While the experience of natural birth at the SCV Birth Center is not only comforting and altogether safer for mommy than a hospital birth, there are plenty of benefits that directly affect the baby. Many different factors will contribute to the decision to give birth at an accredited birth center, but among the most popular is the fear of a medical intervention at the hospital. These hospital policies and the resulting drug-induced interventions may cause developmental delays and postpartum difficulties. Birthing naturally promotes a healthy respiratory, immune system, and baby-mommy relationship.

Promoting a Healthy Respiratory System

Throughout the natural birthing process, your baby releases a stress hormone called catecholamines. This stress generated hormone helps the respiratory system adapt to the baby’s new earth side environment. While you are experiencing contractions and the natural pains of birth, your baby is using its remaining connected time to absorb nutrients from you. When your uterus contracts, the baby’s lungs are squeezed and compressed. This helps pump the catecholamines through the baby’s system, and clear the lungs of remaining fluid. This process is simply absent from the cesarean birthing process, which can cause respiratory distress to the baby, resulting in doctors and nurses manually intervening.

Building a Strong Immune System

Newborns are most susceptible to infections and diseases because their immune systems need to grow and develop. The release of the aforementioned catecholamines hormone promotes an increase of white bloods cells, which in turn promotes a healthier and stronger immune system. A higher number of white blood cells means a stronger immune defense against diseases such as diabetes and asthma. A natural birth can contribute to this defense.

*Note: There are roughly 1 million white blood cells found in just one drop of breastmilk. Even postpartum, the baby needs and grows from the nutrients the mommy naturally produces.

A study conducted in 2009 showed that children who are delivered via caesarean, instead of vaginal birth, have a DNA pool containing fewer white blood cells. A birthing-mother’s body also produces a protective bacterium for the baby’s skin. This bacteria, stored in the intestine, trains the baby’s body to know the difference between a “good” bacteria and a “bad” bacteria.

Immediate Skin-to-Skin Bonding

The first moments after your baby is born are incredibly important to the relationship between baby and mommy. At the birth center, the baby is placed immediately on the mommy’s chest, priming the relationship for successful breastfeeding. Your baby has spent 9 months listening to your voice and will find comfort in hearing it. The same comfort will now be experienced through studying your face and fragrance. These experiences are specifically important in building a bond between mommy and baby to enable healthy breastfeeding. It may take longer to initiate breastfeeding if your baby is drowsy from drug intervention.