The idea of natural childbirth is starting to gain popularity as many women begin to wonder if there is way to give birth that takes them back to methods that were in use before hospitals and modernity became involved. Methods of childbirth that do not involve drugs, and that may include home births are garnering attention as some feel that it can be better for the health of both baby and mother to experience birth in a way that is largely uninhibited by modern medicinal constructs. Before you decide whether natural childbirth is for, though, you might consider these 25 resources:
General Information about Childbirth and Natural Childbirth
- “Labor and Birth” from WomensHealth.gov: This is a look at labor and birth in general, and includes information on natural childbirth and other birth options, including cesarean delivery. It is a good idea to get a comprehensive view of your options before choosing one.
- “Childbirth” from Medline Plus: A service from the National Institutes of Health, Medline Plus offers a great deal of health information. The entry on childbirth is a good look at options, and specific conditions that you might run into. A great resource for helping you decide whether or not natural childbirth is right for you.
- Childbirth.org: This site covers all aspects of pregnancy and delivery. This site includes information on natural childbirth and helps you compare it to other types of childbirth options.
- American Pregnancy Association: Learn about different options for pregnancy and childbirth. Read about different types of natural childbirth, understand the risks, and decide what be healthiest for you.
- “Natural childbirth” from Wikipedia: A comprehensive article about natural childbirth, its historical precedents, the physical and psychological aspects of natural childbirth and preparation for giving birth in a more natural setting.
- NaturalChildbirth.org: This organization is dedicated to providing information about natural childbirth and preparing women who decide to make this decision. There are a number of articles on a number of subjects related to natural childbirth, and to baby care after the birth. There is also a blog that is updated regularly.
- “Natural childbirth” from BabyCenter: This article goes through the advantages and disadvantages of natural childbirth. It also provides helpful information that can help you determine whether or not going this route is the right thing for you.
- “Natural Childbirth from KidsHealth: Learn about the basics of natural childbirth, and what qualifies as “natural.” Also, get an idea of what types of pregnancies are especially suited for natural childbirth, and what sorts of pregnancies are too high risk for this type of birth plan. You can also learn how to prepare for natural childbirth, and safety precautions that can be taken.
- “Natural Childbirth” from The Natural Family Site: Learn about natural childbirth and its advantages. You can also learn about how to prepare for natural childbirth in order to make sure you are ready for its unique challenges.
- Have a Natural Childbirth: This site is run by doulas and midwives who work hard to dispel myths about childbirth and, more particularly, about natural childbirth. You can also see links to great birth stories.
Methods of Natural Childbirth
While a natural childbirth is one that is defined as one that does not use medication or surgery, there are a number of different methods that go about promoting natural childbirth. Here are some sites that can help you learn about different methods of natural childbirth.
- “Natural Childbirth Options” from MedicineNet.com: This article is a helpful and basic overview of some of the available options for natural childbirth. Birthing centers, water births and home births are covered. Additionally, there is information on how natural childbirth can be safe.
- Lamaze.org: This site focuses on the Lamaze method of natural childbirth. Emphasis is placed on breathing and relaxation techniques, as well as getting a partner involved with your birth experience. This site is full of information about childbirth options as well, helping you to make more educated decisions.
- Birthing from Within: This Web site looks at natural childbirth as part of a holistic experience. You can learn about birthing using natural methods, learn about different ways of coping with pain, learn how to use meditation as part of your experience, and sign up for classes that might be in your area.
- The Bradley Method: This is a particular method of childbirth that focuses on helping you get through childbirth with coaching from the baby’s father.
- Hypnobirthing: Learn about how you can hypnotize yourself to deal with the challenges of natural childbirth. This type of natural childbirth method focuses on visualization and relaxation techniques.
- Waterbirth.org: The idea of making a natural transition from womb to world is becoming increasingly popular. Waterbirthing allows babies to move from an environment that is liquid (the womb) into another water environment. Waterbirthing is an interesting natural childbirth technique that can be done at a center, or in the home.
- “Is Homebirth for You?” from GentleBirth.org: Learn about home birth and different aspects of birthing at home. Addresses safety and health issues, and provides information on the benefits available with home birth.
- “How to Have Natural Childbirth in the Hospital” from Keeper of the Home: This article describes how you can arrange to have a natural childbirth in the hospital. Yes, it is possible to have a natural experience in the hospital. And if complications arise, you are already on site.
Midwives and Doulas
Often, those who are interested in natural childbirth hire the services of a midwife or a doula. These practitioners are specifically trained in helping with birthing, and usually have expertise in natural childbirth techniques. It is worth noting that you can usually have your midwife or doula present if you decide to go to the hospital. Here are some sites that can provide you with information related to midwives and doulas.
- Midwife & Doula Services: Learn about what is involved with natural childbirth aided by a midwife or doula. Find someone locally, and learn more about how these practitioners can enhance the birth experience.
- “How to Choose a Midwife or Doula” from BabyFit.com: It is a good idea to interview different midwives and doulas to find one that works well with you and who fits with your idea of a successful natural childbirth.
- “What’s the Difference Between Midwives and Doulas?” from Life123: This article focuses on the differences between midwives and doulas. These birthing professionals have different training, and different sets of skills. This article can help you decide which would be best for your natural childbirth.
- BirthPartners.com: This directory can help you learn more about midwives and doulas, as well as provide you with a way to connect with birthing professionals in your local area.
- “Midwives and Doulas” from Mothering.com: This resource page offers a number of informational articles and stories about midwives and doulas. Learn about the legacy of these birth partners, and how they relate to natural childbirth.
- American College of Nurse-Midwives: Offers information on natural childbirth, as well as news from the pregnancy and childbirth realm. Learn about how a nurse midwife can enhance your natural childbirth with training in birthing from a medical tradition standpoint.
- DONA International: This Web site focuses on the doula tradition. Information about doulas, natural childbirth and the latest birthing news is offered. There is also a helpful forum where you can interact with other mothers-to-be and have doulas answer your questions.