Medicated or Natural?

Four questions to ask yourself.

Andrea Rudy

7/5/20233 min read

If you've just recently discovered you're pregnant, there is probably one all-consuming question on your mind.

"How is this baby going to come out?"

It's certainly an important question! It's never too soon to start thinking about the manner in which you hope to bring your baby earthside. You may have instinctively realized that the choices you make now will affect your pregnancy, your labor and delivery, and your transition into motherhood - perhaps for years to come. Deciding your initial approach to childbirth will begin your preparation.

When it comes down to it, you basically have two options:

  • Medicated Birth - Labor and delivery in which pain medication is administered, most commonly through an epidural.

  • Unmedicated Birth - Labor and delivery in which no pain medication is administered. (Often called natural birth.)

Neither of these choices is inherently right or wrong. But, one of these choices is right for you. And one is wrong for you. You will need to view the pros and cons of each in an informed way.

You may already have an inclination one way or the other. Many women do, whether from the way they've heard birth described by others or seen it portrayed in films. If you feel you're already leaning toward either medicated or unmedicated birth, I would like you to answer this question:


You need to know without a doubt that the way you choose to give birth is the absolute best decision for you and your baby. You can't depend on the opinions, stories, and expectations of others to make this choice for you.

Here are four key questions you can ask yourself to help you decide between an unmedicated or a medicated childbirth approach:

Does it make you feel safe and peaceful? When you consider your options, does one of them feel more or less peaceful? Is there an environment or care provider with whom you feel safest? Feeling nervous or anxious can directly impact the process of labor and delivery, and you should feel that you can trust the people and place you surround yourself with.

Do you feel in control of the process? After your prenatal appointments, do you leave feeling that you've been given plenty of information and a clear option to either accept or decline your provider's suggestions and treatments? Or does it seem like you have no choice in what happens next? True informed consent is essential. As you move forward in your pregnancy, you may start to feel that the approach of an unmedicated birth would give you more control over the process - or vice versa.

Do you know that this is best for you physiologically? Have you done research or taken classes to understand the mechanics and physiology of how childbirth works? Do you know about your body's signals and hormone releases during birth that lead to a safe and healthy labor and delivery? If there is any area of birth that you're unsure of or that seems mysterious, now is the time to inform yourself! A balanced, evidence-based birth class is the best way to get started - you can see all the current classes I'm offering here!

Is your husband in agreement? You may have felt that you're alone in the big decisions of pregnancy and birth. But the fact is, if you're married you and your husband are "one flesh" - you physically belong to one another under a life long covenant. (Genesis 2:24) Your husband's role and perspective in this process are just as valuable as yours. Rather than causing discord in your marriage, making these choices together can make you feel loved and supported by your beloved.

Answer these questions honestly. If you're feeling a little lost, that's okay! Not being informed about pregnancy, childbirth, or postpartum is nothing to feel bad about. But now that you know there is an important area of your future that you need to become more knowledgeable about, it's time to dig in and discover.

Ready to learn? Take my birth classes from any location through my online classes, or in person if you're from Fort Collins, Colorado and surrounding Northern Colorado areas. View all my online and in-person classes here!