the one who cares the most about what happens. How she decides to give birth reflects her beliefs and hopes – again it’s not about making you feel negatively about your choices.
She wants to make sure her baby is born safely, and with as little intervention as possible. Babies whose mothers don’t have medication during labour are usually more alert from birth, and early breastfeeding is more successful.
The most important thing to her is that her baby has the best start to life – and she knows avoiding medication is part of that.
#9. She Might Doubt Herself During Labour
Every woman, at some point in labour, wonders what the hell she was thinking. Usually around the time transition hits, the thought might cross her mind, that she’s done with this whole thing and would quite like to just go home now.
Choosing to have a drug free birth is a commitment she’s made for herself and for her baby. There may be moments when she has a crisis of confidence and thinks she can’t do it. She also knows if she’s well prepared and well supported, she’ll get through those moments.