Please note this is all my PERSONAL OPINION ;)
For most everyone when they think of "natural childbirth" or "drug free" childbirth, the first thing they think is PAIN! It saddens me that society automatically associates such a wonderful event such as childbirth with something as negative as pain. I'm not saying it isn't "painful", but what in life worth gaining has been gained without some "pain" and/or hard work ;)? I was so amazed by the NON SUPPORT that was offered from other moms when I mentioned the phrase epidural free or natural childbirth. I had some women flat out tell me I was crazy and that I couldn’t do it. I would be lying if I said that didn’t push me a little to prove them all wrong. It saddens me to think that women and moms are not more supportative of one another. The negativity did not end there; it followed me into labor and delivery at the hospital with the nurses. When we were admitted one of the first things they said was “ok, so this is an epidural delivery” … and started with the paper work … my husband quickly responded “no” and then they looked to me for my response. After that it was almost like their whole attitude changed toward me – I felt as though they had the attitude of “what makes her think that she is so good that she can do this”. Now granted I could be totally wrong, but that is how they made me feel. I did however, have the most supportative and most wonderful delivery nurse anyone could ask for… with the delivery of Claire I will certainly be requesting her as my nurse – if she isn’t available I have a list of 3 other nurses to ask for thanks to the recommendation of my former Midwife.
For me when choosing to go natural with Colton the first choose that I had to make was to trust my body! When I had decided this was what I thought was best for me and for my child I did not swear off any and all medical interventions. I understood and still understand that life saving medical interventions is sometimes necessary and if it came to it I was willing to do whatever possible to bring my little one into this world safe and sound. However, it is not the process of giving birth that damage the body; it is indeed the interventions, episiotomies, unnatural birth positions and pushing techniques. I know of women who have had such terrible experiences that they have chosen not to have any more children. Anytime we add the factor of artificial interruption (induction, epidural, c-section, etc...) we add a medical risk. For example, babies born by c-section are three times more likely to experience respiratory complications. There is so much more that I can say about the effects of “medical interventions”, but I will chose to move on … for now.
Women have giving birth without drugs for hundreds, well thousands of years. God made us “perfect” in his image … he made us so that we will be able to get through this process. I will say that birthing Colton was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but it was so empowering and so worth it!
To succeed in natural childbirth I feel like you most importantly have to be prepared. If you just go into the process by saying, “oh this is what I want to do” and you do not know the ins and outs of labor you will probably most definitely not make it naturally. I’m not saying that there are women out there that have not, I’m just saying you are more likely to follow through if you have made preparations. When pregnant with Colton I did a ton of research on different “birthing methods”… after much research I felt most comfortable with The Bradley Method. Chris and I had planned to take Bradley Classes in Knoxville, but due to scheduling conflicts we were not able to. With the guidance of the Bradley instructor we purchased 2 books. The first was Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, this book contained all that was taught in the classes. I would have loved to been able to take the classes because there you are able to practice your exercises with the support and instruction of someone who really knew the ins and out of labor. The second book was Husband Coached Childbirth, this book is strictly for the husbands… Chris really enjoyed reading it (he has now read it twice) and felt like it prepared him as much as possible for labor coaching.
If any of you are even contemplating natural/drug free childbirth I urge you to do your research, talk to other women who have done it and stay away from those who want to tell you their “nightmare” childbirth stories!
Remember these important things when choosing natural childbirth:
- You must be “prepared” – read the best books, take the right classes and spend time in prayer. In my opinion there is no better method than the “Bradley Method”.
- Have a labor coach who is completely on board with what you are doing. The best case scenario is that the labor coach is your spouse.
- Make sure your OB or Midwife is totally aware of your birth plan, you may want to even type it out and have it included in your medical chart.
- Stay at home as long as possible!... do not rush to the hospital – if you do you are more likely to NOT go natural.
- Avoid induction if at all possible…
- Know your rights as a woman and as a mother in the hospital… don’t forget you too have a voice!
Choosing a childbirth option is a matter of personal preference and health condition. Educatino is crucial in order to have a safe delivery. It is important to discuss your options with your health care provider.
I am saying that natural childbirth is for everyone, certainly not. It was however, what I thought was best for me and for my little one and hopefully I will have the same great experience sometime in the next few weeks!