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Why YOU shouldn’t try to have a natural birth!

By Samanda Rossi,

I get phone calls quite frequently from moms who begin the conversations with, “I would like to try to have a natural childbirth, but I know I’ve never done this before and I may change my mind.”


However, you should never TRY for a natural childbirth (if that’s you’re intention). You should PREPARE for a natural childbirth.

“Trying” lacks confidence, lacks commitment, lacks strength. All things you will NEED to have to achieve a natural childbirth. All things you will need to have an empowered birth, regardless of how your baby is born.

Preparation includes:

  • Figuring out where and with whom you feel safest, and putting together a birth team that you trust. Preparation is asking stimulating questions of your care provider, advocating for your preferences and sometimes changing care providers if you do not feel supported and aligned with him or her.
  • Preparation is considering a doula to accompany you, and hiring one (especially if you’re planning a hospital birth, you’re a first time mom, and/or if you like the idea of personal, consistent support).
  • Preparation is reading lots of juicy birth stories (and not just fast, easy births either).
  • Preparation is awareness of options for pregnancy (like Spinning Babies techniques or chiropractic). And ensuring coping tools for labor are available (like access to a tub and shower, birth ball, etc…).
  • Preparation is finding an educator and classes that not only fit your schedule (or are the cheapest, closest option), but are a good fit for your physical, mental and emotional preparation.
  • Preparation is worrying and dreaming and hoping and fearing.
  • Preparation is thinking beyond the birth, and connecting with resources available to you on your postpartum journey.

Preparation is KNOWING you have done everything you can to achieve the birth that you want, and having CONFIDENCE WITHIN yourself and your care team to support you.

Preparation doesn’t mean you aren’t open and flexible, quite the contrary. I am a huge proponent of flexibility. I challenge my client’s with “what ifs”, with different scenarios and how they might navigate their journey if they decide they want or need intervention, if they transfer their care (if planning an out-of-hospital birth), or if their baby needs to be born via cesarean. Part of being prepared, of welcoming the journey with confidence is knowing how you (and your team) will navigate unplanned scenarios.

Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Don’t try to cut down a tree without first sharpening the axe, or only sharpening for an hour and hoping for the best! Don’t try for a natural childbirth, prepare for a natural childbirth. If you do, you just may find yourself empowered (even if you don’t have a natural birth)!

Note: the term “natural” in the post refers to a vaginal birth with no pharmacological pain relief.