As I continue to pursue this journey of planning for a natural birth with my second pregnancy, I’m really learning a lot of things I didn’t know before. Through conversations with the midwives I’m seeing and the reading I’m doing, it seems like I’m continually surprised and slightly shocked at what a different picture of birth I’m seeing than I had before.
And I’m SO not talking about it simply being about lack of pain medication as though that were some motivating factor for me to try to be SuperMom of the Year by not getting an epidural. Before I knew anything (and I do mean anything), that’s what I thought. That the women who want to do natural birth are doing it because they have some strange aversion to medication and they feel like they have something to prove to the rest of the world by doing it naturally. As though it were a female pissing contest for who could tolerate the most pain without caving.
But now that I’ve done a little research, I’m seeing how shallow and uninformed this idea was. Yes, I’m sure there is a sense of satisfaction a woman receives after birthing a child without numbing medication. A sense of accomplishment and pride in her physical capabilities. And there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s a God-given gift as evidenced by the hormonal high that results after delivery. But the natural birthing concept goes WAY beyond that. Once I started really paying attention, I noticed that it’s really more about helping a woman deliver a baby in the safest and healthiest way that her body is designed to function.
The more I’m learning, the more I realize that the medical establishment has really screwed-over the process of a woman giving birth. Many of the things that doctors and hospitals do during a routine birth are very detrimental to the baby’s and woman’s health as well as making a normal vaginal birth less likely. I’m learning about just how many medical interventions are not only incredibly unnecessary but greatly contribute to birth complications and the final result of a c-section. Some of the common lines that we’ve all heard from doctors as reasons for why they choose to intervene with medication and/or give a c-section seem kind of empty to me now because I’m seeing another more successful of doing things.
It’s not about avoiding medication because numbing pain is a bad thing. It’s about avoiding common medical interventions that set-up a woman for a complicated or unsuccessful delivery. It’s about employing techniques that work with, instead of against, the way our bodies were designed to birth. It’s about trusting that God designed a woman’s body, in most cases, to function correctly during a birth, and if we would just back-off and let her listen to her body, then things might go a little more smoothly. It’s about doing what is healthier for the baby, not what it easier or less likely to get someone sued. It’s about listening to objective medical research concerning labor and delivery and actually following it instead of what’s more convenient or simply hospital policy. Wanting a natural birth isn’t about me having an inherent mistrust of the medical profession… rather, it’s about letting what we biologically know about a woman’s body be the guideline for how we approach the birth process.
So, ironically, I feel like as I look more outside of the traditional medical boundaries for information on childbirth, I’m learning for the first time what the female body is biologically capable of. I’m becoming more confident that a natural birth without unnecessary medical intervention will be a much safer option for my baby and me. Can’t wait to share some of the facts I’ve learned recently….to be continued…