Most, if not all, pregnant women have a sense of how they would like to give birth. If you are leaning more towards natural childbirth, which is based on the premise that women are innately able to go into labour and give birth without drugs and routine medical interventions, here are 6 things to consider.
1. Determine if you are a good candidate for a natural birth. Let your obstetrician know well in advance that you are considering natural childbirth, and discuss whether this is a possibility. If so, weigh the risks and benefits with your doctor.
2. Choose a supportive birth environment. It is possible to have a drug-free, natural delivery at hospitals in Bangkok, but you should visit your hospital’s birthing facilities in advance. Is it relatively tranquil and private? Are there props for managing pain naturally? Is there space to walk around? Ask such questions and you’ll get a good sense of whether or not it is a good birth environment for you.
3. Consider professional one-to-one labour support. Having a calm and experienced person, such as a doula, at your side can help you manage stress, as well as make you as comfortable as possible, during labour. Such reassurance and support can be a great help for getting you through labour without drugs.
4. Plan for pain management. Natural childbirth does not involve an epidural or medicine to relieve pain. Consider natural pain-relief methods, such as having a massage, taking a warm shower, deep-breathing techniques, walking, using a birthing ball, etc., in advance. Talk to your obstetrician and doula (if you have one) about the different options.
5. If you have had a prior Cesarean, what about a natural vaginal birth after Cesarean (VBAC)? More women are seeking this birthing option in Bangkok. Dr. Nopadol Saropala, an OB-GYN at Bumrungrad International Hospital, who is a proponent of natural birthing, says that he usually offers VBAC as an option to patients who have had one previous Cesarean. “The overall success rate for VBAC is 65 to 70 percent; most women can be considered for this so-called trial of labour, and the chance of a successful VBAC is better for women not carrying such a big baby.” However, “the risk [of VBAC] is the rupturing of the uterine scar, which can have catastrophic consequences,” he cautions.
6. Be flexible. If you’re in good health, natural childbirth is generally quite safe. However, it is important to be open to other options, should complications occur. In the end, the well-being of both mother and baby is what matters! If you’re considering VBAC, make sure that the hospital where you’ll give birth is ready to deal with complications and can immediately provide emergency care.
Above image from www.pregnancyandbaby.com.