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Non-natural birth & immediate bonding - Page 7

post #121 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
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.
ITA. I think keeping it neutral and not going into your research trying to prove that non-natural births cause difficulties is the best way. Maybe just take out the whole non-natural birth factor and focus on finding what causes problems with immediate birth bonding. I think you will find that there are a lot of factors and it isn't just a natural v non-natural birth issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loveneverfails View Post
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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post #122 of 154
OP, just to play Devil's Advocate here, if you're truly trying to help your clients by conducting an anecdotal study on this idea, remember that science sets out to prove its theories INCORRECT, not correct. You then modify your theory until you can no longer prove it incorrect. Maybe you're going about it the wrong way? Just a suggestion to keep in mind.
post #123 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post

I hate to break it to you, but your child's birthday is just one day. You don't need to have a great birth experience to be a good mom. You can have a crappy birth and be a spectacular mom. I am.
So true. I"m pregnant and planning a VBAC - I know natural birth will be healthier for me, and for my baby. I have an awful birth experience with ds that ended in a c-section and me not being able to see him for 8 hours.

BUT BUT BUT - It did not hurt our bonding. As soon as I could get my sore butt to see him, I did. I loved and held him and kept him by my side from that moment on. He was premature and we struggled to breastfeed, but we made it happen. I never let him cry, was (and still am!) an attached, loving and attentive Mama.

I have no doubt a natural birth experience would make things easier for me this time around and I'm doing everything in my power to make that happen. But trust me, you can have the worst birth imaginable and still be a wonderful, attached Mom.
post #124 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by smeisnotapirate View Post
OP, just to play Devil's Advocate here, if you're truly trying to help your clients by conducting an anecdotal study on this idea, remember that science sets out to prove its theories INCORRECT, not correct. You then modify your theory until you can no longer prove it incorrect. Maybe you're going about it the wrong way? Just a suggestion to keep in mind.
VERY good point. I was thinking the same thing.

Also, OP, please be careful when advising your clients. I have a friend who believes breastfeeding will prevent ALL post-partum depression: not true. I have ANOTHER friend who had NO bfing issues at all (and a natural birth and a good bonding experience) and had extreme PPD. So all the research in the world can't prevent things from happening. Just a caveat.
post #125 of 154
Maybe you discussed it, but what about those moms who ended up having medicated or surgical deliveries after a long, NON-medicated labor? They would had lots of exposure to the natural hormone surge, but does the laboring to pushing without intervention get negated by the emergency c/s for fetal distress or failure to desend after pushing for hours? How about precipitous deliveries, as noted above? If a woman has only an hour or two of laboring and scant seconds of pushing, is she not going to bond as well as a woman who had been in labor for two days or more?

I think your initial scope is too broad to make any kind of reasonable study since there are so many variables to consider.
post #126 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistymama View Post
I have no doubt a natural birth experience would make things easier for me this time around and I'm doing everything in my power to make that happen. But trust me, you can have the worst birth imaginable and still be a wonderful, attached Mom.

I think that this the the key. Yes, a natural birth (generally!) makes bonding easier- you have the good hormones, the baby and mom are not separated. But we are rational beings, not solely relying on our hormones- it certainly helps but it is not the end all be all of bonding.
post #127 of 154
Good point, kitKat - two of my c-sections were after 39 and 36 hours of labor... Though, 2 were after no labor at all and I felt just as bonded, and all that other good stuff. Maybe it's just how I'm wired, b/c I am a baby person? I could fall in love with a newborn I see at the store.

I think the study doesn't exist, b/c it really doesn't play as big of a role as some people might choose to believe. I can understand it being important for someone who wants to be a midwife (knowing what can help the bonding and avoiding of PPD and such), but it can also do women a disservice if one puts so much importance in the all-mighty natural flowery birth. Just having those preconceived ideas sending energy out to the mom could be detrimental, IMO.
post #128 of 154
The problem with the study as you have outlined it is that the study is correlational, and does not take into account the Mother herself. I would say that a mother who was not educated in bonding, BFing, etc, is more likely to go to the hospital, get the epidural, send the baby to the nursery to sleep, and feed formula. All these together would obviously affect bonding, not just the epidural.

You have to look at the whole picture. You also can't go into research trying to prove a point. You can try to discover causes, and then disprove theories, but not I have this idea and now I want to prove it.

BTW - I had 2 c/s, no PPD, and no bonding issues.
post #129 of 154
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
How about just "Non-natural birth & immediate bonding" -- keep it neutral.
I like yours better and it's much shorter. I'm going to use that one. Thank you!
post #130 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by amberskyfire View Post
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.
You specifically said:

Quote:
I have long suspected that many of the current mainstream practices of birth in hospitals may be what is leading so many women toward being unable or unwilling to care for their babies properly after birth.
And then your next two paragraphs begin:

Quote:
Non-natural birth & immediate bonding
(Title change by request)

I am sure that most people in this community suspect this, but I was wondering if anyone knows of or can direct me toward actual studies which might deal with this issue.

I have long suspected that many of the current mainstream practices of birth in hospitals may be what is leading so many women toward being unable or unwilling to care for their babies properly after birth.

We all know that during natural birth, the mother releases oxytocin as well as other hormones which initiate the very short period of time in which mother and baby attach. These hormones cause the mother to become fiercely protective of her baby and they promote not only bonding, but a strong desire in the mother to keep her baby close and to nourish and protect it.

But most women in hospitals today give birth under some kind of anesthesia
Quote:
I have strong suspicions that these actions may be creating a lack of ability to mother in these new mothers.
There is NOTHING between those quotes that indicate you are only talking about new mothers who have difficulty bonding to their babies. Nothing. The argument you've crafted to this point of the post clearly indicates that oyu are arguing that labor anesthesia takes away the ability to mother.

And then you continue with the fact that "everyone" you know felt this way and everyone you know told you you would too. So now, you have built the argument that this experience is nearly universal.

You seem unwilling to accept that the process is complex and multifaceted, and instead keep looking for one article, one cause, one point. When over and over you are being told it isn't so simple.

Human beings are not computers and our hormones are not computer programs that make us perform in precise, scripted ways.
post #131 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllyRae View Post

Seriously, moms who aren't able to give birth with "the perfect birth" really don't need to hear that because of that, they are statistically supposed to be crappy moms. I know several moms who have had homebirths that do CIO and don't breastfeed past a couple months old and swat their infant's hands. And a lot of moms who have non-natural births who are fantastic AP parents.
Not even the mother's OWN idea of "the perfect birth", someone else's idea of "the perfect birth"...
post #132 of 154
It's not just that one can have a difficult birth and still be v. attached. Your idea that some mothers can "overcome" that b/c they have access to sites like these is pretty far-fetched as well. My mother had all her babies in the 1960s in v. difficult circumstances; she was not allowed to breastfeed, and had little support in the form of groups or media to move her toward attachment parenting. My father was kept away from her during all 3 of her births, and men had even less support for attachment parenting in those days than women did.

And yet both parents were v. attached to us, and taught us the techniques we still use with our own children.

The logic mistake you're committing here is that if natural birth supports bonding then birth difficulties must therefore hinder bonding -- and that early bonding equals the ability to be an appropriately attached parent/child unit, that no other factors enter in.
post #133 of 154
I think this thread has given GREAT insight on how it depends on the person.. not the birth route taken. There have been great examples in here of moms who have had problems bonding despite the fact they had natural births, and the complete opposite. I think more people WANT to prove that moms with natural births bond better while non natural birthing methods cause problems, but from personal experience and what I've seen in here it doesn't look like that's the case.
post #134 of 154
I read the first few pages, and then come back today to find lots more. I don't know if this has been mentioned, but I vaguely remember a study that showed a connection between war-torn nations and a tendency to separate mom and baby immediately after birth (taking them to hospital nurseries), as well as non-baby friendly birth practices. Does anyone else know what study I am talking about, and where it can be found? It was certainly fascinating, and touched on how less than ideal birth practices are presumed to affect bonding.
post #135 of 154
I did not have a natural birth (although I desperately wanted one) and also had no knowledge of AP until my son was about 7 weeks old. I also did not have any problem at all bonding with my baby. From the moment I saw the doctor lift him up after catching him it was an instant love-athon that has not stopped. When he became jaundiced and had to be put under the lights at the hospital, I sobbed and sobbed because I couldn't be holding him constantly.

I had always assumed that DS would sleep in his crib in the nursery we so lovingly decorated. My DH even built his crib himself. However, when we came home from the hospital with DS and I put him in a cradle next to our bed to sleep, it felt wrong, physically. It's hard to explain, but it just felt absolutely unnatural not to be close to him. For the first few nights I tried to let him sleep in the cradle but I couldn't sleep at all. Finally I just listened to my instincts and brought him into bed with us. We've never looked back.

I don't believe having an epidural during delivery affected our bonding at all, but that may partly be due to the hospital staff's help. They gave him to me right away and the nurse helped me immediately take off my gown for skin to skin contact. They helped me breastfeed. He roomed in with me the whole time and was only taken away for baths and to be weighed, and even then DH went with him. If my epidural had any potential to affect bonding, it was probably countered by some of these other things.
post #136 of 154
I skimmed some of the posts.

Have you read Birth in Four Cultures, by Brigitte Jordan & Robbie Floyd? Get the later edition, & she mentions in her foreword/afterword how surprised she was, revisiting the topic of birth in America some 10 years later, that women did not have better births when they had fewer interventions, but when they felt prepared & that they had had the birth they wanted.

She also points out that, absolutely everywhere, childbirth is socially patterned - the birth is physiological but the organisation is always cultural. There is no natural birth.
post #137 of 154
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by calpurnia View Post
I skimmed some of the posts.

Have you read Birth in Four Cultures, by Brigitte Jordan & Robbie Floyd? Get the later edition, & she mentions in her foreword/afterword how surprised she was, revisiting the topic of birth in America some 10 years later, that women did not have better births when they had fewer interventions, but when they felt prepared & that they had had the birth they wanted.

She also points out that, absolutely everywhere, childbirth is socially patterned - the birth is physiological but the organisation is always cultural. There is no natural birth.
I have not read it, but it sounds absolutely like what kind of info I'm interested in. Thanks for the help! I'll head to the library first and see if one in our state has it. If not, I can order it used on Amazon.com.

I think that that explanation makes a lot more sense than my theory, actually - that women had better births when they felt prepared and had the birth that they WANTED. I believe emotions are tied into it so much.
post #138 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post

There is NOTHING between those quotes that indicate you are only talking about new mothers who have difficulty bonding to their babies. Nothing. The argument you've crafted to this point of the post clearly indicates that oyu are arguing that labor anesthesia takes away the ability to mother.

And then you continue with the fact that "everyone" you know felt this way and everyone you know told you you would too. So now, you have built the argument that this experience is nearly universal.

You seem unwilling to accept that the process is complex and multifaceted, and instead keep looking for one article, one cause, one point. When over and over you are being told it isn't so simple.

Human beings are not computers and our hormones are not computer programs that make us perform in precise, scripted ways.
savithny, thank you. I was thinking/feeling this, too. And yes, this thread seems like a highly unusual (not to mention inaccurate and biased) way to gather information to condense for clients...especially in the way of official advice. And how are these responses being used? Will they be quoted?
post #139 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by amberskyfire View Post
But most women in hospitals today give birth under some kind of anesthesia. Even the women who are lucky enough to have natural births have their babies taken from them immediately after and the mother is usually left waiting as she listens to her baby screaming while the doctors and nurses run tests, measure, weight, poke, prod, and wash the baby before giving it back to the mother.
OP, this is from your first post and is one of the reasons I find this information gathering so strange. How many hospital births have you attended? Where do you get the stats for saying that the women "lucky enough to have natural births have their babies taken away from them immediately after, etc......"

This hasn't been the experience I've witnessed, in my own or others' births. It may be policy at some hospitals, but the experience you relate (and I'm wondering, perhaps exaggerate?) is hardly universal. Many hospitals put a huge emphasis on post-birth bonding...whether the mom has had an epi or not.

Perhaps, before you decide what kinds of awful things are happening in medicated births, or hospital births, you need to conduct a study (or find an actual one, not just an anecdotal one) about what is actually happening in hospitals after medicated and non-medicated births. You've had many, many women describe how your idea of what happens after a medicated or hospital birth is not accurate. Are you listening?
post #140 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
savithny, thank you. I was thinking/feeling this, too. And yes, this thread seems like a highly unusual (not to mention inaccurate and biased) way to gather information to condense for clients...especially in the way of official advice. And how are these responses being used? Will they be quoted?
OH honey don't worry, she won't use any response that doesn't support her theory. Haven't you already figured that out?
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