Breith linbh nádúrtha

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Breith linbh nádúrtha

What is natural childbirth?

Natural childbirth is childbirth respecting the physiological process of labor and birth, with minimal medical intervention. Artificial rupture of the water bag, oxytocin infusion, epidural analgesia, bladder probing or continuous monitoring by monitoring: these various gestures practiced today almost systematically are, in the context of a natural childbirth, avoided.

A natural childbirth is only possible if the pregnancy is considered “normal” or, according to the WHO, “a pregnancy whose onset is spontaneous, the risk is low from the start and throughout labor and pregnancy. childbirth. The child is born spontaneously in the cephalic position of the summit between the 37th and 42nd week of gestation. After the birth, the mother and the newborn are doing well. ” (1)

Cén fáth é a úsáid?

Assuming that pregnancy and childbirth are not an illness but a natural process, a “happy event” which is moreover as the formula demands, some parents believe that medical intervention should be limited to its strict minimum. In this regard, the WHO also recalls “that a normal childbirth, provided it is low risk, only requires the careful observation of a birth attendant capable of detecting early signs. complications. It does not require any intervention, only encouragement, support and a little tenderness. “However” in France, 98% of deliveries take place in maternity hospitals where the vast majority is managed according to standardized protocols justified for deliveries with complications, while only 1 in 5 women have a proven need for specialized medical supervision and that the intervention of an obstetrician is only necessary in 20 to 25% of births “, explains midwife Nathalie Boéri (2).

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Faced with this “hyper-medicalization of childbirth”, some women wish to reclaim the birth of their child and offer it a respected birth. This desire is part of the movement of respectful parenthood that emerged ten years ago. For these mothers, natural childbirth is the only way to be an “actor” in their childbirth. They trust their body and its ability to handle this natural event that is birth.

This desire to reappropriate childbirth is also supported by certain research, including that of Michel Odent, which tends to establish a correlation between the environment of birth and the physical, mental and emotional health of the human being in the making. (3).

Where to give birth for a natural childbirth?

The natural childbirth plan begins with the choice of the place of birth, the most suitable for this type of childbirth being:

  • the physiological centers or “nature rooms” of certain maternity hospitals, places representing “an alternative between medical childbirth in the hospital and childbirth at home”, explains midwife Simone Thévenet;
  • the home as part of an assisted home birth (DAA);
  • birth centers, whose experimentation began in 2016 with 9 places, in accordance with the law of 6 December 2013;
  • a technical platform open to liberal midwives practicing global support.

Techniques and methods

In the context of a natural childbirth, certain practices should be favored in order to promote the physiological process of childbirth and help the expectant mother to manage the pain:

  • mobility and the choice of posture during labor and expulsion: “more and more studies have shown that mobility and postural freedom are favorable to the mechanics of childbirth,” recalls Bernadette de Gasquet. Certain positions would also have an analgesic effect, allowing mothers to better manage pain. Different objects can be used to adopt these positions: electric delivery bed, balloon, cake, birth bench, suspension vines mounted on rails or on a device made up of a perforated chair (called multrack or combitrack);
  • the use of water, for its analgesic properties in particular, in an expansion bath;
  • natural therapeutic means such as homeopathy, acupuncture, hypnosis;
  • moral support, with the presence of a midwife, or even a doula, throughout the duration of the work.
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