What’s a natural birth? A natural birth means having a baby without any medications. And without a C-section.
Medications Sometimes a doctor offers a medication to a woman to make her labor go faster. Or offers a medication so labor is less painful. But it is better for you and your baby if the birth is natural.
Why is a natural birth important? When babies are born naturally, they can breastfeed more easily. And breastfed babies are healthier in many, many ways. So are their mothers.
Problems with taking medication during labor If you take a medication during labor, your baby will get some of the medication in his body too. This may make him sleepy. Babies who are wide awake after birth know how to find their mother’s nipple and breastfeed on their own. But sleepy babies have a harder time getting started with breastfeeding.
Problems with having a C-section Did you know that a C-section is major surgery? It takes time for your body to heal and for you to feel better. Mothers who have C-sections can breastfeed. And they should breastfeed. But if you have a C-section, breastfeeding may be challenging for you and your baby at the beginning.
Sometimes Sometimes a woman must take a medication or have a C-section for her health or the health of her baby. But a natural birth is much better for mother and baby, unless there is a medical reason for a C-section or medication.
Getting ready for a natural birth Here’s how you can get ready to have a natural birth:
• Go to a prenatal childbirth preparation class. You will learn about birth and natural ways to deal with pain.
• Decide who your support person will be. This person can go to class with you and be with you at the birth.
• Talk with your doctor and let the doctor know what you want.
• Learn all you can about natural birth and natural ways to have less pain. Watch DVDs and read books.
Are you on WIC? If you are pregnant and on WIC, you can also
• talk to your WIC educator about how to eat well during your pregnancy.
• go to parent groups to learn about breastfeeding and to get ready for the baby.
• go to breastfeeding support group meetings.
• get food checks for healthy foods.
WIC is here for you! Learn more about WIC services here>>