Natural Childbirth Statistics You Need to Know

Natural Childbirth Statistics You Need to Know Before Heading to the Delivery Room

For expectant mothers making choices about childbirth, these Natural Childbirth Statistics may come in handy.  While it is ideal to have a truly natural childbirth experience, we often find it doesn’t work out the way we had planned.  These statistics are here to help you feel better about your decision, but also remind you that sometimes things do change as labor progresses and it is best to make a different choice for yourself and your child.


What is natural childbirth?  Natural childbirth is when a mother gives birth with the least amount of medical intervention possible.  For most this means a birthing experience without aid of pain medications as well as done at the pace of mother and child, and not under physician order or prompting with medications.  Many also believe that natural childbirth in home rather than a hospital experience is the only truly natural birthing experience.  Overall, the concept of natural childbirth is solely that which removes as much medical intervention from the experience as possible.

Is Natural Childbirth Safe?  By all counts there is nothing unsafe about having your child naturally and without medical or medication intervention.  There are few occasions when medical intervention is considered necessary or mandatory in the birthing process.  In home natural childbirth experiences pose no more immediate risk than a natural birth in a hospital setting.  The concerns come about when mother or child appear to be in distress.  When heart rates drop, dehydration occurs or labor lingers for more than 24 hours, an at home birth can become a higher risk since there is less immediate medical care should a major issue arise.

Times when at home natural childbirth may not be as safe:

  • Mother has preeclampsia
  • Mother or child have medical conditions that could be fatal if not monitored closely
  • Previous cesarean section

What are concerns of natural childbirth at home? 

  • Lack of medical care for emergency situation
  • Cleanliness
  • Extended laboring exhausting mother or child

Natural childbirth statistics show that less than 5% of laboring mothers need a medically necessary cesarean section.  This means that while there are occasional medical conditions that arise needing medical intervention, one of the most widely spoken of issues is truly in the minority of reasons is in a low percentage.  Yes, you may feel safer in a hospital setting giving birth without medications, but that doesn’t make it significantly safer than giving birth at home.

Do medications help ease labor? 

While commonly given epidural injections may ease the pain of labor, it is common to see they actually impede progress.  Not everyone finds this to be true, but upwards of 35% of women who experienced an epidural found it either hindered their ability to breastfeed, bond with the baby, or recover easily after giving birth. Epidural can slow down the oxytocin in your body thus impeding progression of natural labor.  Can they ease the pain of labor?  Yes, the answer is affirmative that your pain will lesson significantly, but the other potential effects of an epidural may not be worth the temporary pain relief.

Regardless of your choice of natural childbirth versus medically assisted childbirth, you must weigh all options and educate yourself.  What works for one mother and child, may not be good for another mother and child.  As a mother who had one totally natural childbirth experience and one medically assisted childbirth, I do know the distinct differences between them.  I believe that my natural childbirth experience was much less traumatic and easier on my body and my child, but due to medical need I had to be subject to intervention with my second pregnancy.  I am thankful it was there to protect both of our health during that time, and will chose to actively promote education versus fear and judgement regarding your birthing experience choice.

What are your thoughts on these natural childbirth statistics? Tell us in the comments.

6 thoughts on “Natural Childbirth Statistics You Need to Know”

  1. I was able to have a mostly natural childbirth at the hospital. We did it at our pace without intervention from medication. However it’s my personal preference to not have a home birth. Women have been having children for thousands of years but that doesnt mean I want to risk being one of the small percentages who have something go wrong without the care a hospital can provide.

  2. I have experienced both types of birth. I think my preference was the home birth because I felt it was more comfortable without being surrounded by unfamiliar people and conditions. I would note that it is wise to have a blue light unit available in case your child has jaundice at birth so it can easily be corrected.

  3. I have always considered natural childbirth as an option, as long as no complications arise. I respect that everyone makes the choices that are right for them, and that’s always been what I wanted.

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