If you’ve never considered having a natural birth before, it may be shocking to find out that around a million women each year plan to have an unmedicated birth. Why would all those women want to experience the pain of childbirth when they could easily get an epidural?

Day 2 of #31days of Natural Birth

I could tell you all the latest research, about how medications used in birth have been linked to everything from asthma and allergies to autism and lower breastfeeding rates. I could tell you of how one medical intervention leads to another and often to unnecessary surgical birth and all the risks that come with it. None of those reasons would be as compelling as the actual reasons why real moms choose natural birth. So here are the reasons why the 25 real moms in the Natural Birth Stories book chose natural birth in their own words.

“I did a lot of reading about how natural birth can be very empowering, and I’d also done research about potential side effects of medicated births. I wanted to give myself and my babies the best shot at drug-free, endorphin-filled birth, breastfeeding and bonding.”-—Dionna of Code Name Mama

“The epidural with my first baby was the worst part of the entire birth. I could feel the tube being threaded through my spine and it was literally one of the most disgusting feelings I’d ever experienced. The doctor got a false positive and only dosed one leg, so she decided – without my knowledge – to double-dose me the second time around. I was essentially paralyzed from the chest down – for hours. I hated the lack of control. By the time it had worn off, I was in advanced labour and gave birth without the comfort of an epidural in the end. A decent-sized baby passing through my vagina was a better feeling than that epidural tube going up my spine. I swore I’d have a natural birth if I was fortunate enough to have another baby.”-Andrea

“Ever since I was a child and heard my mother’s cesarean birth story, I “knew” that would be the way I would have a baby. However, when I got pregnant I quickly discovered that a c-section involved a more lengthy recovery period. I was never interested in taking drugs for the birth plan because it seemed like a complex process with lots of room for error. With the support of my husband, I strengthened my body for the biggest challenge I would ever face because I wanted to do everything I could for my baby.”-Jeannette

“Biggest reason for choosing natural birth was I didn’t want a 5th c-section because that would mean that I most likely wouldn’t be able to have any more children, if we chose to do so.”-Holly

“I usually don’t take any medication when I am sick. One of my friends was doing a natural childbirth at a birthing center and recommended the Bradley method to me. Once we took those classes we felt very well prepped.”-Maria

“Really, it was a combination of a few factors: I was personally uncomfortable introducing drugs (requiring needles into the spine and catheters) into a process that is physically natural and that could increase the odds of a C-section.”-Katherine

“My biggest reason for choosing a natural birth was to give my son the chance to feel, from his first moments onward, that he was a part of the natural world. I was born via emergency C-section (the placenta was coming out before me and my heart rate dropped). I have always felt a bit of a distance from nature. I love being outdoors, I love being with animals and exploring beautiful places in nature – but I always feel a bit hesitant, as if I don’t quite speak the language or know the customs (as though I was travelling to a foreign country). It occurred to me in the time leading up to his birth that some of my feeling of separation may come from having had a “foreign” introduction to this world at my birth. So for him, I wanted him to come out in the most natural way possible, as babies have been born for many generations, so he could feel that connection to his ancestors, all of the human race, and to this beautiful world of which we are a part and are so lucky to be held by, everyday.”-Tia

“I didn’t want my child to come into to the world drugged up. I knew that women had done it for millions of years before things got crazy. What really hit the nail in the coffin (pardon the pun) was watching The Business of Being Born(affiliate link) after having a horrible OB appointment and then deciding to switch doctors.”-Lisa

“My number one reason for choosing natural birth was avoiding the possible negative ramifications of interventions on my baby’s health. I worried about the respiratory problems and bonding/breastfeeding trouble that could result.”-Anjanette of Raising the Barrs

“I did a great deal of research and decided that I wasn’t comfortable with the risks of medicated childbirth (at least not without a good medical reason for it). I’m also not a big fan of needles so that helped spur on my early research. When I first became pregnant, I read the book Water Birth: A Midwife’s Perspective(affiliate link) by Susanna Napierala and water birth sounded amazing to me, which also meant that I needed to look into home births because no hospitals nearby offered that option.”-Betsy

You can read the natural birth stories of each of these real moms in Natural Birth Stories: A Real Mom’s Guide to Natural Birth.

Why did you/ would you choose to have a natural birth?

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