The definition of “natural birth” in a hospital setting is essentially just “giving birth without pain medication”. In most cases, the woman labors on her back, attached to a monitor with an IV in her arm “just in case”, and a doctor or nurse telling her when and how to push. That doesn’t seem very natural to me.
Fortunately, it seems that the demand for water births is growing and despite many hurdles such as doctor inexperience, insurance concerns etc., sometime soon giving birth – or at least laboring – in a calming, pain-relieving tub of water may not seem unusual at all.
The article below talks about some things keeping water births from becoming the norm despite plenty of evidence that laboring in water makes the birth experience so much more pleasant.