“The first thing to realise is that giving birth is not a test where we pass or fail. Each mother and baby is unique and it’s important that they have the best birth for them, whether it is natural, with some interventions or a C-Section. Many women decide to try a natural birth in the first place because of some of the incredible benefits built into the natural process for baby and mother. But it’s important to keep an open mind and be ready for this plan to change if necessary without any sense of ‘failure’. The main benefit is that a natural active birth involves the mothers own hormones. These are called ‘the hormones of love’. They make the uterus contract to open in labour and to birth the baby at the end and they foster the loving bond or attachment between mother and baby. Both of them share very high levels of these hormones in a natural labour. So this gives a very good start to the relationship – with no risks or side effects.
There are also great benefits to the immune system and many more advantages to the natural physiology.
The modern C-Section is very useful as a back up plan for natural birth if there are complications. But it is surgery and although these days it is a very safe operation it does have risks and takes time to recover. If a natural birth is possible it is usually very empowering for the mother, and brings great joy and happiness with a very quick recovery. It is possible to prepare in pregnancy in a way that increases confidence in natural active birth and trust in your body.”
Janet Balaskas is an active birth pioneer and is founder of the Active Birth Centre in London. She will be speaking on 3 November at 9.10am at the Natural Birth and Breastfeeding conference in Sharjah. To register click here.