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Non-natural birth & immediate bonding - Page 6

post #101 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatteras Gal View Post
I think too many women, especially on this board, put way too much stock in what kind of birth they had/are going to have. I don't think the way I birthed my children has anything to do with how I bonded with them. I had 2 c/s and there was no problem with bonding or with how easy it was to parent. The bonding happened before the birth for me. It mattered not one bit how they came out.
I don't think that people put too much stock in natural birth, maybe some but I think those are the minority. Natural birth is just better for you. It doesn't make any of us who might have had c/s any failures as women or less able parents. Having one's appendix removed doesn't make you a failure as a person because your appendix didn't last, neither does having a mastectomy make one a failure as a woman because their boobs tried to kill them. It is just what it is.

I have had two c/s and given the chance I would attempt VBAC, not because birth defines me or I want to be able to mark a spot on my crunchy card bingo but because I don't like having surgery. It makes me puke and the recovery can be difficult. I get really bad adhesions, my body just really likes to make scar tissue. Puking right after abdominal surgery is horrible.

There are many many reasons why I would VBAC but absent from the list is because I think it would make me a better woman or parent.
post #102 of 154
Excuse me if I'm wrong but it looks as if your applying the old "nature vs. nurture" debate where people have considered the importance of a child's upbringing vs. their genetic predispositions in determining how they'll turn out. *It looks like you're applying the same theory to "the birth of a mother". *How does the treatment of the child in front of the mother during her highly suggestable post-partum hours affect how she parents. *And does that have more impact than research and education?

If so, you could look at the countries that offer longer baby-moons and whose doctors prefer natural deliveries when possible to research your hypothesis. *
I'm too brain-dead to remember any off hand, but I know they're mentioned in various birth stories. *I think Sweeden was mentioned. *Anyway, ask for a list of natural-birth friendly countries in Birth and Beyond. *I'd leave out the third world countries with cultural differences as the main influence. *Then you can research those cultures and compare notes.*

In my opinion natural birth is more for the health benefits. *Supposedly the healing is quicker and more complete for the mother with a natural water birth.

Semi-OT: some MDC'ers were discussing a book a while ago that suggested ease or difficulty in parenting comes from whether the parent and child's natural personalities clash or compliment each other. *Very possible if children are really people too. *I've heard various parents say, "I love all my children, but this one drives me crazy. *I love him to death, but he drives me nuts."
post #103 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by amberskyfire View Post
I think you are probably right! Still looking for research, but based on moms in the natural parenting community, they haven't had any problems much of the time.
This is kind of a horrible thing to say. You might as well say, 'I think parents who don't do NCB/AP/NFL are crap parents.' Most parents are doing the best they can and need support, not judgement. Good luck with your research.
post #104 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by hablame_today View Post
Semi-OT: some MDC'ers were discussing a book a while ago that suggested ease or difficulty in parenting comes from whether the parent and child's natural personalities clash or compliment each other. *Very possible if children are really people too. *I've heard various parents say, "I love all my children, but this one drives me crazy. *I love him to death, but he drives me nuts."
I think there's a lot of truth to this, actually. I found the early days with ds1 really hard, but I found it easy to mesh with him. DD1 was really, really, really difficult for me to deal with as a baby, because none of my usual tools (nursing, rocking, singing, etc.) worked at all - walking was the best, and I physically couldn't do it for more than a few minutes at a time for the first couple of weeks. DS2, however, is the hardest one, by far. He was an easy baby, but he's a very challenging child. I adore him - aside from the fact that he's my son, he's a very sweet, engaging, lovable little boy - but he also drives me around the bend several times a day!
post #105 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBomb View Post
I think when women spend their whole pregnancies hearing that they MUST give birth a certain way to be a "real" mother and a "real" woman, THAT'S what causes problems.
It depends on the person. I'd had two cesareans, and was pregnant with my third, before I met anyone (aside from my mom, who never said a word unless I brought it up first) who even agreed with me that it sucked. I didn't feel like a real woman or a real mother, and it had absolutely nothing to do with being told that by anybody else. I had no idea anybody else felt that way about it at all.

I mean, seriously - if this idea only comes from other people putting it in women's heads, then where did it come from in the first place?
post #106 of 154
Tulafina:

Thanks for sharing your story. It is very brave to share our hardships, because there is a lot of judgement that happens towards women when they do not show how everything was blissful.

I remember those first few weeks of struggling with the new family dynamics. people would ask how i felt being a mother, and with mothering, it was great, but "being a mother" was crap because of how my family was behaving like crazies! i felt i couldn't talk about it and was pretty ashamed for a bit too.

it took a lot for me to start talking about it--about a year actually--and now i don't feel shame at all. it's just what happened and i did my best with it.

when you shared your story, i could see myself reflected. our stories were different in many ways of course, but i see my own feelings of my own difficulties at the time. i see how we share things in common, including a desire not to share that truth.

but the truth of our experiences--good and bad--helps to set all of us free. it helps "not mom's yet!" learn about some of the things that happen. . .not to discourage but to encourage them to reach out and speak their truth and know that they won't be judged for whatever difficulties they do face, no matter the origin of those difficulties.

thank you for sharing.
post #107 of 154
smeisnotapirate:

have i mentioned i love your handle before? anyway, i love it.

aside from that, i really think that what you said is very valuable. a lot of women have been talking about "failing" in birth around me lately, or failing in their HB or UC or even natural birth because they had an epi or whatever!

i wrote in another thread that i don't believe birth is a pass/fail event, but i do know that the idea comes from a lot of quarters (medical profession, "mommy wars" and so on).

it is a difficult burden to carry, and i thank you for sharing how that idea impacted you.

----------

personality differences between parent/child does sound like another interesting idea as to what might make parenting easy/difficult. definitely plausible!

it's part of the reason why i question whether or not i even want another child. everything with this guy went so perfectly--did i just get lucky? was it something that i do or did? KWIM?

i ask, can i catch lightening in a bottle twice? because mothering is hard work, even though i find it easy and fun to do, i don't know if i want to do more of it at this easy level, let alone run into difficulties in it. I dont' know if i'm communicating that right. LOL

anyway, yeah, doubts are good.
post #108 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
smeisnotapirate:

have i mentioned i love your handle before? anyway, i love it.

aside from that, i really think that what you said is very valuable. a lot of women have been talking about "failing" in birth around me lately, or failing in their HB or UC or even natural birth because they had an epi or whatever!

i wrote in another thread that i don't believe birth is a pass/fail event, but i do know that the idea comes from a lot of quarters (medical profession, "mommy wars" and so on).

it is a difficult burden to carry, and i thank you for sharing how that idea impacted you.
Thanks!

It took me a long time to not see the way my birth happened as a failure. It took me a long time to realize that the cards were stacked against me and I did the best I could with what I had. I hope every mom who is disappointed in her birth comes to that, regardless of how she birthed. It's really allowed me to come to this VBAC from a place of excitement instead of dread.
post #109 of 154
Thread Starter 
The topic is getting derailed a little bit so I just wanted to try to get things back on track for those still with us.

The original question was, in short, if anyone knew of any research that shows a correlation between non-natural birth and mothers who have difficulty bonding with their babies after the birth.

We know for a fact that oxytocin and prolactin are not released in the same large amounts during medicated and surgical birth as during natural birth. We also know for a fact that many mothers have a lot of trouble bonding with their babies and that this can cause some mothers to have a lot of difficulty in the early days of motherhood. We know that oxytocin and prolactin are primal mothering hormones. It is therefore not irrational to question whether there may be a possible relation between the two in women who have difficulties.

The discussion is not about whether mothers love their children or about "good" and "bad" moms, nor is it about parents who choose to do CIO months down the road. The question is about bonding immediately after birth and those first crucial days of motherhood.

No one is saying mothers who do not have natural births are failures.
No one is saying mothers who do not have natural births are bad mothers.
No one is saying mothers who do not bond with their babies are bad mothers or that mothers who bond with their babies are good mothers.
No one is saying that if you have a non-natural birth that you are not going to bond with your baby.
No one is stereotyping or labeling anyone here.
No one is saying that anyone does not love their baby or will NOT bond with their baby in future.

If you disagree with the theory, that's fine and definitely let me know why you think so. Personal experience is perfect. You can agree or disagree. You can even call me crazy if you want to, that's your opinion.

It isn't fair, however, to put unrelated words in someone's mouth or accuse them of saying or insinuating horrible things which they never did. It would be great if we could stick to the subject because bringing in personal issues that are unrelated in order to blame someone else just isn't fair.

It isn't fair to those who are accused who did not say it, it isn't fair to those who are just joining who skim over the initial post and then read the replies and are inflamed by them and post thinking that's what the issue is, and it especially isn't fair to those mothers who DID have problems bonding with their babies and who might be interested in finding out if there may have been a correlation. It's not fair for these moms to feel like someone is labeling them as a "good" or "bad" mom because of their birth experience.

So if we can focus on birth bonding immediately after birth and refrain from saying "good" or "bad mom," that would be awesome! We are ALL mamas here and we ALL love our babies. (And bonding stories about adoption are related, too, so DO share your experience if you immediately bonded with your adopted child)
post #110 of 154
Let's recap the central tenet of the first post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by amberskyfire View Post
I have strong suspicions that these actions may be creating a lack of ability to mother in these new mothers. I hear too many women say that after their baby was born, they were "scared" or they were unsure of themselves or did not know what to do. Often, they do not understand their babies cries. Many of them put their own wants and desires before the biological needs of their babies (ie: CIO, putting the baby in another room, not wanting to breastfeed for personal reasons). It seems as though because these women were not allowed to bond with their babies in hospital, they lost the ability to mother properly.
The argument is that woman who do not have natural births, are, among other things: scared, have an inability to mother, are selfish, and refuse to breastfeed.

I can't possibly imagine why some women are offended.

And for the record, I am a c-section mother of twins who is bonded very nicely with my EBF girls.
post #111 of 154
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pragmaticme View Post
Let's recap the central tenet of the first post:

The argument is that woman who do not have natural births, are, among other things: scared, have an inability to mother, are selfish, and refuse to breastfeed.

I can't possibly imagine why some women are offended.

And for the record, I am a c-section mother of twins who is bonded very nicely with my EBF girls.
The post is in reference to new mothers who have difficulty bonding with their babies, not ALL mothers. The discussion is not suggesting that all mothers have problems bonding with their babies. As I stated, it is not saying that if mothers do not birth naturally, they will have problems. It is asking the question if there is a correlation between non-natural births and women who DO have problems. If a woman has problems bonding, can it be related to their birth? That is what I am asking.
post #112 of 154
As I said, medicated labors are a recent invention, and not everyone worldwide gets the option or uses it, and yet difficulty bonding and parenting are and have always been present among the population who have labored and delivered without those medications. There is no proof that the number of poorly attached mothers has increased from the past, nor that, all other factors weighed, those women who have medicated deliveries have more immediate issues bonding or parenting than those that did not have medication.

I do think a traumatic birth can often affect bonding, but traumatic can happen in medicated or nonmedicated births both.
post #113 of 154
You would have to define "non-natural" birth in careful detail for any research to be valid. And control for all factors that could bias the research.

And where are these hospitals that take the baby away right after birth (except for c/s or complications?). I've had three vaginal births in 3 different hospitals over an 11-year stretch, 2 births were completely unmedicated, and I cut the cord twice (DH did the other), put all 3 babies to chest immediately, was encouraged to breastfeed, never rushed to bathe the baby, handed the baby off for bathing/weighing/measuring an hour or more after birth, etc.

These were at three very different hospitals (Brigham and Women's, Leominster, and Newtown Wellesley, for those who know the Boston area). First was with an OB, last two with two different CNM practices.

How would a researcher classify my births in terms of "natural" vs. "non-natural". If you have an unmedicated, non-induced or augmented birth with no vaginal exams and one intermittent fetal monitor strip done before giving birth (ds2 for me), is that a "natural" birth, vs. ds3 with whom I was induced from 1cm due to a dying placenta, but with whom I labored for 28 hours, 16 on Pitocin, but had no pain meds of any kind and who was put to breast immediately and stayed with me?

The devil is in the details for researchers to define "natural" vs. "non-natural".
post #114 of 154
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gurumama View Post
You would have to define "non-natural" birth in careful detail for any research to be valid. And control for all factors that could bias the research.

And where are these hospitals that take the baby away right after birth (except for c/s or complications?). I've had three vaginal births in 3 different hospitals over an 11-year stretch, 2 births were completely unmedicated, and I cut the cord twice (DH did the other), put all 3 babies to chest immediately, was encouraged to breastfeed, never rushed to bathe the baby, handed the baby off for bathing/weighing/measuring an hour or more after birth, etc.

These were at three very different hospitals (Brigham and Women's, Leominster, and Newtown Wellesley, for those who know the Boston area). First was with an OB, last two with two different CNM practices.

How would a researcher classify my births in terms of "natural" vs. "non-natural". If you have an unmedicated, non-induced or augmented birth with no vaginal exams and one intermittent fetal monitor strip done before giving birth (ds2 for me), is that a "natural" birth, vs. ds3 with whom I was induced from 1cm due to a dying placenta, but with whom I labored for 28 hours, 16 on Pitocin, but had no pain meds of any kind and who was put to breast immediately and stayed with me?

The devil is in the details for researchers to define "natural" vs. "non-natural".
Good question! Not only because different people might define "natural birth" differently, but because I imagine that not all interventions or interventive drugs would have an impact on release of oxytocin and prolactin.

I'm assuming that in this case, the study would have to be done on women who do not receive interventions which are known to have these effects on hormones, but I would have to see how the study in the previous link was done. I'm not sure how they defined "natural birth."
post #115 of 154
I don't know of any studies, but it almost sounds like you are doing your own research here - SOoo, anecdotal, but I have had four c-sections and definitely did not have a hard time bonding with my babies. They were with me in recovery, and breastfed within half an hour of being born - so maybe the hormones at that point played a role? I don't know that it really matters, though, since I am pretty sure even if I had adopted them at birth (so no oxytocin there!), I would have fallen in love and had just as easy of a time mothering a sweet, precious baby.

Also, fwiw, I can think of someone who had a natural (med-free, vaginal) birth who had a hard time bonding as well as ended up with PPD.

There are just way too many factors, IMO, to give so much value to the method of birthing in regards to bonding and ease of parenting.

(I haven't read past he first page, yet, but can say the idea is a tad offensive to me b/c of my c-sections.)
post #116 of 154
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
I don't know of any studies, but it almost sounds like you are doing your own research here - SOoo, anecdotal, but I have had four c-sections and definitely did not have a hard time bonding with my babies. They were with me in recovery, and breastfed within half an hour of being born - so maybe the hormones at that point played a role? I don't know that it really matters, though, since I am pretty sure even if I had adopted them at birth (so no oxytocin there!), I would have fallen in love and had just as easy of a time mothering a sweet, precious baby.

Also, fwiw, I can think of someone who had a natural (med-free, vaginal) birth who had a hard time bonding as well as ended up with PPD.

There are just way too many factors, IMO, to give so much value to the method of birthing in regards to bonding and ease of parenting.

(I haven't read past he first page, yet, but can say the idea is a tad offensive to me b/c of my c-sections.)
Also, I'm reading "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" published by LLL which is talking about how breastfeeding causes women to release these mothering hormones so even if a women has had a cesarean or an interventive birth, the breastfeeding can possibly overcome some bonding issues which may arise.

There's a lot more to it than I had first suggested and there have been several studies done that are linked to different aspects of it. I was kind of hoping for one study that covered more than just one or two bases, but it's looking like there are too many aspects involved that they hadn't thought to put into just one study, so the fundamental question may go unanswered.

And even if it was true, the benefits are looking as though even if it is linked (which some studies suggest, but do not outright claim) there are still other ways for mothers to overcome bonding difficulties much of the time.

The research is important to me personally because I'm studying to be a midwife and I think that I want a good portion of my practice to center around not only helping the mother deliver, but also helping her overcome bonding issues and postpartum depression, whether she gives birth with me or if she has to be transferred to a hospital. If some hospital procedures might be involved, I want to know what they are and what I can do to help the women in my care have as few problems as possible.
post #117 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by amberskyfire View Post
The topic is getting derailed a little bit so I just wanted to try to get things back on track for those still with us.

The original question was, in short, if anyone knew of any research that shows a correlation between non-natural birth and mothers who have difficulty bonding with their babies after the birth.

We know for a fact that oxytocin and prolactin are not released in the same large amounts during medicated and surgical birth as during natural birth. We also know for a fact that many mothers have a lot of trouble bonding with their babies and that this can cause some mothers to have a lot of difficulty in the early days of motherhood. We know that oxytocin and prolactin are primal mothering hormones. It is therefore not irrational to question whether there may be a possible relation between the two in women who have difficulties.

The discussion is not about whether mothers love their children or about "good" and "bad" moms, nor is it about parents who choose to do CIO months down the road. The question is about bonding immediately after birth and those first crucial days of motherhood.

No one is saying mothers who do not have natural births are failures.
No one is saying mothers who do not have natural births are bad mothers.
No one is saying mothers who do not bond with their babies are bad mothers or that mothers who bond with their babies are good mothers.
No one is saying that if you have a non-natural birth that you are not going to bond with your baby.
No one is stereotyping or labeling anyone here.
No one is saying that anyone does not love their baby or will NOT bond with their baby in future.

If you disagree with the theory, that's fine and definitely let me know why you think so. Personal experience is perfect. You can agree or disagree. You can even call me crazy if you want to, that's your opinion.

It isn't fair, however, to put unrelated words in someone's mouth or accuse them of saying or insinuating horrible things which they never did. It would be great if we could stick to the subject because bringing in personal issues that are unrelated in order to blame someone else just isn't fair.

It isn't fair to those who are accused who did not say it, it isn't fair to those who are just joining who skim over the initial post and then read the replies and are inflamed by them and post thinking that's what the issue is, and it especially isn't fair to those mothers who DID have problems bonding with their babies and who might be interested in finding out if there may have been a correlation. It's not fair for these moms to feel like someone is labeling them as a "good" or "bad" mom because of their birth experience.

So if we can focus on birth bonding immediately after birth and refrain from saying "good" or "bad mom," that would be awesome! We are ALL mamas here and we ALL love our babies. (And bonding stories about adoption are related, too, so DO share your experience if you immediately bonded with your adopted child)
And you should add that the mere title of this thread isn't fair and is actually quite insulting to mothers who had a non-natural birth and no issues immediatly following it.

Lets look at the title:

Non-natural birth = difficulty being a mother.

A more apt title would perhaps be "Is there a higher rate of mothering difficulties immediately following non-natural birth?" This would not in any why imply, like the one now does, that a mother who had a non-natural birth is also a mother who had difficulties right after birth.
post #118 of 154
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix23 View Post
And you should add that the mere title of this thread isn't fair and is actually quite insulting to mothers who had a non-natural birth and no issues immediatly following it.

Lets look at the title:

Non-natural birth = difficulty being a mother.

A more apt title would perhaps be "Is there a higher rate of mothering difficulties immediately following non-natural birth?" This would not in any why imply, like the one now does, that a mother who had a non-natural birth is also a mother who had difficulties right after birth.

I can see what you mean there. I was trying to make it as short as possible for brevity's sake. Do you have something a bit shorter that would convey the message?

How about "Can non-natural birth lead to difficulties in mothering?" or maybe "Can non-natural birth lead to bonding problems?"

I like the second one. Is that better do you think?
post #119 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by amberskyfire View Post
I can see what you mean there. I was trying to make it as short as possible for brevity's sake. Do you have something a bit shorter that would convey the message?

How about "Can non-natural birth lead to difficulties in mothering?" or maybe "Can non-natural birth lead to bonding problems?"

I like the second one. Is that better do you think?
How about just "Non-natural birth & immediate bonding" -- keep it neutral. I do agree that the title of your post is very hurtful, although I understand what you're trying to get at. Also, you are saying "lead to difficulties in mothering" or "lead to bonding problems" but you are also saying that you're talking about the immediate bond & it's relation to oxytocin & prolactin. I think you need to separate the time-frames here. I haven't done any research on it & the experiences of others as well as myself seems to contradict the basic theory -- i.e. I had a non-natural (medicated, pitocin, vaccum, vaginal) birth and did not experience any immediate bonding issues (although like many of the others, the trauma etc. of my birth experience did make me feel like a failure in some ways). However, I wouldn't doubt that the increase in the release of prolactin & oxytocin COULD (at least theoretically) make immediate bonding easier and more, well, IMMEDIATE maybe? Where I think that you're getting way off base is in suggesting that this could lead to "difficulties mothering." Maybe it could lead to a difficult first few days but I don't think it would lead to any long-term difficulties, and I definitely don't think it would make a mother less bonded after the initial week or so, nor would it make them more likely to CIO, not BF, etc. As I said before, I think there is a high rate of natural birth with AP moms and a higher rate of medicated & c/s birth with non-AP mainstream moms, so maybe some of what your suspecting could be attributed to that. I would also wonder whether prolactin & oxytocin have a cumulative effect... I'm going out on a limb here, so bear with me... Say you 'need' 5 units of prolactin & oxytocin to help with immediate bonding. Perhaps if you have a natural birth, your body is immediately flooded with the necessary 5 units... if you're BF'ing, maybe it's released at a rate of .5 units per a feeding... so it might take a day or so to reach 5 units. And if you aren't BF'ing, maybe it's released at a rate of 1 unit per day... then would take 5 days to reach 5 units. Like I said, I'm just speculating, but maybe this will give you some more direction with your research. But I will say again, I do not feel that this would necessarily lead to long-term bonding or mothering issues. I really feel that this would only be applicable during the very first days after birth.
post #120 of 154
I think if you're looking at hormones alone, you also need to take into account that different people produce hormones at different levels, metabolize them at different rates, and have different levels of sensitivity to hormones. I think it's far too complicated a question, because we don't have a way of knowing anyone's set point oxytocin-wise and there are too many factors involved. I think there's way way way too much going on to make a predictor of bonding and *especially* long term parenting out of oxytocin exposure. I mean if this stuff is true, does that mean that if I am walking around dilated at 6cm for a week without labor that I should stand on my head to prolong labor when it comes so that I have greater oxytocin exposure and therefore will bond more easily? At some point it starts to get absurd.

Not for anything but someone could naturally have very high levels of hormones because that's how her body works and she goes through an empowering c-section feeling wonderful and being a big ball of breastmilky goo starry-eyed in love with her baby. Someone else could have a completely natural birth, look at her baby afterwards and think "ok, who are you and what am I supposed to do with you?" The if oxytocin => then easy bonding and good parenting theory just doesn't work for me.

I think the natural versus "unnatural" is not the best place to look. I think fear and trauma are going to be more potent, and isn't adrenaline an inhibitor for producing oxytocin? If you have a calm and confident mother going into birth, I'd expect that to be more influential than whether she was a calm and confident elective c-section mom or calm and confident natural/home/unassisted birther. And fear is going to have psychological effects regarding confidence, regardless of whether there are any hormonal issues involved.

And I had immediate bonding with my adopted sister who is 15 years younger than me, and who was 3 years old and spoke a different language exclusively. We've been extremely close from the first time we met.
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