Well, after a long hiatus of baby raising and nursing it seems as though my thoughts on NCB and such has caused quite a stir. I was targeted on a blog that demeans and mocks anything to do with NCB, attachment parenting, not vaccinating.... there is a mini debate going on in the comment section of this post and I figured I would respond better here.
In these past almost 8 months I have not lost my passion for changing the modern medical system into something more natural, something safer for both mother and baby. Especially since my friends are having their babies any day now. It is in fact, with these two women that I can properly explain my stance on birth as a whole.
Mama 1 is one of my dearest friends, a sorority sister and an "auntie" to my girls. She is having her first baby around September 1st and was diagnosed as having gestational diabetes. She is trying to keep in the back of her mind that she does not want to be induced but knows that she runs the risk of having a very large baby and may need a scheduled c-section, which she doesn't want but it a real threat. Would I suggest to her that she sees a midwife, ignored her doctors advice for checking on the baby more often, and still push for a normal birth? No! She has pretty severe diabetes and needs to be tended to as more of a medical case than a natural process. Do I hope that she asks questions and stays informed that gestational weight can be off by pounds and therefore she shouldn't totally dismiss the thoughts of giving birth vaginally? Yes!
Mama 2 is also a dear friend and about to have baby #3. She had one baby naturally, no drugs and tore the most you possibly can since her little girl decided she was in a rush to be born. Baby #2 was also a vaginal birth but with a touch of pain medicine since she was terrified of tearing again that bad. This baby is going to be a NCB as well hopefully. I am so proud of her for being brave enough to go the no medication route, but she will tell you that she knows that it is what is best for her and the baby, that she likes to be in control of her body and that isn't an option when epidurals are given. That is her decision and her beliefs.
Neither of these women are right or wrong. They are just doing what is right for their own bodies, with what information is given. I guess most of these silly debates boil down to that simple fact- depending on what information you have, what do you do with the information?? Honestly, most women don't want to hear about how dangerous epidurals are, how hospital practices are driving the rates of mortality and c-sections up (it is NOT due to women having small pelvises or any nonsense like that). They don't want to know about OBs who give episiotomys without consent or due cause, or how to handle the pain of childbirth in a natural non-medicated way. And they definitely don't want to hear that due dates are just an ESTIMATION and can be off by weeks.
I feel that my first birth went wrong not because of the OB's push to induce or the hospital time clock, but the lack of information I was given. I had NO CLUE that I didn't have to consent to the c-section or that at 38 weeks it was just not good to induce. I didn't know that with the help of a Doula, I would have been confidant in my abilities to birth and that all the people who scared me about the pain didn't know better. But then I learned... and what I chose to do was my responsibility.
So, for all those people out there who think that natural child birth supporters are baby killers or just plain looney... have you really looked at the facts and used your own common sense that connects the high mortality rates in the US to the modern medical practices? Maybe there is a better way?