Post # 17
@abbyful: this seems so backwards to me – birth has been natural until only the last century! How quickly minds can change. Personally though, I think it depends on your social circle and where you live. I dont think anyone in my family will bat an eyelash when I tell them I’m planning a natural birth. Most of my cousins have. Certainly all my friends are not only supportive, but it’s the expectation.
I agree that natural birth mamas should be supported and feel proud, and I hope by the time I’m seeing my grandchildren born, empowered natural birth stories are the norm again.
Post # 18
Personally I don’t think one way is better than the other. Women should lift eachother up not bring each other down. Everyone’s birth story is different. If you want to have a natural birth then I encourage it. Just as if you wanted an epi I would encourage that too. You know what wilk be best for your family. Tune everyine else out. As a pregnant woman I’m just tired of other peoples opinions regarding my pregnancy….period.
Post # 19
I never thought about it like this, but it’s so true in my experiences! Crazy!
Post # 20
I’ve done both and can definitely see that in general natural birth ability and accomplishment is minimized. I didn’t get much flack about going natural b/c I was an hbac and the “dangers of vbac” are what everyone focused on. I can definitely say that I accomplished something through my natural birth that simply did NOT happen through my medicated birth though so I can totally understand the uppity demeanor of natural birthers. I didn’t need a physical trophy to feel like I was the most amazing woman on earth and invicible at that moment. Idk, it’s just different. Personally, natural birth just made the most sense after looking at the risk vs. benefits ratios of all options.
I guess as long as women make an informed choice and know all the risks associated with medicated birth then that’s their birth and their choice to make. I just can’t stand how the risks are so minimized and made common so when a women chooses otherwises she’s made to feel wrong for her choice.
Post # 21
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
I think the judging starts when you get engaged!!! “Oh, you’re not getting married in a church…? Oh, you’re doing a first look? Oh you shouldn’t use them as caterers/ have that judge officiate/wear a champagne dress/ have 3 readings…blah blah blah”
It’s like seriously STFU.
Post # 22
I think that most women who give you this reaction do so because THEY have been judged by women who are planning or have had a natural birth. Which is unfortunately not surprising…let’s take a look at some of the quotes from this thread.
“There are so many reasons, from being present and having an alert baby, to faster recovery, to reduced risk of complications because you can better be in touch with what your body is telling you. “
“There are a lot of GOOD and healthy reasons for you and your baby not to get an epi.”
“I don’t understand how a woman will agonize over imbibing 7oz of root beer that might be caffeinated, but have no qualms about all kinds of interventions, drugs, or surgeries for the birth of their child.”
If you were reading these comments as a women who has had or is planning on having an epi, would you feel judged? I bet you would – and after hearing it several times, you would probably have some defense lines ready, like the one about how there’s no trophy for natural birth, and get to the point where you say them pre-emptively or unnecessarily. it’s not a good excuse, they’re doing to others what has been done to them, but are we not doing the same exact thing in this thread?
I think it’s sad how even on a thread about judging others for their birth choices…we are still pointing out why our decision is better. Not in the OP, but in many responses here. If you’re going to point the finger at someone for judging you, make sure you’re not pointing it back. Because then it’s just perpetuating the cycle. I’m planning a natural birth because that is what I am most comfortable with for my own self and personal reasons (the main one being that I am petrified of needles, which I’m sure many would say is a terrible reason, but I don’t really care) – but hey, I’ve never had a baby before and every labor is different, so we’ll see how it goes. But I’ve never put down a single women for the choices they made for their labor/delivery.
Post # 23
@abbyful: When I was pregnant and people would ask me if I was going to get an epi. I always laughed before finally giving my answer.
I used to be one of those people that think people were crazy because the wanted to do it all natural. Well I guess I sorta do I guess.
However, after giving birth and lasting only about an hour or so with heavy contractions all I can say to all women who do i all natural is…
Even though I still think you are crazy, Kudos to you!
Post # 24
@abbyful: very true. I never had any children or am I even pregnant, but I think I want to do natural birth and when sometimes the topic of childbirth comes up, or whether I would do hospital or birthing center, or whatever it is, I’m considered “crazy”. Why? If I chose to have it without anything, or in a tub, that’s my choice. I get told my choices might kill my own child…*sighs*
Post # 25
Yes. 100%. In my personal IRL experiences, I find the opposite to be true. “natural” births are expected and epis are frowned upon. As someone else said, women who have chosen to get an epi are almost apologetic for their choice. I do not have a plan. I’m also going to “wing” it. You can plan the perfect birth but it might not go that way. I don’t want to regret any decision or hate myself for having to go against my plan. I’m going to do what feels right at the time. I’m for natural births and admire the mothers who can do it, but I’m not going to torture myself if I don’t feel like I am one of those women who can do it.
Thank you for this. Very well said.
Post # 26
omg YES! From my point of view, it’s not at all about the wanting of an epidural or medically unnecessary intervention (e.g induction), it’s about the (too common) lack of critical thought and self-reflection/education that surprises and saddens me. Just because a doctor says it’s ok….doesn’t make it so. Lots of interventions done in the name of convenience or comfort carry significant risks for mother and baby that are often not discussed at all or in enough honest detail. The fault for this lies mostly with health professionals, but also to some degree on health consumers (us). So many women here have posted with a fair amount of concern and anxiety about something like caffeine or cold medication or sushi or Subway sandwhiches but never stop to consider the much more likely-to-happen potential complications of an epidural.
ETA: I’m neither pro-natural birth nor pro-medicated birth. I do, however, feel that every woman should educate herself thouroughly about her options and weigh the risks as best she can at the time. It is overall, generally safer to have an unmedicated birth. That is a fact. Having said that, a woman should never be judged for her choices, it’s her body and her baby. Birth any way it happens is hard and mothers should be commended and supported.
Post # 27
@.twist. – I wonder if this is a cultural difference between the USA & Canada (and other countries).
Post # 28
@abbyful: i didnt read through all the responses but i completely agree. its frustrating that there are not alot of supportive people when it comes to natural childbirth. i am shooting to have a natural birth and i can pretty much name the people who support me on one hand… my mom, my dh, and a lady at work who had all natural births…. everyone else looks at me like i am crazy or like you said… tells you there no trophy or whatever. i dont want a trophy. i want the birth i have planned and that i envision and that i feel is best for myself and my baby based on months of research. 🙂
Post # 29
@abbyful: As for the original post, I do think that women get judged from any direction they come from (wanting a natural birth, wanting a medicated birth etc).
Given, though, that medicated birth has become a social norm in most women’s eyes, I can imagine that “natural birth judgement/bias” is common and may become moreso if epidural rates continue to rise. When a woman says out loud, “I’m choosing to have a natural birth”, other women who chose to have a medicated birth may unconsciously hear, “I think I’m stronger than you are/were.” or “I’m a better mother than you”.
It also highlights CHOICE. Many women have an epidural and are working from a position of feeling they “need” it and “can’t do it” without….whether this is from external messaging or internal messaging. Given that point of view, when confronted by another woman who clearly feels she doesn’t “need” it and “can do it” without an epidural, it’s a direct contradiction to her lived experience. “Oh….she didn’t need it, thus not all women needed it….so since I did need it I must be weak or I made a bad decision.” As psychological self-protection, the reaction is to say, “Pffft. Wait til your in labour Missus….you’lll be begging for that epidural, you granola dreamer!”. It’s similar in many partenting choices….when you decide to do things differently from someone else, they take that as some kind of personal judgement of how they did things.
If we just did away with the birth judgement, we might begin to break down these taboos. As long as a woman makes her own well-informed decision, the others around her should trust her judgement.
Post # 30
My sons are 30 and 27. In those days natural childbirth was “the way”. We really didn’t have choices then. The most I got was an injection that really didn’t do anything. My first birth was very difficult. After 16 hours of labor I pushed for four hours without progress…..THEN they gave me Pitocin and I pushed for two more hours to give birth. When he was born the cord was wrapped around his neck three times. He was ok, thankfully. That labor and delivery was harder on both of us than it could have been. If it were today, the doctors would probably do a C section. He was almost 9 lbs. Too!
I envy you mothers today. You have choices and no mother should need to defend her choice. It’s probably the next chapter in the mommy wars. Breast vs bottle, working vs stay at home. YOU make your choice for you and your baby. It’s not a contest and I’m sad to see that it goes on.
Stay true to yourself and your baby. The other mothers can be a tough crowd sometimes.
Advice for future reference. When it’s your turn to take snack here’s a super recipe and it doesn’t involve baking cupcakes. My kids still take it to parties.
S’more Snack Mix
1 box Golden Graham Cereal
1 bag miniature marshmallows
1 box raisins
1 bag choc chips
1 can salted peanuts– you probably can’t put in peanuts for school d/t allergies.
Mix all together and enjoy. Yes I know it’s got lots of sugar.
Post # 31
thank you for being able to articulate that for me!