Thursday, April 9, 2009

More on Childbirth

In response to Arlynda's comment on yesterday's post about Hypnobirthing, let my clarify a few things. First off, I totally agree that birth is different for everyone. While women's bodies are designed to carry, nurture, and birth babies, it is true that nature sometimes needs help. Nobody's body functions perfectly. A slew of health problems like diabetes, depression, and asthma, to name a few, come to mind. Where would the sufferers of these issues be without medical intervention? Likewise, not all women can safely birth children. I'm grateful for the wonderful medical advances we have to help out when there is a problem.

I think it's horrible that people told Arlynda to just "listen to her body" and she'd be able to birth without a c-section. That kind of ignorance makes me mad. There are cases in which medical intervention is absolutely necessary to preserve the health and sometimes the very lives of both mother and baby. This is why I've chosen to birth in a hospital. While I plan on and hope for a natural, uncomplicated birth, I know there is a chance of something going wrong, and I feel safer being there at the hospital where help will be readily available if needed.

That being said, I think in many cases, doctors intervene when it is unnecessary. I think it's important for women to be informed about the decisions they may be faced with during labor so they can make the best decision for themselves and their babies, rather than just being told by the doctor or nurses what is going to happen next. For example, when I was in labor with my first son, the nurses told me they were putting me on pitocin because my labor was slow. I didn't argue because I didn't really know much about it. I also felt like I didn't really have a choice in the matter. There was no medical urgency to speed up my labor, and had I known then what I know now, I probably would have asked to wait a while longer and to try some natural ways of inducing labor before being put on the drip. It was after the pitocin kicked in that the pain became so great that I opted for an epidural.

Arlynda also commented on the fear-tension-pain cycle. I agree with her that it isn't cut and dry. While I beleive that fear does lead to pain, I also have experienced first hand that you may have pain without any fear at all. But the pain will be heightened if fear and tension are present. Likewise, your level of pain or discomfort will be lower if you are able to release all fear and just relax.

Thanks, Arlynda for your comment. I appreciate hearing from someone who has experienced a different form of birth. As I said earlier, every birth is different. But no matter how it happens, birth is a miracle that deserves our reverence and respect.

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