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  1. #1
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    Default What are the benefits of natural birth? Why do you want one and should I try for one

    Hello everyone,

    This question might come off as a bit ignorant and if so I apologise.

    Basically I am wondering why you want a natural birth, and whether it is something that I should aim for too.

    My mum is a 70s hippie. She is very pro natural birth, but for moral reasons. I have heard her judging women who have pain relief/c-sections as though they were weak or putting their babies health at risk. I think this is unfair of her and to be honest this is what has made me sceptical of why I should want a natural birth at all. She has already told me a thousand times, unprompted, "don't have an epidural!" as though this will lead to some catastrophe, but she doesn't actually have any reasons why pain relief in labour is 'bad.'

    I would be happy to educate myself in birth skills and aim for a natural birth if this is somehow better for my health/baby's health - but is this actually the case? My attitude at the moment is that I will just do whatever the obstetrician recommends as the baby's safety is my priority.

    Can you share with me why you want to have a natural birth, and maybe convince me that it's something I should want too?

    Thank you!

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    Default What are the benefits of natural birth? Why do you want one and should I try for one

    My ob doesn't believe in birthing plans (eg. natural birth) as medication maybe needed for health reasons. He said to go in with good intentions but be open minded with pain killers and epidural. He said that if you broke your arm, you wouldn't go into hospital and say I am having a natural recovery. So no morphine. He said it nicely not with an arrogant tone. He had a lady once with a strict birth plan and wouldn't let him adjust the plan and bub died at birth. It is an extreme story but we need to trust the Dr's.

    If the drugs are that bad for you or bub they wouldn't be allowed to use them during labour.

    So I am going to go in natural for as long as possible but know that they are there for me if need be.

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    Obstetricians will always want a healthy baby and mum, but will also schedule things around what suits THEM, which is not always the BEST thing for you and your baby (even if it has the end result if a 'safe' delivery. So just keep that in mind when allowing your Ob to make recommendations/decisions on your behalf.

    All pain relief has side effects for you and/or your baby. The decision is yours and your alone but it is worth researching your options. Epidural, in particular increases your chance of needing help getting baby out (forceps, vacuum, c/s), just as an example.

    There are many good books out there, a GP Sarah Buckley has a very informative one called 'gentle birth, gentle mothering', but you might want to skip the birth stories if you are not into '70s hippy' stuff lol, as its pretty full on. The information chapters are great though.

    I am very pro-natural birth but only you can decide what is best for you, not your mum (although I agree with her that natural is best). I personally don't think it's about being strong or weak though, more about what is important to individual women (many pf my friends get an epidural straight up) and a lot to do with the support you have around you and the model of care you choose.

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    Default Re: What are the benefits of

    I never wanted to give birth without pain relief. Quite frankly I was terrified about labour. With my first labour, I had contractions drug free till I got to 8cm then had the epidural. Her birth was amazing, because I wasn't in pain I can remember everything. I felt her head coming out with my hand. It was the most memorable experience, just beautiful and amazing.

    My second dd was born 3 months ago, I had every intention of pain relief but she was born 27 minutes after my water broke. No time for anything. The pain was horrendous at the time but it was so quick I bearly remember. He best thing about this birh was after I felt like I was superwoman!! Its awesome in hindsight to know your body did this naturally.

    My point is, every birth is different. Both my experiences with and without drugs had their positives. I'm actually glad I got to experience both.

    Please do whatever YOU feel comfortable doing, go with your instincts, you won't regret it x



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    There are various reasons I'd like to avoid intervention of any kind.

    I'm aiming for a VBAC - a vaginal birth after caesarean, and I'm most likely to achieve that (statistically) if I decline intervention.

    Induction is not a good option for me to take - it'll increase my risk of uterine rupture. Actually, it increases the risk of uterine rupture for women who HAVEN'T had a previous caesarean either. It puts too much pressure on the uterus by encouraging unnatural contractions, and that can result in rupture of the uterus. Obviously best to avoid that.

    An epidural can inhibit movement. At worst, you won't be able to move your legs, and at best, you'll have limited movement and feeling in them. Given that gravity and remaining upright are important in avoiding vaginal tearing, and actually having a baby vaginally, not being able to do anything other htan lay on your back is not exactly a good way to try and secure a vaginal birth. Birthing while laying on your back is akin to birthing uphill... you birth canal will be on a slight incline and thus, birthing uphill. The removal of pain can also mean the woman cannot use her contractions to her advantage. Instead of knowing when to push through feeling, she'll just be told what to do and when. I'm more trusting in my body telling me what to do (as it does when I need to go to the toilet, for example) than having midwives who are unfamiliar with me and my body, telling me when and what to do.

    Epidurals, due to the fact they can restrict these things, can also lead to further intervention. If you're on your back pushing uphill, your labour progress may halt, and you're sent off of a caesarean. You're more likely to need an episiotomy if you're in a position that is not upright, so that risk increases too. You may need forceps or vacuum to help extract the baby, as your body is not doing what it is supposed to do due to being inhibited by the drugs used blocking your feeling and limiting your movements too.

    There are also risks associated with some drugs being passed on to the baby which others are not prepared to take.

    Of course, if you happen to have some of these interventions, it can change your birthing options for the future. I mean, if you have an epi and then are sent for an emergency c-sec, you'll always be birthing VBAC or repeat caesarean and hospitals can be kind of unhelpful in regards to having you achieve a VBAC, by attaching rules and restrictions to your birth that may not apply to you had you not previously had a caesarean.

    If you've had an episiotomy, you may find you're more likely to tear during future births.

    Years of being on this forum have also taught me that epidurals will often end in long-term back pain, or may be used during a caesarean, but not in an adequate amount, so that the woman feels the surgery to some degree.

    You may find your baby is injured as a result of the chosen interventions too.

    Some of these risks mean little to people, but to me, who wants to birth a baby out of my vagina (this was the only real stipulation on my birth plan with my DD - I didn't care about anything else), intervention is just putting barriers in my way to having a baby via the route I think is best for both mother and baby.

    It's up to each woman to decide what she's happy with.

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    Default What are the benefits of natural birth? Why do you want one and should I try for one

    Positives about a natural birth

    Hormones!!!! Uterus shrinking, help establish bf, elation so that you forget the pain ASAP.

    Get up after birth and walk to a shower and no extended recovery time.

    No effects of pain relief on baby ie pethidiene. No effects on mum from botched epi

    Less need for assistance during birth cos you are mobile and can change positions.

    Pushing is easier as you can feel the contractions so less tearing/epi needed.

    When not induced - contractions build up allowing your body to get used to the pain slowly.

    Epidural good points

    I was very anxious with my first labour and the epi allowed me to rest/sleep and also most importantly allowed my pelvic floor muscles to relax enough to let bub thru.

    Dd1 needed to be rotated and her head flexed around as she was posterior with head tilted the wrong way. My ob had to push her hand up tilt and twist bubs head around to put the vacuum on it to pull bub out. That would not have been fun without the epi.

    I had an epi with my first cos it was a long induced labour and I was god damn tired. Plus when it came to crunch time - it was in place when dd1 was born with all her hoopla.

    Second birth was natural and I'm still riding the high six months later.

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    headoverfeet is offline The truth will set you free, but first it will **** you off. -Gloria Steinem
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    Default What are the benefits of natural birth? Why do you want one and should I try for one

    You should read Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering by an Australian GP/OB Sarah Buckley.

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    Default What are the benefits of natural birth? Why do you want one and should I try for one

    Just keep an open mind! I had every intention of birthing naturally (and was desperate to do so) but after dilating to 9cm with no further progress for over 4 hours it was in mine, my baby and my Ob's best interest to have a c section.

    Just be aware that you may not have the 'choice' to birth naturally (for a whole range of reasons) and in the end and a healthy baby and mum should be the number one priority.

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    headoverfeet is offline The truth will set you free, but first it will **** you off. -Gloria Steinem
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    Default What are the benefits of natural birth? Why do you want one and should I try for one

    I wanted a natural birth because the other kind have higher risk rates and I wanted a healthy and happy baby and mother.

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    Default What are the benefits of natural birth? Why do you want one and should I try for one

    Quote Originally Posted by Pippi01 View Post
    My ob doesn't believe in birthing plans (eg. natural birth) as medication maybe needed for health reasons. He said to go in with good intentions but be open minded with pain killers and epidural. He said that if you broke your arm, you wouldn't go into hospital and say I am having a natural recovery. So no morphine. He said it nicely not with an arrogant tone. He had a lady once with a strict birth plan and wouldn't let him adjust the plan and bub died at birth. It is an extreme story but we need to trust the Dr's.

    If the drugs are that bad for you or bub they wouldn't be allowed to use them during labour.

    So I am going to go in natural for as long as possible but know that they are there for me if need be.
    If your arm is broken, it's broken! You are pregnant, not broken.

    I've had 3 births, one induction with pethidine for pain relief and second degree tear with stitches, one completely natural birth, no interventions, no drugs, no tears or stitches. My last birth was just over 2 weeks ago. It was an emergency c-section as I went into hospital after my waters broke to be monitored, I was already 5cm dilated which was a big surprise to me and the midwives as I had hardly any pain, my baby was in transverse lie position so I had emergency c-section.

    I would choose natural delivery any day. It's been just over 2 weeks since my c-section and I am only just starting to feel back to myself today. It still hurts a little to laugh, cough and sneeze. It was difficult to get up and down out of bed for 2 weeks. I hated not being able to hold my baby after she was born. I had no skin to skin, it was almost 3 hours after her birth that I got to hold my daughter. Luckily this hasn't had any negative impact on her ability to breastfeed. I also still have stinging pain along my scar and a big hematoma. I also got a staph infection where they cut me open.
    Last edited by BigRedV; 03-01-2013 at 23:21.


 

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