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Medicated vs. Unmedicated Births: What You Need to Know

Giving birth, while exciting to every to-be-mum, can also be quite a daunting task. This is especially so when one thinks about the logistics of the whole process. Baby… hole size… HOW? For those of us who have had the misfortune of having to face gut-wrenching menstrual cramps (gut-wrenching was not being used metaphorically), this seems to be at a whole new level that we don’t even want to think about. It is at times like these when may women consider whether or not they should go in for medicated labour. 

For those of you who are not familiar with what this is, medicated labour does not mean a c-section; medicated birth or labour is when a woman makes use of pain medication in order to reduce or get rid of the pain that is experienced while delivering her baby. Some of you may be familiar with the term ‘epidural’; an epidural is one of the methods used in a medicated pregnancy. It is when medicine is infused into the spinal cord at the lower back which leads to a feeling of numbness from the waist down. A natural birth is as its name suggests, natural. This means that it doesn’t involve any medications or injections or substances to change any aspect of the labour process from its biological nature.

To help you make an informed decision, here are some facts about both kinds of births:

Unmedicated Birth


1. It can help a mother push in the right position as the aches and pains she may feel could indicate issues with the positioning of the baby, which could be corrected by changing her own position.

2. It can help a mother feel what’s going on inside and therefore be able to adjust her pushing.

3. Many mums have said that undergoing natural labour has made them feel more confident about being a mom.

4. Some mums have claimed that they felt that their recovery time was less after natural or unmedicated childbirth.

5. It’s easier to move around after childbirth.


1. The pain.

2. It could lead to tearing.

3. For people who are bad with pain, it could lead to trauma and really challenge them mentally.

4. A lot of mothers have complained of incontinence and/or painful bowel movements after natural childbirth.

Medicated Birth


1. It reduces the pain, which could make the entire process much easier to bear.

2. It can provide emotional along with physical support to mums who have really low pain tolerance or doubts about natural childbirth.

3. It can be especially helpful if the labour you are going through is a long one.

4. In some cases, a mother’s body may tense up, and therefore fight against the contractions; this can be avoided or combatted through the use of medicines to relax the body.

5. Some mums have claimed that this type of birth has given them more confidence in their motherhood.


1. It might lead to a longer labour as a mother might not push as hard or fast when relaxed by the drugs.

2. Some mums have claimed that it has lead to quite a bit of soreness which increased recuperation time after delivery.

3. It requires constant monitoring as it becomes an assisted process.

4. There are slight chances that the mum might suffer from headaches as a side effect of the medication.

Now that you have this information, here’s some more - using medicine does not make you any less of a mother and it isn’t something you should feel guilty or shameful about. Having a natural childbirth does not make you any less developed or modern and it shouldn’t be something to feel ashamed of. The choice of which kind of delivery to have is completely subjective on you as a person as well as the situation in that moment. It isn’t something that has to be planned in advance; many women have decided to get medication after the process is already underway. Whatever you choose, at the end of the day, you’re going home with a wonderful little baby, and that’s what matters. That’s the whole point.

This is the exceptional case where it’s safe to say that the ends justify the means.

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