What is Natural Childbirth?

When it comes time for a pregnant woman to give birth, there are a number of birthing scenarios that may occur. One of them may be natural childbirth, or a vaginal birth using no medications (including pain medication). Women may choose natural childbirth for many reasons, including remaining in control of their body as much as possible, being an active participant in labor, and experiencing the natural, unhindered event of birth. This option is often a safe one for women with low-risk pregnancies.

“I highly recommend Dr. Tepper!He is highly professional, experienced, and calming. My pregnancy and birth were such a positive experience thanks to him and his lovely staff at the clinic.”


The Benefits of Natural Childbirth

If you choose to have your baby naturally, you must accept that there is a potential for discomfort and pain during the birthing process. However, there are many benefits to natural childbirth, including:

  • The avoidance of side-effects associated with epidurals.
  • Shorter pushing time.
  • Decreased risk of needing interventions.
  • Little potential for harmful side effects to you or your baby.
  • Ability to change birthing positions.
  • Quicker recovery after birth.
  • And more.


Welcome to my practice. Let me introduce myself and my practice philosophy. I am a board certified OB/GYN in practice for over 20 years and have been a solo-practitioner on the Upper East Side of Manhattan since 2000. All deliveries are performed at The Mount Sinai Medical Center where I went to medical school and at Lenox Hill Hospital.

Natural Childbirth Preparation

If you are interested in natural childbirth, it is important to speak with Dr. Tepper regarding the possible risks and if you are a good candidate for this option. Having a set birth plan before labor will help to make your experience more comfortable. Many women choose to have a natural delivery in a traditional hospital setting, though birth in an alternative setting such as at home is always an option. Overall, it is always a good idea to learn as much as possible before labor about both natural childbirth, coping methods, and what to expect during labor before your delivery date. Dr. Tepper will be happy to discuss these topics with you.

The Stages of Labor

The natural labor process can be broken down into three stages:

  1. The first stage starts when you begin having contractions, which will start out short and irregular and become longer and more regular. Over time the cervix will slowly open to 10cm dilated.
  2. The second stage (also called the pushing stage) begins once you are fully dilated. Your baby’s head will move down out of the uterus and into the birth canal. You can then deliver your baby.
  3. The third and final stage begins after the birth of your baby and ends with the delivery of the placenta. During natural childbirth, you will wait for your placenta to deliver with your effort, which may take up to an hour following birth.

Every pregnancy is different, and there is a wide variation of the length of labor. For first-time mothers, labor can take anywhere between 10-20 hours, however, vaginal births are often quicker than other methods.


Whether you are a new or returning patient, Dr. Tepper can assess your concerns and discuss your options to find the most comfortable and convenient care for you. To get started, call our office to set up an appointment.


Contact Us to Learn More

If you are considering natural childbirth and would like to speak with Dr. Tepper regarding what to expect, please contact our New York office today! Our friendly team will be happy to assist you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you prepare for Natural Childbirth?

I highly recommend the birthing class by MindBodyBabyNYC

Is natural childbirth better for the baby?

Not necessarily, each birth is unique and every situation is different with many changing variables.

What position is best for Natural Childbirth?

Once again this is a very complex question with multiple variables. For example If the baby is coming down in an occiput posterior position, the labor team will employ certain positions to facilitate the rotation of the baby in the pelvis. The size of the baby and of course the moms unique anatomy are also important factors for the best birth position.

How can I lower pain during a Natural Childbirth delivery?

Preparation is key along with reasonable expectations while acknowledging that the use of an epidural is not a failure by any means.

Where can I have a natural childbirth?

Natural childbirth can happen in a hospital, birth center, or at home. Many hospitals have birth centers designed for mothers to labor, birth, and recover all in one comfortable, home-like room.

What if I change my mind?

If you change your mind, that is completely okay. It is important to prioritize the safety of you and your baby. If it is early enough in your labor, you can receive an epidural and begin experiencing relief in as little as 20 minutes.

What exercises help you prepare for natural childbirth?

Adequately preparing your body and mind is an important step for natural childbirth. Doing exercises and stretches like child’s pose, deep squats, cat/cow, and perineal massage will help you greatly during the labor process. Perineal bulges are another great exercise that trains your body to breathe through pushes.

What can prevent you from natural childbirth?

Certain factors that are beyond your control may prevent you from being a candidate for natural childbirth. These can include your baby being in a breech position, having placenta previa, having an infection or genital lesions, or suffering from a chronic health condition that makes natural childbirth too dangerous.

What are the side effects of natural childbirth?

Some side effects of natural childbirth include constipation, vaginal pain, vaginal tearing, vaginal bleeding, hemorrhoids, and cramps. The sudden change in hormones can also cause hot flashes, headaches, and post-partum depression.

What are the risks of natural childbirth?

Risks of natural childbirth include failure to progress, irregular fetal heart rate, hemorrhage, vaginal tearing, deep vein thrombosis, and postpartum preeclampsia.

Do you heal faster after natural childbirth?

Recovery after natural childbirth is quicker and generally less painful than cesarean delivery recovery.

Are natural births riskier?

Those with low-risk pregnancies are the best for natural childbirth. In some cases, medical complications that arise during labor are harder to detect and treat with unmedicated pregnancies.

Can you have a natural childbirth after a cesarean?

In most cases, many women are able to have a natural childbirth after a cesarean delivery. The largest risk associated with a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is uterine rupture.

What non-medication methods can be used to ease pain during labor?

To ease pain during your active labor methods like massage, acupressure, warm baths, hot water bottles, breathing techniques, and changing positions frequently can help.

How common is it to poop in labor during natural childbirth?

Quite frankly, 80 percent of the time. It is nothing that we are not used to.

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