What is painless normal ?

Painless normal delivery is vaginal labor and delivery with limited to no medical intervention; done under the effect of epidural anaesthesia. Here are the most common options usually involved in a natural birth:

  • Delivering at a birthing center or at home rather than in a hospital (although you can definitely request to have a drug-free birth in a hospital)
  • Instead of lying on your back in bed, opting for alternative delivery positions including squatting, all fours (hands and knees), kneeling, or leaning against something (a chair or your partner)
  • Giving birth in a tub of warm water
  • Alternative drug-free methods including hydrotherapy, hypnosis, massage, relaxation techniques, mindfulness meditation, breathing exercises and acupressure
  • Delivering baby immediately to your stomach for skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding (instead of taking her away to be assessed and weighed first)
  • Avoiding routine IV, labor induction, routine episiotomy (which, fortunately, is rarely used these days anyway), continuous fetal monitoring, assisted delivery with forceps, vacuum extraction and cesarean section (unless one of these medical interventions is deemed medically necessary as a last resort)

The benefits

  • Because you’ll be using your own body and instincts instead of defaulting to medical intervention, natural birth methods may make you feel more empowered throughout the process of delivery. Here are a few other benefits to consider:
  • Baby will bond with your birthing partner. You’ll likely need the constant support of a partner, family member or close friend, which may strengthen the bond between that person and your baby.
  • You might have better success breastfeeding. Studies have shown that immediate skin-to-skin contact helps with early mom-baby bonding that can make breastfeeding easier.
  • You’ll be able to move. Many women find comfort in the ability to move during labor as a way to cope with pain. Whether it’s walking the halls, taking a hot shower or swaying on an exercise ball, you’ll have the freedom to move about pretty much as you please with a natural birth — whereas with an epidural you’re usually confined to bed.