You don’t get an award for doing it without drugs.
For some reason there is a misconception about natural childbirth and people think that ladies that decide to go without medication are doing this so that they can toot their own horn or for some type of bragging rights. While there is a sense of accomplishment achieved by having childbirth naturally, for most women this is not the reason why they choose to have natural childbirth. Natural childbirth has numerous benefits to both mom and baby such as the fact that mom can move about freely during labor, moms may feel more in tuned with their bodies and know when it is time to push, recovery may be faster and easier, and baby is not exposed to medications unnecessarily.
You wouldn’t get your tooth pulled without medication.
A tooth extraction is not a natural occurrence. It is a medical procedure, just like a surgery. Think about it like this. If a tooth extraction was a natural event that your body was designed to do, your tooth would just fall out all on its own when the time was right. Not saying you couldn’t let your tooth decay to this point, but when an extraction takes place, it is not something that your body would just do all on its own like what takes place when you give birth. Childbirth is not an injury that needs repaired or a disease that needs medical treatment. It is a natural process that a woman’s body is designed to do all on its own. Not to mention, that the advantages of having a medication free tooth extraction are in no way comparable to the advantages of giving birth naturally.
Epidurals are perfectly safe so what’s the big deal?
Contrary to popular belief, there are risks involved when using any type of anesthesia. Epidural anesthesia is an invasive procedure and although serious adverse reactions are extremely rare, it is not 100% risk fee. Life threatening or severe complications include maternal convulsions, cardiac arrest, and permanent nerve damage. Severe reactions are extremely rare, but none the less they can occur. Less serious complications include low blood pressure (which if severe could also reduce the blood supply to baby), nausea, vomiting, shivering, or severe headache. Along with these risks, epidurals may make it difficult for mom to know when to push. Csection (this is however a controversial opinion) and forcep delivery may be more likely. Epidural anesthesia does cross the placenta into the baby. While only small amounts of medication may make its way to the baby, some side effects that may occur in baby (usually during the first few hours after birth) include drowsiness, poor suck, muscle weakness, and fetal distress.
Get the epidural. You’ll love it!
Says who? There’s no doubt that lots of women do love the epidural, but if you ask around you’ll be sure to find a few moms that do not have warm fuzzy feelings about getting an epidural. It may be the uncomfortable poking of a needle in the back while in the midst of having a contraction that turns some off. Perhaps it’s the fact that all sensations are taken away and you can’t even pee on your own once the epi is in place. Or, maybe someone you know did have one, hoping to feel the epi love and instead received a whole lot of nothing. Sometimes the medicine in the epidural doesn’t get delivered properly and women either don’t receive any pain relief at all or pain relief is splotchy. Believe it or not, not everyone wants an epidural and not everyone that gets one has a positive experience with it.
Why would you want to do that if you don’t have to?
This seems to be the million dollar question for moms who purposely choose to have childbirth without pain medications. Why on earth would you want to be in pain if you don’t have to? While some natural childbirth methods describe a pain-free childbirth, most do not. Pain is part of the childbirth experience, but the way women look at pain when approaching natural childbirth is different. The pain during childbirth, unlike other types of pain, has a purpose. It may help mom to know when she needs to change positions, for example. The pain may help mom know when she hits the transition stage of labor. Not being numbed up may help her to know instinctively when it is time to push, without having to be coached. Labor, for some, is like running a race and the pain leads to a stronger push to the finish line. When it’s all said in done, birth may give the same type of rush that is felt from winning a marathon.
Wow. You’re brave!
Natural childbirth isn’t about being brave. Some self-described whimpy moms have had natural childbirth. If you think about it, brave is having a needle inserted in your back purposely or allowing yourself to be temporarily paralyzed -- just to give birth. It really doesn’t take bravery to have a baby. Persistence, endurance, and stubbornness, sure maybe, but most moms that have had natural childbirth wouldn’t describe themselves as brave. Childbirth doesn’t have to be scary. It’s all about how you think about it.
I said the same thing but then I got an epidural.
In all fairness, it’s good to have an open mind when going into childbirth for the first time. A lot of moms would like to have natural childbirth, but due to different reasons – often fear – they end up changing their minds once labor starts progressing. This doesn’t make them any lesser of a person or take away from their own experience with childbirth. It’s quite possible that having an epidural was the right choice for them, but it doesn’t mean that everyone is going to have the same experience and it doesn’t mean that everyone that plans on having natural childbirth won’t follow through.
Good luck with that.
Nobody likes a smart aleck. Moms attempting natural childbirth, especially for the first time, are often met with sarcasm and cynicism. While you may not be able to offer a smart retort to this unsupportive and annoying comment, you can just say thanks for the luck and come back to them later to share your awesome and “lucky” natural birth story. Not everyone is going to understand the reasons why you would want to try natural childbirth and no matter what you say, they just may never get it. But there are lots of moms that do get it and lots of moms who have had a happy and positive natural birth experience. If all you have heard is negative and annoying comments and you don’t hear this from anyone else, JustMommies wants to tell you and all of our mamas attempting natural childbirth, “best of luck.”
~Good luck with that!!!