For most of human history, women have come up against one great danger again and again. Until very recently, giving birth could very well be the most dangerous thing a woman ever did, with no access to modern medicine, medical supervision, or even the most basic of tools. Don’t understand how risky birth was back then? Just read about the invention of forceps, and how a tool as simple as a set of salad tongs changed the world.

For a long time after such innovations, it seemed that we had moved from one extreme to another. Where before giving birth in front of a medical professional might have seemed outlandish and unnecessary, it was then just as outlandish to suggest a return to a more simple birthing process. What was crazy, then, was simplicity.

Today, however, women are privileged. For the first time, women are faced with real choices about how they would like to experience labor. From state-of-the-art medical tools and techniques to a midwife-attended homebirth, anything goes. Better yet, those women who do choose natural birth still have access to fully-equipped hospitals should the need arise.

That’s not all that today’s natural-birth moms have access to. There is also a growing body of exercises and techniques for warding off birth pains, allowing many women to take the plunge. To help you learn a few birthing exercises to relieve pain, here’s a tutorial by Howcast:

Positions that Help with Labor Pain

Pregnancy and birthing can be hot-button issues, but that’s exactly why we’d like to hear what you have to say. Nobody knows what to expect during childbirth better than a woman who has experienced childbirth, and women have been passing along birthing advice since ancient times. What do you think about this? Would you try a natural birth? Let us know in the comments’ section.