Monday, December 3, 2012

Natural Birth

Almost a month later, here are my top best and worse reasons to give birth naturally.

Lets start with the worse:
- You feel it will prove your love for the baby or show that you're an Amazon of a woman... A natural birth makes you no better of a mother and a medicated birth doesn't mean you don't love your baby. Both ideas are just stupid.

- You want to feel the pain... No woman who has felt the pain of labor would intentionally want to feel that pain again. "Why yes I'd like a hot stone massage and a few hours of contractions while on my vacation." That's just silly.

- You want a natural birth because some expert said it makes babies smarter or your midwife scolded you for asking about pain management or a friend said that's the only way to be a "real mom"... Any external person who makes you feel like less of a woman or mother for your choice in birth, no matter what it is, needs to be eliminated from your life. They obviously aren't the support you will need.

The best reasons for a natural birth:

- Natural, unmediated labor tends to be faster and more effective than induced or medicated labor... Of course all labors are different but most interventions have a good chance of slowing your labor and making it more difficult for your body to do its job.

- Babies delivered after unmediated births tend to be more alert and interactive then their medicated counterparts... Again all babies are different but the natural labor process triggers hormones and chemical reactions in baby that are upset by the medications commonly used in labor. The medications used are considered safe for the baby but baby still feels the effects (even if the medication doesn't enter baby's bloodstream the effect on labor can have effect on baby.)

- Faster and easier recovery... After an unmediated birth you are usually free to be up and moving as soon as you feel like it. You also are more able to resume your regular activities sooner.

For my personal experience, I'd go natural any day. It wasn't pleasant and it wasn't fun but it was worth it. Everyone commented on how alert Alex was just after his birth (and for many people, including hospital staff he was their first non-epidural baby to see). I was also up and about rather quickly after his birth. I did have some limitations due to the tear severity but was able to care for myself and Alex without assistance.

Alex and I just after he was born.

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