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Natural Birth Vs Medicated Birth

5 min read

The moment you will know you are pregnant, you will embark on a journey of debates and discussions. Right from what is right during pregnancy, what should you eat and what you should avoid to whether you should breastfeed or formula-feed your baby, whether you should continue working or quit and whether you should have a natural birth or medicated birth – the list is practically endless. In fact, you would notice that the mere mention of these subjects triggers lots of emotions amongst women, sometimes to the extent of being controversial. As a community, we largely hold the personal preferences of the woman in question, and hence as we take up on natural birth versus medicated birth, we’d list the pros and cons of both without condemning one side or the other.
Natural birthing

  • What Is A Natural Birth?
  • What Is A Medicated Birth?
  • What Are The Pros And Cons Of Natural Labor?
  • Benefits Of Natural Birthing
  • Disadvantages Of A Natural Birth
  • What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Medicated Birth?
  • Benefits Of A Medicated Birth
  • Disadvantages Of A Medicated Birth

What Is A Natural Birth?

When a baby is delivered without the use of any pain medications or other drugs through the vagina, it is said to be a natural birth. Natural birth is often regarded as highly rewarding and satisfying experience, provided you have been prepared for it in advance. Because labor is hard, if you are not mentally prepared for it, you might find it to be a traumatizing experience.

What Is A Medicated Birth?

When vaginal childbirth involves the use of medications to lessen or completely eliminate the pain during labor, it is said to be a medicated birth. A medicated birth is an option where various pain relief medications are used as per a woman’s specific conditions and your doctor will choose the one that suits you the best. If you have planned for a medicated delivery, you can discuss the same with your doctor and get to know about your options to make an informed decision.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Natural Labor?

Natural labor, roughly put, is the way God designed births to be. Though there is no denying that it is very hard to cope with intense, strong contractions, it is worth mentioning that natural birthing provides the mothers with a feeling of empowering and accomplishment. Being in charge of your own body and controlling how it behaves gratifies the whole birthing experience. Some of the pros of Natural Birthing are listed as under:

Benefits Of Natural Birthing

  1. The freedom to move: During and after a natural childbirth, the mother can move about, changing positions, use the bathroom, and walk and shower after the delivery
  2. Better pushing: During a natural birth, you can feel and understand your body’s reflexes easily, allowing you to push better and when required
  3. Controlling positions: During a natural childbirth, you will feel the pain in your body in a particular position and so will take a position that pains the least. This way, you labor pains serve the purpose of changing positions which help the process of birthing
  4. Quicker recovery: Recovery after having a natural childbirth has often been described as faster and easier. Most mothers are able to walk and shower and feel at peace. They can also eat right away if their appetite permits. Plus the sense of accomplishment acts as a great booster
  5. Alert moms and babies: After a natural birth, it has been found that both the mothers and the babies are alert and vouch for each other’s touch. This makes breastfeeding an easier and achievable task for both the parties, easing out the whole process. This enables the newborn baby to quickly adjust to his new surroundings, setting the way for trouble free days ahead

Woman in labor

Disadvantages Of A Natural Birth

However, a natural birth also has its own share of discomforts such as –

  1. Perineal tearing or the need for an episiotomy
  2. Extreme, unbearable pain
  3. Hemorrhoids and bowel issues after delivery
  4. Urinary incontinence
  5. Traumatic and mentally challenging

What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Medicated Birth?

A medicated birth may be opted if a woman is terrified of the pain and discomfort and is stressed about it. While contractions can still be felt, the intensity of the pain is significantly decreased. The pain relief method or epidural will be chosen by the doctor addressing your specific needs. It can be an analgesic, tranquilizer, or anesthetic. These drugs are either given intravenously, through an IV drip, or through a tube via the spine (epidural). The effect of these pain relief medications depends on the dosage and how far into the delivery they are administered. Let’s have a look at the benefits:

Benefits Of A Medicated Birth

Painless delivery: The greatest benefit of having a medicated birth is the fact that the pain, reduces considerably though you are still aware of the birthing process.

  1. Beneficial during long labor: Women who have long and intense labor spanning many hours can benefit from medications and allow the mother to relax. This enables her body not to fight with the labor
  2. Ease in anxiety: Some mothers can be overly anxious and terrified and in such cases, pain medications can help them feel less stressed. This way the natural progress of the birthing process is saved from getting affected
  3. Helps you cope: Some mothers may find it particularly hard to cope up with labor, and nothing may seem to help. In such a case, a medicated birth can help the mother move through exhaustion and irritability and help her focus and relax enabling a more positive childbirth

Medicated birth

Disadvantages Of A Medicated Birth

Now let us know what are the disadvantages of having a medicated birth:

  • Continuous monitoring: Some medications can lower down your blood pressure and this can cause the fetal heartbeat to drop. Hence, continuous monitoring is done to ensure that the baby is getting enough blood
  • Longer labor: Women who are administered epidurals or medications like Pitocin could end up having longer labor, and pushing could be difficult
  • Side effects of medications: Some side effects like headaches, shivering, ringing of the ears, backache, soreness, persistent bleeding and numbness in the lower part of the body can be experienced. You may need assistance to walk or use the bathroom
  • Difficult breastfeeding: Though ambiguous, some research has suggested that breastfeeding may be difficult for both the mother and the baby after a medicated birth

It is important to note here that though the risks exist, some women have amazing and satisfying birth experiences.
Because labor and childbirth is so complex, there is no one method that would fit all. There are a lot of factors that should be considered when deciding whether you want to have a natural birth or a medicated one, considering your emotional and physical well being and other parameters that are crucial.

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