Thoughts On Natural Birth

Having a natural birth was one of the proudest accomplishments of my life. I’ve never been what most would consider to be “tough”. I don’t have a very high pain tolerance and I’m typically all for things that will make tasks easier, so the fact that I pushed a baby out of my you-know-where without so much as an asprin? Well, it was pretty freaking empowering to say the least.

I’m a big believer in the idea that women need to give birth in a way that feels most safe and comfortable to them. That said, I would highly recommend at least considering a natural birth if you’re not really sure. I think a lot of women simply discount it as something that only crunchy hippie types do and that it must include incense and strange chanting, but that’s simply not the case. Natural birth is simply about moms who want to play a more active role in their birth experience. That’s all. It won’t mean that you’re magically better than the mom who gets an epidural at a hospital by any means. What it does mean is that you simply wanted a different experience and you don’t have to have an affinity for long, flowy skirts or The Grateful Dead in order to have that experience.

If natural birth is something you’re considering, I’d suggest taking a peek at the post I shared over at Babble today: 10 Tips and Tricks That Prepared Me For a Natural Childbirth. Natural birth doesn’t have to be scary. It can be beautiful and wonderful – in a hospital, a birthing center or in your very own home. The key to having a great experience is to prepare yourself as much as possible.

I hope you’ll find my post helpful!

Here and There // @The Little Things We Do

{Photo by Lisa Warninger}

Love and babies,



  1. Great post Lauren! Natural childbirth is top of my list. It’s definitely something I’d love to achieve. But having never experienced any intense pain before I’m not ruling out the painkillers either. Most people I’ve spoken to have said “Take the drugs – you don’t need to be a hero in this day and age”, which is a little discouraging. I feel really calm about the birth itself, and I’m hoping that going into it with a positive mindset will help me. My only concern is that if I set myself up for a natural birth, then I’ll feel disappointed in myself if I don’t succeed. So, while I’ll aim for a natural birth, I’m going to try and go in with an open mind. Your pointers are a real help, and I know now how I can gently prepare myself and my husband

    • Kathryn – I completely get what you’re saying. I think reading those books I recommended will really help a lot. Totally changed my mindset. And don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad about the choices you make about childbirth…regardless of what those may be. Not taking the drugs is not about being a hero…it’s about wanting to be present and giving your baby the best start possible and there’s no reason you should be made to feel guilty about that. I hope you and your husband can prepare yourselves together and have the birth you dream of – it’s totally possible. And P.S. I had never experienced any real pain prior to childbirth and I’m kind of a pain wuss ;).

  2. I totally just read your post about the 10 tips and THANK YOU! I’ve gotten so many negative comments regarding my desire to have a natural birth, so it’s nice to see some positivity about it. Thanks again!

    • Brooke – You’ve got this mama! Birth is a natural and normal part of life. You were born to do this and your body knows what to do, even if you’re worried that you don’t!

  3. I tried so hard to go natural.I made it 8 hours but just couldn’t do it anymore…let me tell you .
    …you are a BEAST! Child birth is no joke!

    • Haha! Thanks Katie :). Childbirth is definitely incredibly hard work. I will say I’m a little envious of the epidural mamas in their post-birth photos holding their babes. They look all glowy and fresh. I looked like hell. Haha!

  4. Hi, I found your blog through your Babble article today and I was interested to read about your birth experience which was so similar to my own.
    I also had a natural, drug-free, first-time birth experience and I’m convinced that every woman can do it, however they need to be committed to put in the time to research, meditate, relax, do yoga, do exercises, think mantras, and read, read, read.
    When I first got pregnant my attitude was definitely on the complete opposite side. I assumed I would have an epidural and I thought it was enlightened to wonder why I would actually purposely inflict pain on myself.
    But after watching The Business of Being Born and reading an Ina May book I realized that I didn’t want to get on the slippery-slope to a medicalized birth and that I didn’t want anything to interfere with me being able to fully experience my baby’s birth. I ended up doing a total about-face and discovering a whole new way of thinking.
    I read lots, I also discovered Hypno Birthing, and a Hypno-Birthing practitioner in Paris (where I live) and one of the single most powerful things that I ever did was a fear-releasing session with the Hypno-birthing therapist, which allowed me to completely release any preconceived ideas and fears about birth in general and my baby’s birth especially. After that session, which I did in the 6th month, I never again had one fear or doubt at all!!
    In those months leading up to birth I would say that I worked daily on preparing myself: my husband and I used hypno-birthing relaxation sessions we got on CDs on a regular basis, I also said mantras (my favourite being: “I trust my body and my baby”) and I did exercises to strengthen my birthing muscles by sitting on the floor a lot in different positions, among other things.
    When the labour actually came on I laboured at home, arrived at the hospital 9cms dialated already and gave birth 1.5 hours later.
    I never once thought about drugs or had any negative feelings of doubt.
    I think all of the preparation I did helped me immensely and I would say that for women who want a natural birth too: educate yourself, become an expert on your birth, be positive and surround yourself with caring people. Make sure your partner knows exactly what you want and will support you. Make sure your doctor and hospital know exactly what you want and will support you too (if they don’t change doctor or hospital — I know this is easier said than done, but I also changed my doctor and hospital too, so I know the dilemma well).
    This is not an easy choice as you will hear from other women and doctors how difficult things are or can be, who will ask you why you want to suffer, etc. What I would say to that is that natural birth is not “painful” per se, it’s just the most intense thing your body will ever go through. However the rewards of a natural birth are incredible and I hope other women will be inspired by your Babble article to choose this path as well!!!

    • @Paris Bee Kids Blog – Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. You and I sound very similar. I had the same mindset as you before I got pregnant. “Of course I’ll get the epidural!” It wasn’t even a question. Then I saw The Business of Being Born and read some Ina May and was converted and knew there had to be something better. And I was right! Your Hypnobirthing/birth experience sounds amazing. I truly do believe that all women are capable of having a natural birth (barring any serious complications, which are far more rare than people think). We are amazingly strong and don’t give our bodies the credit they deserve for being so strong and capable! So glad you had an amazing natural birth and I hope your story encourages other women as well!

  5. Great information. I agree and think you nailed it with the first two – Once you trust your care provider and feel safe in the environment you’re half way there. I’d also add to the “ditch the updates” that you should avoid updating friends and family during labor. I’ve seen it add so much pressure to my friends and can even stall labor to have people constantly texting or calling to ask if the baby is here yet. Once I go into labor no one knows it and no one one hears from me until after the baby is born and we’ve had some good time to bond as a family. You are going to love having a home birth! Nothing better than your own bed and all your own stuff after you have the baby.

  6. So glad you got the birthing experience you wanted! Childbirth is so incredible and yes, very painful – but we can do it! We are so much stronger than we think. I had never really gone through any pain before giving birth but I knew I wanted as little intervention as possible. I can look back on my son’s birth as an experience that I have no regrets over. Incredibly painful but also incredibly wonderful!
    I hope your post can show other women that natural childbirth is a wonderful thing, and there is an alternative than just ‘going with the flow’ of having drugs.

  7. Rachel W. says:

    I think it’s great that you were strong during your birth, but your article(s) and the subsequent comments suggest that the only reason a woman wouldn’t have a natural birth is if she wimped out. In truth, sometimes a natural birth would be catastrophic. I tried (twice) for a natural birth. My first son was born in an emergency C-Section after a 30 hour labor that included three hours of pushing. He went into fetal distress. My second son was also a C-section after a failed VBAC. Here’s what I learned from MY childbirth experiences: before you give birth, you think the experience is all about you. After you’re holding a live and healthy baby, you realize that the whole endeavor is in servitude to your baby and that you will do anything to ensure a safe delivery.

    • @Rachel W. – I absolutely understand that natural birth is not possible for everyone and I go out of my way to be sensitive to that. If you read my birth story you would see that I prefaced the entire thing by saying it was the choice I made, but that I pass no judgement on anyone who has a different journey. Birth is no joke and things happen. A safe birth is obviously the end goal no matter how the baby arrives. That said, I didn’t choose a natural birth because the experience was all about me. On the contrary…an epidural would’ve been way easier. I did it because I researched and felt it was the best start I could give my baby. It was an act filled with servitude to my baby. That said…I don’t think c-sections are the end of the world or a sign of failure or “wimping out”. I would never say that. I was born via c-section after my mom had an intense and long labor and I turned out just fine. Birth is uniquely personal to each woman and each experience is different. In the end, I am glad you had beautiful babies to bring home – regardless of how they got there!

  8. Hi Lauren, I also commented via instagram on this post. In the Netherlands its normal to have a natural birth at home. You can get an epidural, but its just not standard. Weird that there are such great differences between countries. I gave birth at home two weeks ago. Not having given birth before i was dreading the pain. And pain there was, but it was not too much that i couldnt handle it. The most difficult part of giving birth was the fact that i didnt know how long i had to endure it (i hope thats the right word). But having painmedication doesnt really change that part. I hope more women will try a natural birth. It will be the hardest thing that youll do, but also the most beautifull thing. The female body is made to give birth, and for me it is extra special that i could do such a hard thing, without any medication (And to all the women who do use pain medication: i totally understand and do not judge!)

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