Thursday, March 13, 2014

birth: an intro to the series

Giving birth is a personal experience for every woman. I have friends {me included} who have such good birth experiences that they’re ready to do it again just a few weeks post-partum. On the other hand, I know some women who have decided not to have more children because of how difficult their birth experience was for them – both physically and emotionally. I am aware that this is a sensitive topic, and I want to be respectful of women who have had difficult experiences or whose birth experiences were significantly different from what they planned/expected.

In The Business of Being Born there’s a quotation that stuck with me, “People spend more time researching what type of tv to buy than they do what type of birth to have.” Women don’t know their options. While healthcare professionals generally have their patients' best interests in mind, sometimes their ideas about childbirth conflict with what might be best for the birthing mother {whether they want an unmedicated birth or not}. The national C-Section rate is over 32% {CDC stat} -- which is a really high number considering research supports that only about 2% of births are in need of emergency c-sections. While I’m thankful for the lives of both mamas and babies c-sections have saved, it’s been proven that vaginal deliveries are overall safer/healthier for the baby and the mama.

The intention of this birth series is to educate folks about unmedicated birth in a hospital system and to give my reasons for choosing natural birth. These posts are not to rebuke or look down on friends and others who have had an epidural or c-section {selected or not}. My hope is for people to do a little bit of research about what kind of birth is best for them. I understand that everyone will not come to the same conclusions as me, and I respect that. I just feel strongly that people should know their options.

All that being said: Birth matters. I think I’ve become pretty outspoken about being pro-natural because I care about my friends. I care about their birth experiences. My birthing experience, more specifically with Simon because he was the first babe, was my introduction to motherhood. I'm incredibly thankful for a good experience that set the tone for the first stages of becoming a mom.

Since posting Ragan’s birth story, I’ve gotten plenty of practical questions about having an unmedicated birth and how to plan/prepare for the experience. It makes me really excited to know that people are starting to question our hospital’s birthing ‘business’ and that more people want to be informed about their birthing options. It probably would be much easier to plan for a home birth or go to a birthing center – but I know many women {me included} who feel more comfortable being in a hospital setting. It can be done, but you definitely have to do a little more work and be more prepared. 

I’ve broken the "series" down into some sections to help organize information:

  • Why natural birth
  • Your doctor/midwife
  • Get a doula!
  • How I've gone natural and other info
Side note: I am not a doctor or medical professional. This is not medical advice. This is information based on my own birthing experience, what I’ve witnessed with others, and my own research.

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