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Often when people hear you’re choosing natural childbirth, they immediately associate it with pain. Some can’t imagine why you would want to do it without medication or why you would choose pain when you could choose comfort.
But women who choose not to use medication don’t do it because of their own pain, but rather for the health and well being of their new baby.
Natural childbirth is not just for vegans; in fact, many people who don’t use medicine during labor are not vegetarian at all, and many vegans do use medication. No judgement to people who choose to use pain medication, but I believe there are benefits to going without.
For me, the idea of compassion and voting for the things you believe in with your actions connects natural childbirth and veganism in a powerful way.
If you’re a compassionate vegan who stays away from animal products for your health, or to prevent cruelty to animals, or to improve the health of our environment, those are all reasons you should consider natural childbirth for your new baby. You have a connection to your body and empathy for those creatures around you and you can show that connection in every situation.
Childbirth is incredibly natural and instinctive in its design, on a biological level. Think of how many animals give birth every single second, and almost none with any type of doctor or medical intervention. While we humans have the luxury of having doctors stand by in case of emergency whereas other animals often do not, if we allow our body to do the work, we will not normally need intervention.
Deciding to go natural is saying that you don’t want to transfer any needless medication to your unborn child because you know it can’t possibly be healthy for the baby to ingest a mixture of narcotics.
It’s proving you want to revert to the way the body is supposed to be treated, not simply by eating plant-based foods, but also by listening to the cues given to you during pregnancy and childbirth, and really understanding your body.
It’s accepting the value in contractions, understanding they are signals that guide pregnant women on giving birth naturally.
It’s ignoring all the hype we’ve been sold by hospitals, movies, and society that childbirth is a painful medical process and not something 100% natural and normal.
It’s recognizing that those same concepts told to us time and again about the medical process of childbirth are what sometimes lead to higher rates of being chemically induced, cesarean sections, episiotomies, and other dangerous (sometimes unnecessary) interventions.
It’s opting to be completely present for the birth of your child for your baby, and understanding that childbirth isn’t about you, but about the baby.
It’s choosing compassion and empathy over apathy.
There are numerous techniques that can help to make your childbirth as pain free as possible such as practicing prenatal yoga for relaxation, learning about hypnobirthing, selecting the right birth place for your situation, creating a positive birth plan, considering a doula, learning about labor positioning, taking childbirthing classes, using a birth ball, and finding support from alternative medicines such as massage, acupuncture and acupressure, aromatherapy, and water birth.
What it doesn’t mean is that you are deciding to ignore all medical help. When intervention is absolutely necessary, everyone should take follow the guidance of medical professionals.