Saturday, July 31, 2010

Why Would You Want a Natural Birth?!

If you would have talked to me a few months ago or a year ago I would have laughed my butt off at the thought of having a baby without pain medicine or interventions like Pitocin. I was one of those moms who recovered great from c-sections, happy to have not "endured the horrors of birth", and figured that unless the hospital gave new cars to moms who went natural, drugs were ok with me. So why the change of heart?

Well, reason #1 is totally 100% selfish: I react bad to pain killers and all forms of anesthesia. I mean vomiting for hours upon hours, blacking out from drops in blood pressure, shaking and feeling just horrid. Just remembering pressing a towel over my newly cut tummy while throwing up is enough to make me run for the hills.

Reason #2: The more I read the more I know that these medicines are soooo not good for the baby. They make the baby sleepy therefore making labor longer, they increase the intensity of contractions which affects what the baby is feeling, and using them improperly increases your risks for a c-section.

BUT, if you express your desire for a totally natural birth be prepared for people to look at you like you just suggested that you snort some cocaine while birthing. In this day and age, when there is so much science and technology, people are very quick to point out that the doctors made drugs to relieve birth pain for a reason. "You won't make it through birth without drugs", "You say that now, but I bet you will be screaming for drugs soon enough", "The drugs don't hurt the baby, they wouldn't give them to you if they did"- these are all things that I have heard just in the past month or two. But I have to wonder if all these birth horror stories make women reach for the epidural faster than the women who know how to manage labor pain?

Here are some things that I will be doing to manage my pain during labor:
1. No induction- Pitocin is NOT your friend!
2. Move around, use a birthing ball, move as your body tells you to.
3. Eat and drink as needed: Would it make sense to starve an athlete before a huge race? No! So why starve a pregnant woman who is working the hardest in her life?
4. Have a great labor support system- your partner, friend, Doula, anyone who knows what you plan for this birth and supports your wants and needs.
5. Use non-medicinal tools to relieve pain: Aromatherapy, music therapy, acupressure, breathing and visualization, and water especially a nice warm bath!
6. No laying down on the job! Let gravity do its thing and push in a squat or on all fours.... have you ever seen an animal birth on its back with its legs in the air? No! It makes no sense and makes labor go so much slower than need be!

If you are hoping for a natural birth I would highly suggest Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.... what an inspirational book that is!

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1 comment:

  1. "The drugs don't hurt the baby, they wouldn't give them to you if they did"

    Tell the next person who says that to you to google Thalidomide.

    You CAN have a VBA2C! I "know"(online friend) a woman who just had a VBA3C. I have confidence in you and I hope that you either find an OB who will let you have one, or look seriously into home birth. Most of the successful VBACs I've heard of take place at home!

    I'm cheering for you!