Motherhood, Pregnancy

Natural Childbirth: Are You CRAZY?!

7 Comments 21 November 2011

Every month, a group of local mothers and mothers to be attend Birth Matters.

“Birth Matters is a group for expecting mothers, those with little ones and women who plan to soon begin a family. Gain insight and understanding of the amazing journey of pregnancy, labor, delivery and the postpartum period with other moms in a fun and casual atmosphere!” – Birth Matters

The meeting is facilitated by a group of doulas and postpartum doulas that work together with Birth Kalamazoo, a local business that provides independent childbirth classes, doula and postpartum doula services, as well as lactation consultation/support.

I have been attending these monthly meetings nearly every month since they began almost a year ago.

Last month, the topic of discussion was “Natural Childbirth – Are You Crazy?!”

This was the event description:

“How do you respond to people who don’t understand why you want (or wanted) a natural birth? Have you been able to help shape their understanding in a new way? Or maybe you’ve simply found a positive reply that can shut down unhelpful comments? Come talk about your experiences, we’ll brainstorm together.”

Those comments read:

“my epidural saved my marriage,”

“coworkers betting against her,”

“WHY?!”

“would you have dental work done without medication?”

and “just you wait…”

“you don’t get a medal for birthing naturally.” (actually, I think you do)

There were many more statements written on that white board – one for every woman in the room. And we went back through each one and provided responses.

It was awesome. Myths were dispelled.  Fears were overcome. Support was given. A great meeting.

So let’s open up this conversation in the comments below.

I’d love to hear from you!

What were some of the comments you heard in response to telling people you were planning on having a natural birth? Or home birth? How did you respond, and what did you learn from the experience?

Your Comments

7 Comments so far

  1. Melissa says:

    What I got the most was:

    “Why? There’s no need in this day an age!”

    Ugh. For some time I let it aggravate me, until I decided to take control of my birth. I was not sick. I did not need a doctor, nor medical procedures to “help along”. Through educating myself I became empowered, and nothing can stop an educated, empowered mind.

  2. Kim says:

    When I first found out I was pregnant I went to see my current OB/GYN because I thought I liked him. I didn’t yet know exactly what kind of birth I wanted, but I was trying to gather information, so I asked him what percentage of his patients got an epidural. He told me 95%!!! He said I always have a few who try to do it naturally, but only a very small percentage of them succeed. He looked at me very seriously and said, “Believe me, you will want it too.” As soon as I heard that, I knew I would seek other options. I did not need some old guy telling me what I would or would not want in my birth. When my baby’s birth day did arrive, I’ll admit that I had a moment where I felt like I would give up, but it turns out that all I needed was the encouragement of my husband, a friend, and my midwives and a surge of energy from being allowed to eat to get me through. The second time, I went into birth so empowered, knowing I had the strength, and it was the most picture perfect birth I could imagine!

  3. Javana says:

    I had some women shake their heads and say “sign me up for the epidural, you are crazy, we’ll see, you can try…” it was so annoying. Baby is 9mo old now. My labor was intense at the end and if I had been in a hospital I am positive I would have screamed for epidural, as I was already screaming… but at that stage i’m not sure they can give one anyway. I do not feel I could have done what I needed to do to have my baby naturally had I been in the hospital, I would have felt very inhibited. If I have another baby I am sure I will do it at home but it will be in the back of my mind how painful the first time was and I am sure it will scare me – going to try hypnobabies if there is a next time around…

  4. Alicia says:

    While at my son’s school function and VERY pregnant with number three another mother asked in front of everyone what hospital I would be going to. I told her I wasn’t going to a hospital because I birth my children at home with a midwife. She gasped in horror and disbelief! Then her face changed in a split second to this smug smile and she looked at the other mothers and said “well, give HER the ‘Golden Vagina Award’!” and they all laughed at my expense and she got up and walked away. She ended up telling everyone throughout the day what a nutjob hippy I was who was probably going to end up getting a csection anyway. I felt very sad for her and the other judgmental mothers because it made me realize it was a defense mechanism for what they chose. She was obviously not satisfied with her births. When 1 in 3 women are told their bodies have failed them and they must be sectioned I can understand the resentment they must feel when they meet someone who has had all of her children on her own terms, naturally and without complication. Not many people I meet are at peace with their births. I’m so glad I can say I am. Not because I need an award either. My award is knowing I took responsibility for my pregnancy and birth and didn’t give myself over to a scalpel with a face!

    • bringbirthhome says:

      Alicia, thank you so much for sharing. What an experience to have – and what a GREAT perspective to carry through it. You’re so right. Those poor women. Sigh. I’m so happy for you that you were able to have the births you have had. I consider those of us who have empowering, beautiful births so blessed. Hugs!

  5. I didn’t get comments about going natural (because that’s obvious when you’re at home) but about having a home birth, my husband’s cousin’s wife told me “Wow. You are BRAVE”. I didn’t say it, but I was thinking “you’re brave for trying to have an unmedicated birth in a hospital!” She ended up with 40 hours of (augmented) labor, the epidural, and then finally a c-section. No, I wasn’t surprised.

    I do wish people wouldn’t look at me as the “epidural police” though. A friend of mine and my sister both felt like they were confessing when they told me they got it. Just because I had a home birth so I wouldn’t have any interventions doesn’t mean everyone has the same level of desire to go drug-free as I do.

    • Oh, and I was literally called by my husband’s cousin’s mother (the woman’s MIL) to make sure I was sensitive! Hey, if someone had to go through a CS after all that work, I’m not going to pile anything on top of that. That is hard. I was annoyed that they though I could be that rude!


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