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Image of a mother using a tree to support her in a vertical position, allowing gravity to aide in the birth of her child.

Natural Attachment encourages every woman to experience a natural childbirth. Having a non-medicated birth with no interventions to upset the natural course of events is the best way to experience childbirth in approximately 95% of all births. There are cases where mother or child might be in danger and require interventions, but before making these decisions, one should ask herself if intervention is truly necessary and what the associated risks are. Many times women openly accept
'routine' procedures, which can in turn cause the need for more interventions. Often women decide to have birth with a certain person or at a certain place, merely 'just in case' something was to go wrong. Too often things do go wrong, because the person or place the woman chose, had 'regulations' they must abide by, thus causing stress on the mother and child and the need for more interventions.

Women and their families should be as informed as humanly possible about pregnancy and childbirth. No matter where or with whom you decide to have your child's birth, it is your right to choose as a woman, and the better informed you are, the better the out come of your child's birth will be. Natural Attachment offers informative natural childbirth education classes for couples preparing for a homebirth. We want every woman to know what she wants and how to make it happen.

The benefits of having a natural childbirth are numerous. Fewer complications is the first and foremost benefit. The mother's ability to be alert and an active participant relies on the fact that she is not medicated. Breastfeeding gets off to a great start for mother and child when both are free of medication. Rips, tears, and episiotomies are virtually nonexistent with natural births. If a woman decides to have her child at home, which is as safe as at a hospital if not safer, she is more likely to labor better, faster and not need interventions. A homebirth also provides a sense of comfort for the whole family and comfort breeds relaxation, which is what a mother needs during childbirth.

Hospital births, while occasionally needed, can end up requiring a snowball effect of interventions. For example, a mother is 'over due' and her doctor 'routinely' induces her labor with pitocin. She then requires the need of an epidural to deal with the pain of the intense contractions brought on by the pitocin. Because she has an epidural she can't walk or change positions, causing her to lay flat or semi-reclined in bed. Lying flat in bed is the worse position to push a baby out. More than likely this mother will not be able to feel her body correctly and won't be able to push efficiently because of the drugs and the poor labor position she is in. This will require the doctor to make an episiotomy and use forceps to deliver the baby. Now not all hospital births take place like this, but it is easy to see how fast one 'routine' procedure can cause a trickle down effect on the whole experience.

If a mother is surrounded by loving supportive people, she will be more relaxed and at ease. The hired help of a doula may be an asset to the birthing family. A labor and birth doula can help a mother relax and remind her of how well she is doing and remind her of her birth wishes, so that they will be honored by those attending the birth. Birth props and aides like birthing stools and birth balls can help facilitate a birth greatly. The use of a Midwife or holistically minded Physician is also an excellent way for a family to have a less complicated birth with fewer interventions.

Right now in America statistics for hospital births are unreassuring for many families. Even with all the technological advances in the US the increase of complications in childbirth have increased in the past years and continue to rise. Currently, over 26% of births end up as a cesarean delivery. 7 of every 1000 births ends in death for the infant. 35% of hospital births require deliveries by forceps. In 84% of hospital births episiotomies are cut. Almost 21% of births are induced. More than 50% of pregnant women end up using epidural anesthesia for pain relief during birth (not counting the use of epidurals for cesarean deliveries), of these approximately 35% are induced labors and 42% required deliveries assisted by forceps. One can see why many families would choose to have a homebirth, where these statistics are drastically lower.

Sources:
1. Center for Disease Control, "Live births by place of delivery and race of mother, 1992", section 1, Natality, page 246.
2. Center for Disease Control, "United States, Birth Cohort of 1990", Table 43, pages 2 and 5.
3. Litoff, Judy Barrett, The American Midwife Debate, pages 1-10.
4. Mehl, Lewis, "Scientific research on childbirth alternatives and what it tells us about hospital practice", NAPSAC, 21st Century Obstetrics, 1978, vol. 1, pp/ 171-207.
5. Stewart, The Five Standards for Safe Childbearing, pages 137-138.
6. Hoff and Schneiderman, "Having Babies at Home: Is It Safe? Is It Ethical?", Hastings Center Report, December 1985, pages 19-27.
7. Enkin, Keirse & Chalmers, A Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth, Oxford University Press, New York, 1989.

A word about Unassisted Childbirth

In short Unassisted Childbirths or UC are births where no contracted or hired birth professionals are invited to be present at a birth, even as only an educated person available for assistance in the same building. A UC can be only the expectant mother, a mother and father or a couple and older children and sometimes it includes other family members and family friends. 

When a couple chooses UC, it isn't a sign that they are irresponsible or lack insight into the world of childbirth. It means usually quite the opposite. Well educated mothers and couples are choosing to experience birth for the truly intimate event that it is; After all, it is an intimate event that leads to pregnancy, birth, bonding and Motherhood. They have trust in the process of birth and life and have not let their minds be clouded by the medical community's tries at depicting childbirth as a means to an end of an illness (pregnancy). They embrace birth and do not fear it.

UC is a completely legitimate choice in childbirth and one that more and more families are making. Natural Attachment and it's midwife, Michele, completely support this choice when the health and safety of both mother and child are put first. It is my hope that by the time my children have their own children, myself and many other midwives will be 'out of business'; because, hopefully by then, women will realize that they are their own midwives and will experience true FreeBirth and can educate other women. This is when we'll know that we have truly taken back what was stolen from us by the medical institution.

Many readers might wonder why a midwife would advertise such an option, much less support it to a point where she is out of a job. The answer is quite simple; a real midwife knows that a birth which is left to unfold naturally, without time limits, protocols, procedures and personal agendas, obstetrical procedures or tools, is always a perfect birth -- no matter the outcome. Birth is a safe as life gets. If a couple without fear, having trust in birth and their baby, with much education can successfully birth their own child without the aide of a midwife, physician or other birth professional.


This belief doesn't mean that childbirth is without risks, never needs medical support or at times, has less desirable outcomes, it means that birth is a raw, natural, animal event and will happen the way it is designed to happen if trusting and educated individuals let it run its course. People wanting more information about UC and other alternative birth options can find links at the bottom of this page to get them started in their search.

Natural Attachment offers Prenatal and Postnatal care for those couples choosing Unassisted Childbirth. Please contact Michele for more information and support.
PghMidwife @ naturalattachment dot com

Our Birth Philosophy

Birth is a sacred Rite of Passage, not just a medical event, especially when medical care is necessary.

A woman’s body is capable of giving birth, naturally and safely without aide.

Holistic birth preparations and approaches provide tools for a sacred birth experience.

How a woman gives birth is a direct reflection of how she will handle parenthood and life in general.

Parents should be respected and supported in whatever decisions they have made.

Fathers deserve to be treated as such and not treated as just coaches.

Women need the company of loving support persons during the postpartum period.

Links To Other Websites About Natural Childbirth And Homebirth

Freestone Innerprizes

Symbolic analysis of obstetrical interventions and the dangers

You Make the Decision to Have a Medically Managed Birth

Normal Birth

The Bradley Method -- Natural Childbirth

The safety of homebirth

Why have a homebirth?

The Active Birth Centre

Is homebirth for you?

The homebirth choice

Sources of pain during labor

Why the epidural epidemic?

Childbirth pain relief without needles or a price tag

Painless childbirth

Perineal pampering

What do I do with the placenta?

How we talk about birth

Birthsource.com

A birth from The Farm

Other children attending childbirth

Ten months, is that safe?

Breech babies

Christian UC 

Unassisted homebirth

Fathers and unassisted homebirths

What is an unassisted homebirth?

Midwifery On The Sly - Why Your Midwife Answers the Phone, “do you work for the state?”

From Calling to Courtroom

Birthing naturally

Giving birth in water: A gentle birth choice

What is an organic birth?

The material in this website is provided for information purposes only. This information is not a substitute for, medical diagnosis, medical advice, or medical treatment prescription. Consult your health care provider for more information. If you are in Pittsburgh and need a midwife, send email to PghMidwife (at) naturalattachment.com
All rights reserved. Copyright © James-Parham 2003 - 2006.