19/02/2010 10:42 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

N: What Is Natural Childbirth?

Natural childbirth is a generic term that is used to describe a labour and birth that is free from both medicinal pain relief and medical intervention.

Many women choose to attempt a natural birth as it is commonly accepted that a drug-free birth can help a woman to keep a clearer mind during labour, as well as recover from the birth quicker than a woman who has received drugs.

This is because pain relief such as gas and air and pethidine can cloud a woman's judgement during labour, and can also alter her recollection of the event itself.

Equally, once the baby is born, the residual effects of the drugs can also make a woman feel nauseous or excessively drowsy.

Additionally an epidural, despite its excellent pain relieving properties, is also known to prolong labour.

Staunch advocates of natural childbirth believe that a woman is innately prepared and able to give birth without any medical intervention whatsoever.

They also believe that giving birth at home is better for the woman as it is a less stressful environment, which aids the woman's ability to relax and subsequently give birth without any intervention or complications; and this is a theory that is supported by research into the benefits of natural childbirth.

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