(Closed) Natural Birth Taboo

posted 8 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 47
Member
605 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

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@UK Bride:  Interestingly, I feel like I’ve experienced the opposite sort of pressure! Most of the women I know who went ‘natural’ were a lot more aggressive about the merits of their choice, whereas the people I know who got epidurals were almost apologetically explaining their choice.

This was my experience, too. I think a lot of it has to do with your own social circles in real life. Mine is full of natural child birthers. I, on the other hand, for a variety of reasons opted for a scheduled induction, epidural, and all the pain meds that I needed. My son’s birth was wonderful. I was coherrant, aware, comfortable and he was born healthy and safely. It progressed at a perfect pace and there were zero complications. This was all an incredible blessing considering that I had a high risk pregnancy with a lot of complications leading up to delivery. In fact, my labor and delivery was the easiest, calmest, and healtiest part of my entire pregnancy. And yet, to this day (4 and a half years later), I still catch a lot of flack for my decisions.

As far as other threads on here… I agree with a PP, sometimes women just get catty. I have no idea why. How we chose to bring our babies into this world is a deeply personal and individual decision. No one way is better or worse so long as mom and baby are safe and healthy.

You have every right to be proud,

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@abbyful:!

Post # 48
Member
903 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

That’s interesting, I think it may depend on where you live or your social circle because for me, I feel like just the opposite is true. Women I know are very vocal advocates of natural birth and are likely to look down on people who opt for meds or don’t have a midwife, etc. I don’t have kids and probably won’t for a few years, but I definitely think every woman should be able to make her own decisions about childbirth and not have to worry about judgement either way they go.

Post # 49
Member
3354 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

people just want to feel good about themselves, at the expense of others, which makes it bad. the fact that you mothers brought a baby into this world is a miracle enough to me.

Post # 50
Member
1123 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I think most women, when recommending or saying that you should go ahead and get the epidural, that they are trying to let you know that when the times comes, if you need that it will be OK to get it. Childbirth, which being a wonderful thing, is an extremely painful thing and a lot of women change their mind last minute.

When I tell people they should keep the epidural as an option, it’s because I know how hard it is and I don’t want them to feel let down if they end up getting it.

Even I wanted a natural child birth but it didn’t happen that way and I ended up having two doses of the epidural. She was born facing the wrong way so when I would have contractions she would head but my spine and send horrible pains throughout my whole body. The stomach pains were nothing at all, the spinal pain was what got me to agree to the epidural.

Post # 51
Member
2959 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I had a natural birth. But at that time, natural births were “in”.

Post # 52
Member
1026 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

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@cbee:  This is so true.  My grandmother was telling me the other day about how she refused the general anesthesia during the delivery of her last child and the doctor and hospital were in an uproar about it.  They were appalled that she wanted to push the baby out.

Post # 53
Member
2424 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

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@sailor:  I agree with this, I feel like I see and hear a lot of judging from natural birth advocates about those who choose other paths being selfish, etc. I’ve seen threads on the Bee about it too that were rather condescending if you choose medication

Post # 54
Member
751 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@abbyful:  In my experience it is quite the opposite! I’ve always heard women who have natural birth being applauded and women who opt for elective c-section are scorned as the worst mothers ever.

A few years back Coleen Rooney, the wife of the man united footballer Wayne got pregnant with theirfirst child. The due date happened to be a day were he would be abroad for a game and so the couple opted to have an elective c-section a week or so before the due date so tha he could be there too.

You would not believe the venom and harsh criticism they got, literally things like -you shouldn’t be having a child if you can’t go through thepain of giving birth.-

Likewise I once mentioned that if I ever have children I would never give birth and would definetly want an elective c-section. You would not believe the poison that came out of every woman’s mouth.

The same seems to happen with women who decide not to breastfeed.They are accused of not loving their children and similar things.

But I have never ever heard anyone criticize someone who choose to give birth naturally or to breastfeed.

So I think the comments you heard are mostly likely a minority.

Post # 55
Member
357 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

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@runsyellowlites:  I’m sorry, I guess I chose a really simplistic way to say something that’s complicated.  I’m not sure how the comments you bolded imply that I don’t know anything about home births.  My sister in law had a “natural” birth, with a midwife, in her apartment, in a blow up pool (is that absurd in some way?) and she was rushed to the hospital at the last minute for an emergency C-section because her hips were too narrow for the baby’s head.  My nephew could have died.

I’m happy to let lie your dubious claim about germs, because a) I don’t think avoiding infection is one of the major motivators for mothers choosing home birth and b) it’s not really central to an argument against home birth, nor does it explain why most people who are offended by the idea react to it (which was the purpose of my post).

Giving birth, in any scenario, is extremely dangerous, and in an emergency situation, there is a huge difference between being 10 minutes from a hospital and being *in* the hospital.  The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists maintains that home birth is several times more dangerous than hospital birth.   There’s not a lot of data on home birth, but many people accept this claim, and feel that home birth carries a risk to their baby’s life that they’re not willing to take.  I think this is the source of the “home birth taboo”, as the OP put it.

Post # 56
Member
357 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

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@abbyful:  You’re right.  What I meant was that people I know refer to home births as natural births, and that was what I was talking about.  I think I even said that in my very first post.   Nothing about how you describe natural birth is objectionable to me, although I can’t comment for others.

I would add, though, that there are two types of midwives, and only one of them has medical training.

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@cdncinnamongirl:  Yes, I agree with you on all those points.  As I said abbove to abbyful, every natural birth I have heard about, and the ones that I believe people take issue with, are the ones that happen at home.  If everyone agreed on the definition, then there wouldn’t be much controversy!

I’m not sure what you think I was alluding to with my comment about it being natural to die in childbirth.  I wasn’t trying to say that you’ll die if you have a natural childbirth, lol (EDIT: FYI the risk in home birth is largely for the baby).  I was only trying to demonstrate that just because something is natural does not mean that it is better.  That’s what the naturalistic fallacy is.  It’s wrong, but it appeals to a lot of people.  And if natural childbirth is only the things you quoted, then the word natural is a misnomer.

Post # 57
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1675 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

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@Junip3r:  Actually, no.

http://www.ecmaj.ca/content/181/6-7/377.short

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1523-536X.1997.00004.pp.x/abstract

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1016/j.jmwh.2007.02.016/full

http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.82.3.450

Let me be clear in saying that I am not citing the above in order to put forward the view that home birth is somehow better than hospital birth. I think they both have their merits and, in fact, I will be having a hospital birth attended by a midwife. However, I am really tired of anecdotal evidence/personal opinion being thrown around in support of an anti-home birth stance when, in fact, study after study has shown that the outcomes for both mother and baby are pretty much identical. If you don’t want a home birth, don’t have one, but please don’t imply that those who do (so long as they are under qualifed care and are low-risk) are somehow uneducated or irresponsible.

Post # 58
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1621 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

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@Junip3r:  I can’t comment on your SIL’s situation, but I can absolutely say that the data shows that most c/s are not ’emergent’ rather they are ‘urgent’ and most mothers and/or babies are not in imminent danger of death.  Of course, sometimes they are and an emergency c/s does save lives.

Second, you are not always safer in a hospital.  Most hospitals, especially in smaller centres, are not staffed 24h a day with OB and anaesthesia.  That means that even IN the hospital an emergency procedure requiring those services may be delayed for transit time.  Also, even if the hospital does have 24h OB and/or anaesthsia service, they may be occupied with other procedures elsewhere and unavailable.  I’ve had patients wait HOURS for an epidural or a c/s because there was no one available to do it.  At a home birth (at least where I live), a midwife calls ahead to the hospital to warn them to prepare for arrival so that transit time is minimized and as seamless as possible.

Third, hospitals are in fact breeding grounds for several types of bacteria that are not common in the community, some of which are antibiotic resistant.  These bacteria are often less common on Birthing Units, but not always.  And YES, infections do cause some women to choose homebirth….H1N1 and Sars are the most known of these, and I can attest to C. diff being a factor in my community.  Additionally, birthing rooms are not sterile, birth itself isn’t sterile.  It’s a process that involves poop, blood, amniotic fluid, sometimes urine, sometimes vomit….definitely not sterile.  Yes, health care providers do wear sterile gloves, in large part to protect THEM as well as the baby.  But don’t kid yourself that birth is anywhere close to clean or germ-free.

And last, and perhaps most importantly….birth can be dangerous, but it’s not “extremely dangerous”.  Did you drive a car today? That’s several times more dangerous than childbirth.  Don’t be a fear monger.

As for ACOG….they are a professional, self-serving association.  They can say whatever they want, it’s an opinion statement.  And their journal publishes shoddy studies which are generally torn apart by the rest of the scientific and medical community (eg. Wax et al on homebirth).  so, take what they say as the promotional literature it is, not as evidence based medicine.  

Contrary to what you say, there is actual a large amount of good, scientifically sound data on homebirth and it overwhelmingly shows that homebirth is AS SAFE for mothers and babies as hospital birth.  Not SAFER, not LESS SAFE.  It also shows that homebirth reduces the incidence of unnecessary medical interventions that cause further iatrogenic interventions.

You are entitled to your opinion, and it’s not an uncommon one.  However, women in general are better served by solid factual information to help them make educated decisions around birth.

ETA: yes, as Junip3r pointed out in a lower post, the data shows homebirth is as safe as hospital in healthy, low risk populations with a trained care provider in attendance.  

Post # 59
Member
5654 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2011

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@Junip3r:  My apologies. The only people I’ve known to use “blow up pool” instead of birthpool and “whatnot” as provider choice are those that had NO knowledge what so ever in homebirth or the mechanics that surround it. Especially considering that birthtubs are known in hospital settings and Midwives generally have more knowledge and training in the natural biology of childbirth than obgyns do. =(

Personally, infection and rates/risks of introducing infection were definitely things I considered when I chose to have my vbac at home and I think many women who choose homebirths or out of hospital births in general do research and consider such things as well.

I wonder if the hospital your sister transferred to allows/is prepared for vbacs? I wonder because if a hospital is not prepared for vbac then the majority of the time they aren’t prepared for emergency cesareans needed in less than 30 minutes time either, in which case a homebirth transfer with a call before arrival have the same chance of safe delivery as any other birth there at that hospital. I am not by any means minimizing your distress surrounding your nephews birth and know first hand how it feels to be in that position of quick decision… I just know that this is something that many pro-hospital birthers don’t consider.

I am totally aware of acogs stance on homebirth, but haven’t found any data to back up the fear surrounding homebirth. Rather countries that have & promote homebirth as their normal route of birth location have much better maternal & perinatal mortality and morbidity rates.

The entire point of my response though, even being a homebirth adovocate, was to show that when the majority of women speak of “natural birth”, myself included, homebirth is not the subject of perspective.

Post # 60
Member
357 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I was going to say this earlier but thought my post was too long.  You say that there’s study after study showing that the outcomes are identical, but the scientifiic comminuty doesn’t actually agree with you.

For example, the first and second study you cited, only concluded that home birth was generally safe for mothers specifically chosen because they are low-risk.  We can’t make conclusions about the general population based on this study.  And really!  It shouldn’t be surprising that low-risk cases have similar outcomes at home and in the hospital.

The third study you linked shows no abstract, so I’m not sure what conclusion it purports.

The fourth study you linked, I believe, is one that is mired in controversy.  They compared home births from 1971 to 1980 with statistics from hospital births in 1980.  I recall that when it was reviewed it was found that because of the difference in years, it didn’t give an accurate representation of the data.  There was some back and forth about it, but I would actually have to look at the data myself to feel comfortable with a conclusion on that one.

So yeah, there is controversy.  And I am not trying to give my opinion on natural birth or say whether or not you should have a home birth.  Just trying to explain why  some people are offended by the idea.

Post # 61
Member
1621 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Let’s respect abbyful’s orignal post and keep it to the topic of the taboos and judgements, rather than pursuing the tanget of homebirth, since homebirth is not an integral part of natural childbirth anyways! 🙂

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