natural birth

So you want a natural birth?

This is the kind of birth that lots of women say they want. But often, they might not fully appreciate what it takes to be able to make it happen.

Beware of planning for a natural birth

Now before I go any further i need to share with you a couple of **** HUGE DISCLAIMER ALERTS ****

1. You don’t always get what you planned for

Just because you ‘plan’ to have a certain birth, doesn’t mean it will happen. But that’s not to say that you can’t stack the odds in your favour to increase your chances of success. But it’s important to have flexibility in your plans. Which leads me to my next point;

2. Don’t obsess over it

Being obsessed over wanting a natural birth is not a good thing. Sure, it good to have an outcome in mind, but not if you are blind to the alternatives. With birth it’s also important to plan for, and be OK with, other birth outcomes. If you cling rigidly to your dream of a natural birth then you could be putting yourself and your baby at risk if things start to veer off plan. You might decided to reject certain medical interventions ‘for the sake of the natural birth’ when actually, that might be the most sensible thing to so. So BEWARE!

Having said all that, let’s say that you’re cool with other birth options AND you’re not going to obsess over your natural birth. What can you do to stack the odds in your favour of having your natural birth? What does it mean for you RIGHT NOW in your pregnancy?

What will it take?

What can you do to increase your chances of it being a reality for you?

People who know things like this are midwives and labour & delivery nurses. I came across this comment on social media and I want to share it with you because I found it quite interesting and thought you might too.

A expectant mama wrote a post about a conversation she had had with a friend of hers who’s a Labour & Delivery nurse. She asked her how many mamas had a natural birth at the hospital she worked at. And this is what she said;

“She laughed and asked if I wanted to know how many moms say they want to go natural vs. moms that succeed. My friend explained that about a quarter of all moms say want to go natural, with half of those saying they want to ‘try’.

She said the half (an eighth of all moms) that succeed are prepared… they have a method they have practiced, whatever it may be… hypnobirthing, Morgan Method, Lamaze or whatever. The ones that think they can just tough it out without any work or preparation before are the ones that give up and get epidurals. She said it’s hard for her to see them be disappointed, and she’s too nice to point out that they didn’t prepare, which is often why they gave up.”

Don’t you find that interesting?

I’m not so much concerned about the percentages quoted because a hospital environment is more likely to attract women who are comfortable with a medical approach to their birth. What I’m more interested in is what the labour and delivery nurse said about those that succeed.

The 3 things it takes to succeed at having a natural birth

What she said boiled down to three key things

  1. Preparation. They’ve spent time preparing. Preparation is power!
  2. They have a method. It doesn’t matter what method as long as they have one. Any birth prep method will do.
  3. They do the work. They are committed.

The moral of the story is this: if you want to have a natural birth, mean it!

Do some prep work. Take a class, practice what you’re taught and be committed. That was her advice for success.

I would add to that: be open to walk away from it if you need to.

We shouldn’t obsess over a natural birth at the risk of having a crappy birth experience. For me the ultimate birth is the positive birth. It doesn’t have to be natural for it to be positive.


If you want to prepare for a natural birth and learn some brilliant mindset tools to help you cope during birth, then check out my Fearless Birthing Birth Prep Classes. These online classes will help you to prepare for birth and work on your mindset too so that you’re better able to cope with how things might unfold on the big day. 

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Alexia Leachman

Alexia is the host of the Fear Free Childbirth podcast and the author of Fearless Birthing, Childbirth, Midwifery & the Media, and Clear Your Head Trash.

Alexia supports families planning pregnancy and birth. She helps them to overcome their fears and feel calm and confident about birth and pregnancy.

Alexia also trains birth professionals in the Fearless Birthing, a unique approach to birth preparation that is ideal for those who have fears around birth.
Alexia Leachman
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