(Closed) Doulas, natural birth and judgmental families, oh my.

posted 6 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
1527 posts
Bumble bee

My mom had both my brother and I without medication (she had my brother at home, but I was 5 weeks early so I was in the NICU for a few days). She also cloth-diapered us. Her entire family thought she was insane. She also breastfed, which is insane, I know. She had midwives and the whole shebang. I want a water birth, personally. I imagine my mom will be on board, but who knows about everyone else. They thought she was crazy, but my brother and I were very happy, healthy babies. (We also wore a lot of tie dye, but that’s beside the point). Of course people are going to freak out and not think it’s reasonable, because they couldn’t do it. They don’t want you to think that you can handle it if they couldn’t, and that’s not a reasonable assumption because they are not you. 

If you want to have a doula and you want to have a natural birth, hell if you want to have your baby in a bath tub, go for it. The least stressful labor&delivery will be one that you are comfortable with. There are plenty of cases where epidurals have hindered labor&delivery more than helped it. You may end up wanting one once you’re in labor, and that’s fine too. Just know your options and be comfortable with every step of the way. It is YOUR baby and YOUR labor. They have NO right to tell you what you have to do. They can share their opinions, but you have every right to ignore their opinions and do what makes you most comfortable. 

I would be very uncomfortable in a hospital environment, so I’ll be trying to find a place with a birthing pool that is either in a hospital (but isn’t all machine-y if you know what I mean) or very close to one in case of complications. Just make sure you have plans A, B, and C all lined up and do whichever plan feels right. If it turns out to not work, go to a different plan.

Post # 4
445 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@DrTeeth:  BEEN THERE! I’m a hairstylist and the last salon I worked at when we got on the topic of it and I said I wanted a medication free birth I thought I was going to be stoned. I heard “It’s not like they give you some award for having a child without an epidural!” & “It’s not like it makes you a better mom!” about a million times that day. Luckily, only my immediate family knows we’re pregnant right now and they’re all for whatever we choose to do. But I’m sure once we tell everyone else we’ll hear everyones opinions. 

Post # 5
6341 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

My mum had both me and my brother with just gas and air; same goes for plenty of women I know. Those women I know who had epidruals are in the minority, and tend to have low pain thresholds.

It varies massively woman to woman, and there is nothing wrong in having a natural birth. In fact, water births for example are an excellent choice as the water acts as a natural pain reliever and typically reduces the need for pain relief/drugs, and also reduces the risk of tearing.

You sound like you have your head screwed on in that you are looking at all options, and also accepting that what you want now might change later on, either as the pregnancy progresses, or during labour itself. The only time I think wanting a natural birth is a ‘bad’ thing is when someone wants it so much they refuse to consider they might change their minds/complications might arise and they might need an epidural/c-section/whatever, as typically this then causes them a lot of stress and upset, as they feel they’ve lost control. If you can be open-minded, and it sounds as though you are, this is the best way to be IMO.

So, I would certainly continue your research into natural birth, and plan on having one ideally, as long as you’re prepared for things not going to plan. Don’t bow to pressure from anyone else: it is your body, and your choice; who the hell are they to tell you to have an epidrual if you don’t want, or even need, one?! My mum was pressured with both me and my brother and point-blank refused; she had no issues, yes, it was painful, but she was much happier with the pain than she would have been having an epidural.

Post # 6
3580 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

You should watch that documentary that Ricky Lake made, The Business Of Being Born. Very eye opening about natural vs hospital births. Like a PP said, epis and induction can really make things more difficult so there are pros and cons to both. 

(I’m not pregnant nor do I have children)

Post # 7
2891 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I went thru similar things with both two of my pregnancies. I had a midwife for my first, a doula and labored in the jacuzzi at a birthing center. Everyone thought I was stark raving mad but I told them to stuff it. (I am not nicey nice when preggers :p} 

My second time around I had to use the hospital because living in BFE there were no other options. It was a shorter, easier labor but much more stressful due to where I was. People were constantly popping in and out. The doctor was rude and obnoxious. Honestly I still had to deal with attitudes from people even with doing things semi normal (still no drugs} so go with what makes you happy. People are going to be rude and opinionated regardless of what you do. Practice looking at people like they have three heads when they spout off. It is self amusing AND does quell some people’s silliness.

Post # 8
1474 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@DrTeeth:  All I can tell you is to get REALLY good at telling people to STFU 😉 Everybody and their mom has an opinion about your pregnancy, and it is so frustrating. The best thing you can learn to do is blow it off and say something like “I’m considering all my options” and give them very few details. After all, they’re not the ones who have to give birth or parent your child! Hugs!

ps – I’m a huge natural birth advocate! So I love your decision 🙂

Post # 9
8041 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@DrTeeth:  Could you just avoid discussing the subject with your family? I’ve learned over the years that certain topics need to be off-limits because any discussion just turns into arguments.

It’s your baby, your body. Between you and your husband and doctors. No one else.

Post # 10
2638 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2006

@glittermoon: (We also wore a lot of tie dye, but that’s beside the point). 

LOL. Thank you for that this morning.

I agree with the PP who said that you really shouldn’t have to discuss your birth plan with anyone but your husband and even then, it’s ulitmately your body, your choice, provided whatever you choose is keeping the baby safe (obviously). There are certain things I know I’ll butt heads with my parents about (baptism, for one), so I just don’t plan on ever bringing it up. I’m usually a pretty opinionated person and want to stand up for myself but some stuff just isn’t worth the fight/won’t result in anything productive.

Post # 11
4518 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@DrTeeth:  Ugh, I can’t believe your family is asking you stuff like that. It’s not their business! This makes me so mad for you. I’ve never given birth, so I have no idea what it’s like, but I just wanted to say stay strong & stick to your guns. Tell your Future Mother-In-Law & everyone else to mind their own beeswax. This will be YOUR delivery. Not theirs. 

Post # 12
11233 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

@ellebeerob:  Seriously. I will be telling people to fuck off left and right when they start offering their opinions. I refuse to be nice, because people won’t stop. It’s like when you’re wedding planning and everyone and their dog has an opinion. Nip it in the bud when it starts and you have to shut them down ASAP.

Post # 13
2192 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

“No one knows what is best for your baby than you and your baby.”  Mayim Bialek

It’s natural for people to ask questions about your birth plan but know your plan and stick to your guns.  Don’t be swayed by others.  Sometimes less information is better.

My first was delivered by a midwife.  I did use an epidural and was in the hospital.  She was cloth diapered and breast fed exclusively for over a year.  That was 14 years ago.  Things will be completely different the second time around.

I would love a water birth at home.  I know my in laws will flip.  Especially at Thanksgiving my Mother-In-Law brought up the breastfeeding doll for kids(which I love and think is so sweet) and said she found it disgusting.  DH doesn’t know if he was breastfed.  I am such a granola momma.  Baby rearing with them will be interesting!

Post # 14
6830 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

@ellebeerob:  +1.

OP you will just need to start smiling and noding and pretty much say I will take that into consideration and be done with it.  Go with what you feels best for you and your baby

Post # 15
1675 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I am sorry you’re going through this. I’m 24 weeks and a couple weeks ago my mother decided to go up one side of me and down the other for having a midwife (where I live midwives are highly regulated primary caregivers…it’s not like my midwife doesn’t know what she’s doing, and I’m still having a hospital birth). Anyhow, all that to say that I hear where you’re coming from.

What I took away from the unfortunate experience with my mother was that I need to identify the people in my life who are thoroughly supportive/non-judgmental when it comes to my birth decisions (for me this includes my step-mother, my father, my husband and my BFF) and only share with those people. This is a time in our lives when we need to feel supported and understood, so I would suggest not talking about it with people who aren’t going to be supportive.

When the issue comes up with someone other than those I’ve listed above I usually just give some vague response like, “I don’t feel I can comment on what kind of birth I’m going to have until I’m actually in that situation.” Or, “Wow, that’s a very personal question,” which usually causes them to back off.

People say what they say because they have their own issues/agendas. Their responses are usually not a reflection of their feelings toward you.

Post # 16
4150 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@glittermoon:  “Of course people are going to freak out and not think it’s reasonable, because they couldn’t do it. They don’t want you to think that you can handle it if they couldn’t, and that’s not a reasonable assumption because they are not you.”

While I agree that nobody can judge what others can and can’t handle (meaning people should not judge the OP for her decision), I just want to point out that some people choose upfront to have medicated births (therefore we can’t really say they “couldn’t handle” natural as they chose another route for whatever reason), and some people for medical reasons are forced to have medicated births, both of which are scenarios where I would not say that that mother “couldn’t handle it.”  I have a couple friends in this situation and I would never say they couldn’t handle natural birth because they both very much wanted to but were told it was impossible due to medical reasons.  Just thought I would throw that out there.

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