Natural Childbirth Methods

If you plan on skipping the epidural, you should prepare for labor pain by learning one of several natural birthing methods. So how do you choose? Watch this video to learn more.

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Lori H.
Lori H.3 years ago

Sorry, but that wasn't the best video to promote natural childbirth! The photos are ridiculous and to me, point out one of the biggest problems of using natural childbirth in some hospitals: Being forced to lie down to give birth, so they can keep you in a position that is convenient for them to monitor you.

I used the Bradley Method in the hospital for my first child and they would not allow me to walk around. The contractions were fast and painful and I just wanted to be able to walk/move around. I would have taken any drug at that point but of course it was too late for an epidural.

My son, I had at home with 2 midwives and an incredible amount of preparation from the primary midwife. Part of it was watching many videos of real childbirths from several countries. At first I thought, this is so boring, another video! But, when I went into labor, all of the images I saw of the different women, giving birth in a multitude of ways, flooded back to me and I felt so comfortable just doing what felt right to me. I ended up on a birthing stool (my midwife was against water births; she said they were too unsanitary) and she massaged my perineum as my almost 9 lb boy finally decided to make his way into this world with no tearing!

It was a very empowering experience for me to be able to give birth this way, and I would highly recommend it. But, the bottom line is, whatever you feel comfortable doing, and whatever works for you is the way to go. In the end, you just want th

Angie B.
Angela B.3 years ago

I have 7 children and I've never heard of all these methods of delivery. I had an epidural during my first labour because I was scared to death and I thought pain relief would help. I found out that you experience a fair bit of labour before they give you the epidural. It was the weirdest feeling; as if my body stopped at my waist. When I finally went in to deliver my daughter, I couldn't get them to adjust the mirror so I could see what was happening so I drifted off to sleep. My daughter`s cries woke me up. For the rest of my kids, I just passed on the epidural. Childbirth is a painful process but it is SO worth it in the end, when they place that llittle bundle in your arms. My daughter is attending LaMaz classes with her husband. LOL....she is so funny with her breathing exercises but it is giving her the confidence to attempt a drugfree delivery and I am happy for her choice. I remember it took almost 12 hours for that epidural to come out of my system and I felt pretty miserable at a time when I should have been overjoyed!!

Amanda M.
Amanda M.3 years ago

My parents were both natural childbirth instructors when my sister and I were young, so I grew up reading books about midwifery, home birth, and natural childbirth. So naturally I opted for drug-free assisted by a midwife, and I used the Bradley method with both children. Unfortunately, I couldn't have an out-of-hospital birth with either of them. I was supposed to be at a freestanding birth center in PA for my first, but the midwife who ran it was on vacation that week, and the one who was on call was from WV and wasn't licensed for PA, so we had to go to the county hospital in MD where we live, whose homelike options for labor and delivery SUCK! With my second, the only midwives in the county only did hospital births, and I now had a history of fast labor (getting to the hospital with our older daughter involved an ambulance ride), so my only option was the hospital I'd been to before, and I had less-than-fond memories of having to fight tooth and nail for the few natural concessions I COULD get!

I managed to have the completely natural labor and delivery I wanted with my second (no IV, no epidural), although it wasn't easy since I had back labor this time around. The hospital doesn't have birthing tubs, and I REALLY could've used one (the ones in the WV panhandle nearby do, but we didn't want to risk a roadside delivery trying to get to them). Three guesses what I put in the suggestions part of the survey I got asking how I rated my hospital experience!

Andy Kadir-Buxton

A Low Tech Method of Childbirth

The Buxton Handclap Method of delivering babies that minimises birth trauma to both mother and baby is used in various Third World countries, and according to one statistic quoted in 'New Scientist' would lead to an improvement in IQ of 15 points over natural child birth, and thus minimise intellectual impairment caused by difficult child birth.

With The Buxton Handclap Method at the onset of labour, the birth canal is held open by the hands of the deliverer. (Body building will increased the strength of the deliverer so that they are strong enough to carry out the Method.) The baby can be manipulated into position with the head down from any position by the deliverer holding the birth canal open with one hand and the side of the arm on the other side, leaving one hand free to do any necessary moving of the baby. In the event of the umbilical cord being wrapped around the baby's neck this can be corrected. When everything is as it should be the baby can be gently slid out by hooking the fingers around the chin.

Once delivered the baby can then be tickled to ensure it's airways are clear. The 15 point IQ advantage of my method is because no damage is done to the baby's head where the skull is crushed out of shape as well as no oxygen deprivation which can be serious if labour is prolonged.

And the handclap? It was a name given to the method so that everyone could remember it. If the deliverer cannot put both hands in the birth ca

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson3 years ago


Chi Hoo
C H3 years ago

In Europe, there is a greater use of perineal massage
--using a good oil, such as sesame or olive oil, to massage the perineum,
to help it to stretch over the baby's head,
allowing it to birth out without needing an episiotomy, and avoids tearing of tissues.
It is a definite special technique, that few in the USA practice.

Chi Hoo
C H3 years ago

So...yet again, I click on an interesting link offered by Care2, and there is NOTHING of that article to find anywhere.
But if anyone is interested,
I have seen the results of a water birth go badly--the baby is now nearly a year old, and STILL has breathing problems.
If I had not intervened on the 3rd day post-partum, the baby cold have died: the mother was so ecstatic that "he's such a quiet, good baby!"---well, yeah--he was unable to breath, because there was still too much fluid in his lungs--he was a deep-dusky color, and breathing was so shallow, it was not even causing wheezing or bubbling.
There had been such excitement surrounding the water-birth, that the father had forgotten that the ARNP had told them to keep helping the baby drain his lungs, and forgot or never were instructed how to do that.
Just be very careful, and make sure that the baby gets checked out very well, by someone who is capable of recognizing symptoms!

Joy Mcronald
Joy McRonald3 years ago

I had three with no epidural, no nothing, I guess I was lucky, not much pain...

Carolanne Powell
Carolanne Powell3 years ago


Harriet J. B.
Harriet J. B.3 years ago

Many years ago, when my daughter was born, babies were delivered in a civilized manner. So, I slept through it.

You can't do that today. But the best way is to avoid pain, the most effective way possible.