14 November 2008

Momversation: Childbirth Choices


Momversation

Natural labor? Pain meds in the parking lot? Home birth? On Momversation, Daphne of Cool Mom wonders why mothers judge each other over their birth choices. What's up with that? And is birth choice really a choice? For me, it was more like hanging onto the reins of a runaway horse.

Here's who's talking:

Keep talking in the comments of the episode post or on the Momversation forums. Two conversations are underway: Is it important for mothers to experience natural childbirth? (I've got much more to say about this topic -- I plan to join in later today) and Should I get a doula?

Keep up! Subscribe to the Momversation episode feed or comment feed, or via iTunes. Sign up for the weekly newsletter, follow Momversation on Twitter, or become a fan on Facebook.

Previous episodes:
I love you, but I hate your politics!
Are online friends as important as your real-life friends?
Disagreeing with your partner's parenting decisions (this is one of my favorite episodes so far -- Alice Bradley (Finslippy) is a natural comic)

Your comments

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I enjoyed the episode - I had 5 c-sections and even though I would have loved to be able to give birth vaginally I was glad my children were ok..
Cheers,
Anita

New to the site and really enjoying it!

New to the site and really enjoying it!

So, this is a hella interesting post at a very precient time for me. I had a failed induction (4 days labor, NO reaction besides evil contractions to the pitocin) followed by a c-section with my older daughter. This time around, I'm totally doing a planned c-section. My SIL is due with her first in a couple weeks, and is headed to a birthing center with midwives. Talk about two polar opposites! I"m trying SO hard to be supportive of her, even though my experience was not that all went smashingly according to plan. I think the "expect the unexpected" is something experienced moms just get, and first timers are more planners. Her biggest fear is that she'll have to be transferred to the nearby (2 min away) hospital or have some other intervention...and I just feel very strongly that whatever happens to make a healthy mom and healthy baby is a GOOD birth.

...I dunno, Jen. "Expecting the unexpected" is pretty much ALL a first-timer does. Maybe that's why there is such a drive to create a plan- to keep as much a sense of control as one can while entering into such a 'big deal' with no experience.

My first was when I was 20 - Home birth no meds - Labor for like maybe 30 mins? Back to pre-preg weight in 5 days after labor ... Nice. ... One of those "don't know how easy it was until #2 comes around" kind of births. Then? Then #2 rolls around. I am 8 years OLDER and well, that natural-home-birth-no-meds-with-the-midwife routine quickly turned into rush-to-hospital-epiduralNOW-prep-the-c-section-room event. I just wanted a healthy baby. Screw the plans. After about a million hours of labor, I almost went for the c-section, but it didn't happen.. He finally was "born". It wound up being a battle for both his and my life. Thank GOD we are both okay.
IMHO ... There is no right. There is no wrong. Just Right for whomever needs what they need whenever they need it.
(BTW I love the "Mother Nature doesn't care if you die" bit. So true.)

All of my births have been natural vaginal births. The only reason I didn't get drugs is because my labors were so fast that by the time I got to the hospital I was ready to give birth, there was really no time for drugs. Believe me, I asked!
At a baby shower this last weekend, I was chatting with some friends about it. One of the girls is newly married and is trying to get pregnant. She was just at her nephew's birth, and she told me how disappointed she was in her sister for getting a epidural (!). All I could tell her was don't judge til you are there. If my labors had been longer, I would have gotten one too!

I have been very lucky to have relatively easy births with no drugs, but I have found that people judge other women on their birth experiences. My mom is a labor and delivery nurse, and after growing up hearing daily stories of what can go wrong, I know better than to judge someone on a birthing story!

All of my births have been natural vaginal births. The only reason I didn't get drugs is because my labors were so fast that by the time I got to the hospital I was ready to give birth, there was really no time for drugs. Believe me, I asked!
At a baby shower this last weekend, I was chatting with some friends about it. One of the girls is newly married and is trying to get pregnant. She was just at her nephew's birth, and she told me how disappointed she was in her sister for getting a epidural (!). All I could tell her was don't judge til you are there. If my labors had been longer, I would have gotten one too!

I have been very lucky to have relatively easy births with no drugs, but I have found that people judge other women on their birth experiences. My mom is a labor and delivery nurse, and after growing up hearing daily stories of what can go wrong, I know better than to judge someone on a birthing story!

Wait—there were REIGNS?

I find it odd that women find those who prefer natural childbirth to be so judgemental. I have a homebirth planned for my second one (due any day now!) and I never received so many judgemental comments about anything in my life.

I had a homebirth and have had SOOO many nasty comments about how could I do that to my child. WTF?

I am all for being non-judmental, but it is hard when I know that most women are not getting unbiased information on homebirth or birth center options. Its hard for all to make choices when those choices are gated by people who want to limit our understanding and knowledge.

We all want to believe that we did the best we could and that we made the best choices for ourselves, our families, and our children.

With that in mind, I do get a bit het up when someone says natural birth and equates my homebirth with no meds to
a fully medicated vaginal hospital birth. They really are two different things. Its like we need new words to talk about all of it. Ones that don't imply judgements or value.

On the other hand, I think that we owe it to ourselves to recognize that the planned c-section rate is upping the rate of preterm birth in this country, as well as increasing risks for some. I see this again, as much-needed dialogue and education for everyone -- including ourselves, our doctors, and our midwives. The artificial divide between the drs and lay or nurse midwives serves no one well.

We are all in this together, and to demean one choice does not serve any of us.

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