Natural Childbirth is not...
- like a trip to the dentist without Novocain.
Elise, mom of 2
- is not a vaginal birth.
Kathi, mom of two
- something that happens easily anymore.
Ali, mom of 3
- easy. It's painful no matter what.
- always the hypnotic experience.
Sometimes it is ugly but the end result is powerful and joyious.
Ann, mom of 3
- always hard.
I've actually had very easy natural childbirths. It can be easy and it can be hard.
- for extremist naturalist...
Almost everyone can do it. It's not easy, but it's managable.
- selfish, self-centered, or a day at the spa.
- inherently more dangerous.
So many times people will have women believe that having a natural birth somehow puts you in more danger than using pain medication or c-section.
- ever easy, but you live to tell the pleasing tale.
- necessarily excruciating.
It is not a scream-fest. It is not something you'll regret (unless, perhaps, you're really unprepared and unsupported).
- cannot be planned.
You can stock the odds in your favor for having the best birth possible. But it can easily be a case of "doing the next best thing" along the way. My favorite myth to dispel is that from 7/8 cms forward it gets progressively more painful. It does not - in transition you have hit the max on whatever pain you feel during contractions. Now you maintain and that once in transition you are almost done! (I like to say - in a normal birth and most of the time - no woman is a textbook!)
There are no absolutes. For some, pushing is pleasant...for others, pushing is the worst part. For some, birth is orgasmic...for others it's horribly traumatically painful. For some it's fast...for others it's a loooooooooong ordeal. For some it's a scream fest...for others, they sleep through it - or meditate through it.
- for wimps?!!?
No, really a wimp like me can do it and feel good bragging afterwards!! "I had an almost 10 pounder with NO epidural OR episiotomy!! just need a good midwife and warm compresses for down there!! Oh and a good shower pounding your back for back labor!
I'm not sure any childbirth is. But for us and our kids it was the absolute best option! I didn't want the kids or myself to have any drugs in our bodies. I did have an epidural with the first, so I've done it both ways. But the other 3 were natural and awesome! So glad we "pushed" through.
- part of the hospital paradigm.
In order for hospitals to support/encourage/allow normal birth, staff, doctors, admins, insurers have to get over their desires for efficiency and profit. Normal birth takes time, space and doesn't require billable procedures. Its cheap and its slow (even when its a fast labor, 20 minutes c-section is faster!) and because its slow, and the hospital staff doesn't have to do much of anything, its boring; providing lots of incentive to do something even when it's not indicated, necessary, helpful or supportive.
- a spectator sport! An accident waiting to happen! An emergency.... Its an emerGENCE!
- is not the same for every woman.
You can't tell someone that it's not painful because you didn't feel pain. It's an experience for everyone either good or bad. In the end most of us would do it all over again.