I will share with you MY OWN PERSONAL reasons, based on my own personal research.
I’m sure you know that there will be a LOT of different opinions, and some people will devolve into being judgy or feeling judged, so be prepared to close this if it goes south.
Anyway, I decided I wanted to have an intervention-free birth experience.
I wanted to avoid being induced because if I hadn’t gone into labor, it is because my body and/or my baby isn’t ready. I did go past my EDD by 8 days.
I didn’t want to be restricted from eating and drinking, and I didn’t want to be confined to a bed during labor. Once you get an epi, most often both of those things happen.
In order to get an epi, you have to have a full bag of IV fluid. This can artificially elevate the baby’s birthweight which can cause some concern since babies usually lose a little weight at first as they learn how to feed. Babies with an artificially elevated birth weight tend to lose that fluid along with what they would have lost in the first place, so it can raise concerns with health care providers.
Often, getting an epidural slows down labor. They give you pitocin to speed it back up, then the baby is feeling all of these intense, unnatural contractions and their heart rates go berzerk… fetal distress. Some of these instances result in an emergency c-section.
Some epidurals cause your entire lower half to go completely numb (they can turn it down though, or do what they call a ‘walking epi” where you can still feel pressure and move your legs to a certain degree) but if you don’t feel the contractions at all or the urge to push, it is more difficult to push effectively. You end up bearing down as hard as you possibly can which can result in more tearing and hemorrhoids.
I didn’t want to be hooked up to anything that could make me feel loopy, since I wanted to do immediate skin to skin bonding and nursing. I wanted to be able to get up, walk around. I wanted to labor in any position my body felt like it needed to. I was able to use the shower, the yoga ball, the tub, and I was able to push in an all-fours position as well as a squatting position. Both of those positions allow the pelvis to open so much more than being restricted to laying on my back.
Interventions beget interventions, and it’s like a cascade. A happens, so B must happen, which makes C happen, etc.
I know in the situations I described those things don’t happen every single time, but certain things increas the chances of other things, and TO ME, it wasn’t worth it. I wanted to trust my body to do what it was supposed to do, exactly how and when it was supposed to do it. I was in a hospital in the event something didn’t go according to plan, at which point I would have been open to discussing other alternatives.
At the end of the day, all we want are health babies and healthy mamas.