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Unassisted Childbirth

unassisted-childbirth-175wWhat is Unassisted Childbirth?

Unassisted childbirth (UC) refers to the process of intentionally giving birth with no health care provider or birth attendant present. It is a planned event, not unassisted due to an emergency or other situation. A mother might choose an unassisted childbirth if she views birth as an intimate sexual, spiritual event and feels that it should therefore be private. 

Supporters of this birth choice feel that medical intervention at this time is mostly unnecessary. Laura Stanley states, “human birth is inherently safe and relatively painless—provided we refrain from physical or psychological interference.” 

What are the Risks of Unassisted Childbirth?

A choice of an unassisted childbirth comes with it the responsibility to be educated and able to deal with complications should they arise. If you decide to have an unassisted home birth, easyBirth recommends that both you and your birth team consider taking an neonatal resuscitation course.

easyBirth supports moms in creating their own birth philosophy, including unassisted home births, and encourages moms considering this path to create knowledgeable prenatal and postpartum teams that can be supportive both prior to and after birth.

How can I Learn More about Unassisted Childbirth?

If you are interested in additional information you might enjoy Unassisted Childbirth, 2nd ed., (2012) by Laura Kaplan Stanley. For birth education purposes Hearts and Hands: A Midwife's Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, 3rd ed. (1 March 2004) by Elizabeth Davis. Also worth exploring are the books and articles by Marilyn A. Moran, an early advocate of this birth choice.