I decided pretty early on that I wanted a natural childbirth, one without interventions or drugs. At the time, the decision wasn’t made on a lot of evidence, but more of a feeling that it was the right thing to do. I have a high pain tolerance, and felt confident that I could do it. After all, millions of women have been doing it for millenia!
This issue is unfortunately one for the mommy wars. It stirs a lot of emotions, with most women falling down strongly on one side or the other with few in the middle ground. When I was pregnant I constantly had people telling me things like “get that epidural as quickly as you can”, and “you’ll be sorry you didn’t get it sooner”. Meanwhile while I was researching on my own, I was finding articles talking about the effects on the baby, things I NEVER heard from friends or family. The more I learned, the more I knew that attempting a natural birth was something I wanted to do.
As it happens, I had a fabulous birth; things couldn’t have gone more smooth. The Bradley classes were key because they ensured that I was well educated about what was going on with my body, knew what to expect at every stage and realized that the pain had a purpose. It gave me a toolbox of things to try, positions, breathing and visualization exercises, etc. What really got me through to the end though was being in the water in one of the hospital’s large tubs.
A natural birth may not be for everyone, but I feel it deserves consideration. There are obviously times when it’s not even an option (medically necessary c-sections for example), but I think many soon-to-be moms that would be good candidates are scared away by horror stories or aren’t fully informed that there are risks with any intervention into labor and delivery, starting with inductions. Since my son’s birth, I try to share positive stories with people in an effort to counteract the negative and fear inducing things they may be hearing from others.
Ultimately, people deserve to have the kind of birth they want, whether that is a natural one or not.