**This post powered by Peanut Ball.
Choosing a natural birth isn’t about going with some weird trend that seems to get attention. Parents are choosing the best route for themselves and their baby based on tons of evidence. Let alone how nature intended it.
Why Choose A Natural Birth
Not many moms automatically opt for a cesarean once they’re pregnant, although I did know a gal who sure does. The choice seems to fall between having the epidural or not. That’s the biggest dividing line between them.
So why are these parents and mothers choosing to deny an epidural? Surely they don’t want to experience the pain. There’s a tons of stuff you should know about when it comes to cons of epidurals your doctor won’t tell you much about.
- negative side effects from epidurals
- much longer labor
- greater risk of severe tearing
- fetal acidaemia consequences
- cyanotic and lethargic baby
- increased risk of cesarean section
So let’s dig into each one of these, shall we?
Negative Epidural Side Effects
With any intervention there is risk. So taking the risk of putting a needle into the space around your spinal column surely has some cons associated with it. Here are all of the risks that come with your epidural:
- low blood pressure
- 1 in 100 chance of severe headache
- infection in your spinal column
- nerve damage leading to paraplegia
- 1 in 80,000 chance of permanent harm
For me, if there’s a chance that I may never walk again because I was a few moments of pain relief, there’s no hesitation in denying an epidural. Make sure you discuss with the anesthesiologist all of the associated risks if you’re considering an epidural.
Much Longer Labor
When you interfere with a natural process, your body automatically has to work harder. Think of it like putting a ton of roadblocks down the road of labor & delivery. Sure, you’ll still get to your destination (hopefully). But it’s going to take a ton of time and becomes much more difficult.
Studies show that having an epidural increases the length of your second stage of labor. This stage of labor is usually the most difficult because it’s the longest one with active contractions.
When you throw an epidural into the mix, you’re cutting off healthy nerve signals and blood supply to the key area of your body that needs it most. If you want to have a shorter labor and delivery, an epidural is the biggest thing that will get in your way.
If you want to have a shorter labor and delivery, an epidural is the biggest thing that will get in your way.
Greater Risk Of Severe Tearing
Some women aren’t worried about the labor at all, but rather the chance of tearing. Small minor tears are more common and much less detrimental without long term side effects. But having a worse third or fourth degree tear that runs to your anus or even through your anal sphincter is NOT something you want to deal with. Trust me … I know.
Unfortunately, having an epidural increases your risk of having a much worse tear during delivery. Because you can’t feel or position yourself properly, pressure on your nether region abounds and you can’t fully tell.
Then when you’re instructed to push when your body can really do it all on its own, the added stress increases your tearing. Plus, if your doctor intervenes even more with a vacuum extraction, it’s just like throwing a wrench into the entire area as well.
Chance Of Fetal Acidaemia
Acidaemia is a fancy word for when your blood pH goes more acidic. There is an imbalance within the gases of the blood which in turn affects the body’s organs.
When the acidity of your baby’s blood is lowering to an unsafe level, it can cause cellular damage that cannot be reversed. It’s a body-wide effect, but is more distinctly seen in the function of the brain. We don’t want this for your baby.
Having an epidural doubles the chances of your baby having risky acidaemia.
Cyanotic & Lethargic Baby
Even though the drugs used for an epidural aren’t technically in your blood stream and not your baby’s blood, your baby is still affected. Studies show that after birth with an epidural, your baby is more likely to be:
- cyanotic (bluish color) after birth
- lethargic and less responsive for up to six weeks.
The blue color means that your baby’s blood isn’t oxygenated to an appropriate level. Then their lack of responsiveness makes it difficult for breastfeeding and foundation bonding to form between them and you.
Increased Chance Of Cesarean
One thing that most mothers can agree on is their desire to avoid a c-section at all costs, whether they aim for a completely natural birth or not. But the odds aren’t in your favor of avoiding a c-section when you opt for an epidural. The likelihood of further intervention drastically increases because of all the previously mentioned risks, plus more.
- intervention ultimately leads to more intervention
- inability to assist your body with birth proves difficult
- added stress on your body increases your own stress
It all cascades down the wrong path. I talked about this a lot more in a live video I did on Facebook recently. You can check it out here.
That’s Why Parents Are Opting For Natural Births
Besides what you’ve just read, there are number of other fantastic benefits to have a natural birth. The main reason I want you to know about it is because a fully natural birth is populate your babies microbiome properly. This sets them up for life with:
- better digestive tract flora
- more fully supported and developed immune system
- less risks of preventable conditions and diseases later in life
That, beyond anything, I believe is what you as a mother want for your child—a life full of as much health and wellness as possible.
So hopefully this has been helpful for you to see the tremendous advantages of having a natural baby birth without an epidural. Only you can make the best decision for you and your family. But if you ever have any questions, I am here!
The next question, really, is which birthing course are you going to take? Let’s set you up for success! Go ahead and take my quiz to find out which one will work the best for you.
I’ve never had an epidural. But have you had one? Would you get one again?