(Closed) Natural Birth Taboo

posted 8 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 32
7768 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I also think women are victims to a cultural understanding, and right now it is pro medication.  In the mid-twentieth century women were put under and their babies were dragged out with foreceps.  Doesn’t that sound unnecessary now?

Post # 33
4654 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I can’t blame anyone for wanting painkillers when you’re forced into the most unnatural, awkward, birth-preventing position ever. People should be talking about THAT choice no one seems to be allowed to make!

Can I just say, if you’re gonna have a natural birth, more power to you, but for your own sanity PLEASE find a hospital or situation that allows you to labor and give birth squatting or on your hands and knees or some other position that your body is MEANT to labor in. (I’ve heard amazing things about tubs also but not going into that here.) The epi might not seem so necessary. (Not saying it’s suddenly painless, but my understanding is that it is both quicker and more comfortable.)

I haven’t given birth, but I’ve researched this (I’m a little weird I guess) and everything I’ve seen says the difference is ASTOUNDING just switching positions.

Post # 34
2120 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - DD born 2015 DS born 2017

If (rather when!) my boyfrienjd and I get married and have kids, it will be in Japan where natural births are the norm. I have done a lot of research and I am mentally prepared and ready for this. Luckily the norm is also to allow the woman to change positions!

It maddens me that many hospitals in the Western world force women to lie down to birth. Would you ever try to poop while doing a head stand?

Post # 35
336 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Here in NZ natural birth is a lot more popular but I had a lot of flack from my Future Mother-In-Law and my SO’s aunts etc who thought I was sentencing my baby to a death sentence by planning a natural, home birth. I read 50+ birthing books on all varieties and ideas and attended classes, read countless blogs but nothing fully prepares you for it. I planned a home birth, bought a pool, a tarp all the stuff and then. Due date, no baby. They dragged me in when I was 7 days over for a ‘stretch and sweep’ (the midwife reaches in and stretches your cervix to encourage contractions. Yum) and was told that my obstetrician had decided my due date was wrong, i was 14 days over which meant I would be induced in one hour. Go home and pack. 

Because I was being induced I had to be in hospital. And all my dreams of a lovely natural birth went out the window and I had a c-section for all sorts of stupid reason, I was pushing on the way to theatre but they told me to stop and they dragged baby back out of the birth canal inside. 

At the end of the day, all you can do is make sure you are informed on your choices, have a CLEAR and concise birth plan written up. Hand it out to anyone who comes in your room and say “Look, this is what I want, you stick to this or get out.” I read some really awesome books which make it look almost enjoyable, I will try and remember the names of them. 

Misconceptions by Naomi Wolf shocked me about the way labour is treated in most American hospitals.

Post # 36
357 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

If you’re just talking about not having an epidural or other pain meds, then yeah, I don’t see an issue, and no one has any right or rational reason to judge your choice.  But when people around here talk about natural childbirth, they’re not talking about having a baby in a hospital sans-drugs.  They’re talking about giving birth at home, maybe in a blow up swimming pool, with a midwife or a doula or whatnot.  A lot of people react negatively to that, and I can see why.  Firstly, there’s nothing unnatural about giving birth in a sterile room filled with trained, knowledgable people who know what to do if there is an emergency or you have complications.  Secondly, it’s perfectly “natural” to die in childbirth.  That’s a concise demonstration of the naturalistic fallacy if I ever saw one.

Post # 37
1066 posts
Bumble bee

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@Snowden:  Also from NZ. It is true Natural birth is common here, but until you go through with it, you don’t know how you will handle it or the intensity of your pain which is different for every woman. I have had 4 children and would never judge anyone for their choices. At the end of the day the objective is to produce a healthy baby to love. My best birth? My son. He was an epidural but only a little to take the edge off and enough to allow me to push.I slept through labor,then woke to push and enjoy my son. The others were natural. But each to their own. I agree, we need to support each other, not judge. 

Post # 38
2716 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@abbyful:  I’ve mentioned that I want natural, no epi (no kids yet). SILs have given me looks like, oh well, when you get in there you’ll change your mind. I know it’s painful, but people have managed without drugs. It just bothers me that they look down at me for wanting to do it natural.

ETA: Not that I wouldn’t get medicated or have a c-section if there’s a danger to myself or the baby and it needed to be done. I would just have that as a last option.

Post # 39
5654 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2011

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@Junip3r:  I think natural birth talk generally means natural birth methods like sans pain meds, minimal intervention, and being allowed to do what the body needs to progress like move, moan, and create a safe relaxing enviroment.

Your comments “…maybe in a blow up swimming pool, with a midwife or a doula or whatnot and “…there’s nothing unnatural about giving birth in a sterile room…” sadden me & lead me to believe there has been very little research into either of these birthing methods since homebirth has not been deemed “dangerous” or without “trained” individuals (infact studies have found the exact opposite) and hospitals are commonly known as breeding ground for resistent bacteria and infection & your home would actually be alot less likely to cause such since it is your bacteria that your body is already used to and worked up immunity against. Being in a sterile room with artificial lighting and in a bed with wires and continunios monitoring (all of which have shown to not have benefit in labor but actually stall and work against it) are not natural at all rather being left alone in a dark/low lit room being able to move freely and without restriction does promote the naturalness of birth.

Sorry to get off track, I just really want to be sure that there isn’t any misinformation on what is being referenced when talking about “natural birth” and clear up some common misconceptions.


sidenote: I planned an hbac and will plan homebirths for all my future births as well… you couldn’t pay me to birth in a hospital without medical necessity ever again!

Post # 40
2966 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

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@snoie:  My thoughts exactly.

I feel like this is one of those things that you just cannot plan. It’s impossible to know what position your baby will be, how strong of a pusher you are, if there are any complications…it’s too much to calculate. People give advice based on their own experiences but guess what? That’s just one experience and they are not doctors. My SIL planned a natural birth and guess what? She ended up with a C-section. She didn’t want it, but the cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck and they had to save both momma and baby. She gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby boy.

That was all that mattered.

My mom gave birth to me sans drugs/epidurals none of that. She said she thinks it hurt a lot, but doesn’t remember a thing after she saw me…she was that happy. I am scared about giving birth, and I guess that’s normal. On the other hand, one of my (male) coworker told me the story of his wife. Who became disabled and almost paralized because of a wrongly injected epidural procedure….There are pros and cons. 

Listen to your body and your brain. What will be, will be; and again, you can’t plan this like you plan a trip or weight loss. It’s not 100% in your hands.

Post # 41
6432 posts
Bee Keeper

IF I wanted children (I don’t) I would want a natural water birth, ideally at home (provided I was close to a hospital, had a midwife present, and the pregnancy had progressed smoothly with no complications).

My reasons for this are:

1) I have an EXTREMELY high pain-threshold, and have experienced pain very similar to labour from the age of 11. I know what works best for me with that type and level of pain, and what works best is breathing exercises and water. Pain relief does zilch, including extremely strong forms.

2) I don’t like the idea of epidurals, or the risks attached. I believe that for me personally an epi would make me feel out of touch with my body, and out of control, which would then make me stressed and panicky. Given I strongly believe I could cope with the pain with few issues, I would see no reason to have something that would distress me.

3) I believe I would be much more comfortable birthing at home than in hospital. In hospital, interventions are much more common, particularly where I live, as they want to get women in and out as quickly as possible to free up space. Home births tend to be less rushed. You are also in an environment you know and are comfortable with, and are free to move about at will.

I think women should do whatever is best for them. But, I always advise any woman to remember that often, giving birth doesn’t go to plan, and IMO it’s best not to have too set ideas about how it will go, and it’s best to be open to things like pain-relief, as otherwise, if required, it can be quite distressing (some women feel like failures for example). Also, I think some women are very unrealistic when it comes to childbirth; my friend for example has the lowest pain-threshold ever, and has never really experienced severe pain, and has very rose-tinted views of childbirth. I know her, and I know she will almost definitely want an epi when the time comes, because the pain will hit her like a truck (as an example: she finds waxing excruciating, to the point she can’t do it; I can barely feel waxing, and find it pretty relaxing, like a tickly massage…)

Post # 43
1621 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

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@Junip3r:  If you actually educate yourself about the definition of “natural childbirth” in the medical literature, you would do yourself and the rest of us a favour.  Here are a few non-medical sources of information that took 3 seconds on Google to find:

A method of childbirth in which medical intervention is minimized and the mother often practices relaxation and breathing techniques to control pain and ease delivery.”

from: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/natural+childbirth

 a system of managing childbirth in which the mother receives preparatory education in order to remain conscious during and assist in delivery with minimal or no use of drugs or anesthetics”

from: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/natural%20childbirth

None of these definitions mention blow-up pools or place of birth.  Natural birth can happen in a hospital with doctors (assuming they “allow” it), in a hospital with midwives, or at a free-standing birth centre or at home with midwives.

And yes, women can die in childbirth.  They can die in a hospital, after an induction, with an epidural, after a hemorrahge, at home….in fact, the most common reason in North America that women die related to birth is pulmonary embolism, which has nothing to do with place of birth and usually happens post-partum.  What you allude to by saying “it’s natural to die in childbirth” is an extremist version of using scare tactics to promote a medicalized approach to birth and (potentially) medically unnecessary interventions.  Most natural birth advocates agree that interventions, when medically appropriate and based on best practices and evidence-based medicine, are welcome and necessary.

and from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_childbirth

Post # 44
4575 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

@abbyful:  You are right!!! delivery, in any way one choces to do it, should not be critized.  My mom did it natural 8 times and i have to say she is sooo proud of herself and i really admire her for that too.

Post # 45
2334 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Medicated, unmedicated, in a tub, in a bed, in your house, on your back, on your knees, through your vagina, through your stomach, grunting, in silence…it doesn’t matter!  If, at the end, a human being has been forced out of your body, you did a good job delivering the baby.

I love reading the birth stories on here.  Women are amazing.

Post # 46
6432 posts
Bee Keeper

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@cdncinnamongirl:  Very well said. It really frustrates me when people confuse, or attempt to blur the line between, natural or home births, and unassisted births. Unassisted births are, IMPO, fool-hardy; to choose to birth without a qualified, trained midwife, and without proper monitoring equipment, is stupid IMO. Natural births or home births however are not, and can be an excellent choice.

Birthing is far too medicalised in the West IMO; unnecessary interventions, which are often traumatic for the mother, are far too common for my liking, and it horrifies me that so many women are practically forced to labour and birth in bed, on their backs; it is not natural, ideally, you should be able to walk around, and should give birth squatting or on all fours, as a couple of posters on this thread have said. Birthing on your back can put prtessure on and damage the back, and also slow labour.

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