Have you heard about various types of births? Natural birth, home birth, water birth, ecstatic birth? If so, I wonder what kind of thoughts come to your mind? What does natural birth mean nowadays? Does it mean giving birth without the assistance of a midwife or doctor?
There are women and couples who decide to give birth without the support of medical personnel, by themselves or accompanied by their friends or family members and this is when we talk about free birth or unassisted birth.
Natural birth means that there are no medical interventions, i.e.: inducing, breaking the waters, no pain relief medications. The whole birth simply happens by itself – as mother nature intended. Natural birth is not about 'Where', even though a great deal of research confirms that home birth significantly increases chances for natural birth. Why? First of all because feeling safe plays a crucial role in labour and where else can we feel safer than at home, sweet home. Our mind, however, might be saying – hospital, but is it certain? Hospital is for treating ill people and if the pregnancy is developing correctly then surely it isn't an illness. Hospitals are usually busy places, which again, isn't very conducive for intimacy of the labour. There's also medical equipment, a reminder that something might go wrong.
One of the most important aspects of hospital birth, in my opinion, is that we put ourselves in the role of a patient handing over our power to medical personnel. Often we dismiss our own intuition and inner power relying on decisions of experts in the field.
Home birth is a different story. We're on our own familiar territory and the midwife is more of a guest or supportive visitor who's not there to make decisions for us.
All of that greatly affects birth and a woman who is in touch with her inner power can sail through the intensity of her experience with more grace. She listens to her body and by trusting its wisdom she can give birth with ease and gentleness.
She can also feel when things aren't going smoothly and when is the right time to ask for medical assistance or even go to hospital – the latter happens rarely as the majority of women do a great job giving birth at home. Birthing at home can also be a source of the immense satisfaction and joy.
What can we do to make birth easier? The more a woman can trust herself, her own body, the birthing process and life in general the greater chance she stands for a beautiful and gentle birth. What if she doesn't have that trust? There are methods and processes that help in building/rebuilding that trust. More information about this method can be found on www.birthyourself.co.uk
Water is a natural environment for the foetus so being born in a pool must feel very natural. Supporters of water birth claim that it is a much gentler transformation for a baby comparing with a non water birth. It can also bring a relief to the labouring woman, helping her to relax which again may have a positive impact on the labour and can even accelerate the whole process.
Ecstatic Birth -
Giving Birth Doesn't Have to be Painful
Most women who haven't had a baby have a perception of what kind of experience birth is based mainly on media. What picture is that? Mostly screaming, panic, pain... Additionally, stories of other women seem to be only confirming media's portrayal, so even more pain, suffering, labour lasting forever and millions of complications.
How does it affect each of us? Usually it creates a conception of how difficult birth is and so a pregnant lady thinking along those lines expects nothing less than the pain and complications. It's more difficult then to open yourself up to a more pleasant version. Not many women know and feel that birth can be delicate, gentle and even ecstatic.
And it can be. Some of us (according to some statistics around 30%), experience orgasms during labour; and often women say that it was something much more than an orgasm. They talk about an absolute ecstasy. This type of experience is possible only in natural birth when a spontaneous flow of hormones is not interrupted by the application of synthetic hormones or pain relief medication.
Giving birth this way can be very empowering for the woman. You might be asking yourself – what needs to be done in order to be able to have orgasmic birth? First of all you need to open yourself up to such a possibility and first things first. Your relationship with yourself, then with your partner, your family so that nothing arises to disturb you when it's time to be fully present following mother's nature call. It's also important to befriend your own body, be at ease with your sexuality and rebuild the trust in mother nature's wisdom.
In lotus birth, the umbilical cord doesn't get severed/cut once the baby has been born. Instead it's allowed to dry out and fall off by itself. The baby stays connected to its placenta until then and it usually takes 3 to 8 days.
What are the advantages of lotus birth? On a physical level the baby gets all the blood that it needs, as one third of it is still in the placenta at birth and this stays in the placenta if the cord gets severed or clamped immediately. Ensuring the full transfer of blood enables the baby's immunological system to be stronger and more prepared to deal with the change of environments. On a psychological level baby doesn't experience the trauma of being separated from the placenta, it has more time to adapt to new surroundings feeling safer because of the presence of its placenta – something that gestated from the baby's cell and then was delivering oxygen and nutrients for 9 months. It's the baby who decides when it's time to separate from the placenta and when it happens at the baby's pace there's no shock or trauma.
Children born this way tend to be more 'whole' – independent, they trust life more. More about lotus birth can be found on the internet. I also recommend a book by Rachana Shivam 'Lotus Birth'.
More about natural birth