What are the Odds of Having a Natural Birth in New Jersey?
About 1 in 10 women have a completely unmedicated birth in New Jersey. And many of those are simply because the baby came so quickly, leaving was no time for an epidural.
Although fearful of the discomfort involved, many women hope for a birth without medication. These women have avoided medication throughout their whole pregnancy for the health of their baby and realize that it would be beneficial to continue to abstain during birth.
The Medical Model Does Not Support Natural Birth
Unfortunately, the maternity machine is not set up to accommodate a woman having natural childbirth. In fact, many doctors and nurses and sadly, even midwives, have never even seen a birth happen without intervention! There are institutions in New Jersey where NO midwives practice and so the medical model of birth proceeds completely unchallenged.
So, in order to even CONSIDER the option of natural childbirth, a woman needs to begin to prepare as soon as she is pregnant. Even if she ultimately decides to have pain medication for her birth, she must know that an unmedicated birth is virtually IMPOSSIBLE without being proactive throughout pregnancy.
Ways You Can Prepare For A Natural Birth
For a woman to have the best possible outcome for her birth, she should consider all of these things.
- Birth Setting
Women have more natural births and far fewer cesareans when they plan to deliver out of the hospital. Homebirth and Birth Centers are safe alternatives to routine hospital births. Some hospitals in New Jersey are far more flexible with women’s birth plans than others. I work in Morristown Medical Center and doctors and midwives alike attend normal births here on a regular basis.
A woman should be seeking a care provider who provides non-biased, evidence-based information who is experienced with natural childbirth. Midwives are sometimes a new concept to women but definitely worth investigating if they are considering natural childbirth.
- A Doula
Women are incredibly vulnerable during labor and a labor doula is aware of that. She provides reassurance and comfort measures to the woman and her partner in labor that a busy hospital is unable to provide. It is a good idea to have someone there to give her partner a break from rubbing the woman’s back and someone to explain the medical terminology. Studies have shown that doulas reduce the chances a woman will have a cesarean.
- Pain Management
It is important to have something other than an epidural available for pain. A woman should inquire at her place of birth about the use of tubs (waterbirth), showers, birth balls, rocking chairs and ambulation in labor. The Midwives of New Jersey and Morristown Medical Center have all of these things and more to support women in labor.
- Pregnancy Choices
A woman should be “in training” for her birth just like a runner trains for a marathon. Diet, exercise, education and mental preparation are crucial parts of being ready for the rite of birth.
Women never forget the day they birthed their baby; the way a baby enters the world impacts his whole life. I would urge all women to approach their birth with intent, not just “hoping” or “wishing” it will go ok.