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Having a Natural Birth in Northern California

Natural birth is having a vaginal birth without using pain medication (such as epidurals) or other medical interventions (such as IVs). 

At Dignity Health North State, we want you to have the kind of childbirth that’s right for you. That’s why we offer personal care during natural births in Northern California. Find a Doctor at one of our maternity and family birth centers and talk to them about your options for labor and delivery.


Natural Birth Benefits

You might want to consider giving birth naturally if:

  • You’d think birth is a normal, natural experience. You do not want medical intervention as long as your labor progresses without complications. 
  • You’d like to avoid medication. They can affect the baby’s alertness after birth, may slow down labor, and sometimes make you feel nauseous or disconnected. 
  • You’d like to avoid interventions. You’d like to avoid medical treatment if possible. 
  • You’d like to fully experience labor and birth. You want to feel present and experience all sensations of a natural birth. 

Sometimes women have a natural delivery simply because labor progresses so quickly there is no time to perform interventions. 


What Happens During Natural Childbirth?

Your natural birth experience depends on your baby’s position, the progress of your labor, your expectations, and your pain tolerance. 

The First Stage of Labor

By far the longest, it’s divided into three phases:

  • Early labor: Your contractions are far enough apart that you can easily rest between them. 
  • Active labor: Your contractions increase in frequency and intensity, becoming closer together and lasting longer. You may find it hard to fully relax between them.
  • Transition labor: Your contractions feel as if they’re coming on almost nonstop. Transition can feel really tough, but fortunately it’s the shortest stage of labor. 

The Second Stage of Labor

This is the pushing phase. If you’re having a natural birth, you’ll likely feel an irresistible desire to push and a burning sensation as your baby’s head stretches the vaginal opening. 

The Third Stage of Labor 

The third stage of labor begins with your baby’s birth. You’ll feel relief when the baby’s head exits; the rest of the baby’s body quickly follows. Once your baby arrives, you’ll likely be preoccupied with your newborn as you deliver the placenta.


Pain Relief for Natural Births at Dignity Health North State

You may want to discuss these alternative natural birth pain relief methods with your health care provider:

  • Distraction
  • Water birth
  • Massage
  • Controlled breathing
  • Relaxation techniques

During every stage of labor, Dignity Health North State doctors and midwives will support your mental, physical, and spiritual needs for a safe natural birth experience in Northern California. 


Natural Birth Recovery

Recovery after a natural birth varies. Some women take weeks to regain their strength and stamina; others feel more or less normal within hours.

If your perineum tore, you may feel sore for a few weeks. Your doctor or midwife will discuss postpartum pain relief and recovery with you. 

Dignity Health North State offers maternity care with humankindness for natural birth in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.