House Call: Opting for natural childbirth

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All childbirth is natural; however, many pregnant women decide to explore the option of giving birth without medical intervention for pain management. And in the vast majority of circumstances, the less intervention, the better, to lower risk of any complications or side effects that can occur from medication.

Because giving birth without medical intervention is important to many women in the community, Cone Health Women’s Hospital offers a variety of services to help patients manage their pain and promote comfort throughout the birthing process. An option that is becoming more and more popular is water birth, which reduces the gravitational pull and harsh stresses of pushing during labor. Other pain management techniques include walking, moving around and use of the birthing ball to allow women in labor to move into more comfortable positions, reduce back pain and repositioning of the baby.

While giving birth without medical intervention is certainly an option for patients at Women’s Hospital, it is important for women to understand that the birthing process can be unpredictable, and depending on circumstances, medical intervention may be necessary in order to insure the health and safety of mother and baby. This is why becoming educated about birthing options and having discussions with your OB/GYN, midwife and other members of your birthing team about your condition, risk factors and birthing plan is so important.

Women’s Hospital offers “A Natural Childbirth” class for expectant parents throughout the community who want to learn more about and practice natural methods of coping with the process of labor and childbirth. It is recommended to take "Caring for Baby" and "Exploring Pain Options for Birth and Cesareans" along with this class. The next four-week series begins Thursday, October 1st and costs $75 per couple. To register, visit

Spokesperson Background:

Vicki Latham is a certified nurse midwife at Central Carolina OB/GYN and a member of the Cone Health medical staff. Latham is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a Bachelor of Science in nursing. In 1988, she obtained a Master of Science in neonatal-perinatal nursing at Emory University, and began work as a clinical nurse specialist in labor and delivery at Moses Cone Hospital and Women’s Hospital. While continuing to work at Cone Health Women’s Hospital, she obtained her certificate in nurse-midwifery from the Frontier School of Mid-Wifery and Family Nursing.

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