Great post sassy mummy. For me, having a natural birth gave me an amazing sense of achievement and I felt so good afterwards, physically. I could do everything myself for my bub without having to recover from major surgery. Also as most (all?) bubs are very sleepy the first week or two, to the point of having to strip naked to wake enough to feed properly, I had no concerns that it was due to pain relief that I had used during labour, as I didn't even use the gas. I would have felt horribly guilty and wondered everyday otherwise.. I went through 10 months trying my best not to even take panadol so I certainly wasn't going to bring out the big guns on the home run.
I know not everyone agrees with this, but to me, choosing to become pregnant meant that I would become a mother and I see a mothers role as putting her children first. So bubs health came before my pain relief.
It hurts - I won't lie. But I knew that pain relief wouldn't take that away, only dull it. And that pain was bringing me my baby, it's 'good' pain, not scary pain if that makes sense.
Best of luck in whatever decision you make and good on you for doing your research
Last edited by Sarelou; 03-01-2013 at 20:02.
I highly recommend researching the drugs used during labour, their side effects on you and baby. An epidural for example is a needle that goes in the space of your spinal cords, things go wrong, during and months to years after.
Pethadine is a narcotic, it goes to your baby also and from what I've heard, it doesn't do much to relieve pain.
Then there are inductions and the drugs that go with that, you may or may not need one, but if it comes up, if you're overdue for example, you will need to know what it is.
And ofcourse there is a c/s, you may or may not have one for whatever reason, but you will most likely have an epi or spinal, possibly a general aseathetic if its a serious complication, pain relief afterwards which all affect milk supply.
There really is so much to know. I don't think giving birth naturally is a hippy thing. I remember being told how horrible and painful labour is, how its the worst thing in the world etc etc. Its really not, your body is designed to give birth and handle that sort of pain, you have alot of special hormones during labour that help you stretch and I don't know, something amazing happens. Don't be afraid of it, but do decide logically ie. you know what this or that drug does and you are taking it by informed choice.
I am a very pro natural birth mother who has had 2 emergency c sections. I have 100% trust in my obstetrician and do not believe for one moment that he did anything that suited him, but was only ever concerned for the welfare of my daughters and I.
I was very naive when I was pregnant the first time, I am glad I had an Ob I could trust or it is possible that neither my DD1 nor I would be here today.
I went in wanting no drugs etc, and came out having nearly every drug in the cabinet! My daughters are both healthy, never had any illnesses, breastfed them both til 12 months, bonded beautifully, recovery was fine.
I do believe that birth is 'natural' but I also believe that modern medicine is amazing and we are so lucky to have the choice. If you trust your professional caregiver and your own natural instincts everything will be fine. Good luck.
You've got to find a healthcare provider, IMO, who echos your beliefs about birth. Don't just blindly follow your healthcare provider BECAUSE they're a healthcare provider... trust them because you know they have a similar view of birth, and will be working to provide you with the kind of care that suits your personal opinions about birth and how it should be.
For some, that would mean finding an OB who is quite happy with elective caesareans. For others, that would mean an Independant Midwife who feels that birth is something that is natural and normal and doesn't necessarily require medical invention just because it's birth. For other women, it's somewhere in between the two. None is right, it's simply a matter of belief, basically.
I'll be homebirthing in future, so I have no real chance of being told I need an intervention I don't actually NEED... so I'm confident that I will either have a natural birth at home, or I'll be transfering to hospital where I actually REQUIRE medical assistance, rather than being pushed into something that perhaps isn't best for myself and my baby (as was the case with my daughter).
I'd say research all the options availabe to you, and choose which suits best. See what the side-effects are. What the risks are. What hte benefits are. See which you're happiest with. With me, I am taking the risk of uterine rupture by having a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean). For others, this isn't a risk worth taking... for me, I view the risk as quite minimal, and actually a better risk to take at home than in hospital, due to the ongoing attention and care I'll be recieving at home, as compared with hospital.
I'm not saying have a homebirth. I'm just saying - research and choose what best suits you and your beliefs on birth.
My beliefs have also changed since having my daughter, because the experience I had with her was pretty dodgy. If it had gone along well enough, I think I wouldn't be having a homebirth, but experience in hospital has lead me down this path. So be prepared to come out the other side reconsidering your birthing beliefs too.
I think that this article is worth a read
For me it's primarily about the hormones. The incredible interplay of hormones that makes birth as efficient and gentle as possible for both mother and baby and which can be so easily disturbed by intervention
r me it was having jasper by induced labour then csection firstly feeling very much like it was done to me. And being unable to stand, lift, bend etc after he was born was awful.
After katelyn was born vaginally I went home and got to be a mum straight away. It was less painful (When measuring pain over time, while his birth was painless actually so was katelyn, I was so focused on what I had to do it didn't hurt.. Though labour sucked.... But I laboured with both so I have no comparison for just turning up not in labour and having a csection.
Though I'd avoid an epidural because optimal birthing positions are upright and staying active through labour helps move baby down so I'd avoid an epidural.
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I have had a hospital birth (induction, epidural, episiotomy, vacuum delivery) and a home birth (completely natural).
I found the benefits of the natural birth were:
- greater mobility and a general feeling of wellness quicker (versus having the epidural)
- baby fed straight away (whereas my first son didn't latch for 48 hours)
- quicker labour and less painful contractions
- quicker pushing stage (6 mins pushing) as no epidural allowed me to adopt optimal birthing position
- general feeling of accomplishment that I achieved my desired outcome of natural birth
I had an epidural first time round despite wanting a natural birth - I just couldn't cope with the pain as I was induced and stuck on a bed.
I feel the epi actually contributed to my PND. Partly because I didn't get the birth I wanted, partly because I felt detached from the birth. I couldn't feel any sensation - I have no idea what the urge to push feels like, etc. DS was delivered via ventouse and that's probably because I couldn't push him myself.
Epidurals aren't all bad - I was on a timeframe to deliver as my waters had broken and the epi allowed the syntocin to be turned up to encourage labour to progress - I could have ended up with a cesearean otherwise (perhaps if I had fought against the timeframe and syntocin this point would be moot). Also delivering DS was very calm and I slept through most of the pain.
It's funny how things have changed. I remember a mum's friend, who had 3 kids and only the last one with epidural (wasn't available for the 2 other kids).
She said it was amazing and if it had been available for the 2 first kids she would have had a lot more kids
All my French friends are all for epidural, there don't seem to be any "natural birth" movement as much as here.
In the end, I think knowledge is power. So research as much as you can so you can make educated choice with your OB/MW when the time comes.
What matters in the end is a healthy baby and a healthy mum. :-)
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