But no one should be shamed for the birth plan they create, nor should they be shamed for the birth they end up having if it differs from their plan.
Most often, when someone says they want a natural birth, they are referring to not using an epidural for pain management.
There are plenty of valid reasons that someone might plan to birth without an epidural:
- Fear of needles
- Not wanting medication to get to baby
- Scoliosis / Spinal Injury
- Low platelets makes it unsafe
- Avoiding the (relatively low) risk of spinal injury
- Keep labor from slowing; avoid Pitocin
- Decrease likelihood of an unnecessary C-section
- Desire to experience labor and all of its sensations
- Wanting to allow nature to take its course
Of course, there are plenty of valid reasons someone might plan to birth with an epidural or change their mind about it in labor:
- Fear of pain
- Helping labor progress by decreasing tension in the body
- Allow for rest in a long labor
- Lower a high blood pressure (yes, it does this!)
- Avoid complications from a pre-existing heart condition
- A desire to remain quiet and calm during labor
- Managing a back labor, pitocin induction / augmentation, or unusual contraction pattern with pain sensations beyond what is normal
Part of the service you receive when you hire Heartland Doulas is a birth-planning session in which we help you create the birth vision that is right for YOU. Then, during labor, your doula will give non-judgmental support in attaining that birth vision and help you ask the right questions to make decisions when changes become necessary. No one will give you a gold star, but you won’t need it when you feel in control of your birth and empowered to make decisions that are right for you!