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Non-natural birth & immediate bonding - Page 3

post #41 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildwomyn View Post
Since I assume that I'm at least one of the people who was called out as taking it too personally, I will say that I'm not particularly upset. But I have actually thanked the gods that I wasn't into the natural childbirth at any cost ideal, or I might well have assumed that everthing was just over and wrong after the birth and it didn't matter what I did at that point.
Unfortunately, there *are* people that think like that...over and over again here you read people saying that because they didn't get the birth they want that they can't be good moms and shouldn't have the children they birthed. It's really really really tragic that people think that way. Natural birth is wonderful, but it's not the end all and be all of parenting. Nobody should be made to feel like they can't be good parents because their bodies couldn't birth naturally. I can't figure out if that type of mindset is due to the trauma of an emergency birth or due to the mindset that in order to be a good mother, you must birth naturally, breastfeed for 3 years, and never raise your voice. It just doesn't leave room for the fact that sometimes, things don't go as planned. To me, some of the best mothers had to overcome aversities and obsticles and they were such great mothers BECAUSE they could do that with grace and without feeling like an utter failure. Overcoming obsticles at birth is just one of many many obsticles mothers have to overcome!

A lot of it might just be attitude and mind over matter. My youngest baby was a 36 week preterm baby born via c-section and had to be in the nursery for 4 1/2 hours due to breathing issues. I also had the hardest time nursing her. Yet, she's still nursing and we probably have the best attachment of any of my kids. I went into it with the attitude that it was just one day out of many I would have with her and this was my little girl who needed me so very much. I didn't feel like a failure because of my birth with her and I didn't feel like less than a mother because I choose to have a positive attitude about her birth. And because I made that choice, I was able to start bonding as soon as I saw her (well, I was bonding during pregnancy too... : ) and felt all of those instant lovey dovey maternal feelings. But like I said, I chose to have a great attitude about her birth and I think that helped a lot...
post #42 of 154
For me the statement is not true. Before I had #1 I was a typical mainstreamer, had the typical hospital birth ending in c/s, and only ended up co-sleeping cuz I was too exhausted to do anything else. But I bonded with him instantly, breastfed, and I had no difficulty being a mom. #2 was my only completely natural birth, took longer to bond with, harder to breastfeed, and in general he is harder to parent because of his personality. #3 emergency c/s under general, instant bonding, breastfed easily, again easy to parent him. So in my case all the generalizations got thrown out the window about bonding, breastfeeding, and all that, and the only thing that affects my parenting is my ability to adapt to each child's unique personalities. Even before I got turned onto the AP-type parenting style I loved being a mom and did a good job.
post #43 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by amberskyfire View Post
I just have to wonder what it is that causes so many women to not listen to instinct and instead do things like CIO. There's got to be some kind of underlying issue.

FIrst of all, you need to remember that primate mothering is not, in fact, based primarily on instinctive behaviors. There are some, its true, and there are also hormonal mediators of behavior.

But we're not rats. We're not bugs, we're not mice, we're not cats, we're not goats. We're primates. And it is common across primates, especially the "Higher" ones, that parenting behavior is learned, to the extent that monkeys and apes reared in zoos away from natural family groups actually refuse to parent. Sometimes they *kill* their babies from sheer ignorance of what to do with them after they're born.

DO you see the significance of that? A chimpanzee that has had a "natural" birth, if she has never seen other adult females caring for their babies? Will refuse to nurse her baby. She doesn't know how. "Instinct" does not take care of that in primates.

She can *learn* how, though. Zookeepers at one primate research center had human mothers sit outside one pregnant chimp's enclosure every day of her pregnancy, nursing their babies, cuddling them, carrying them -- and when that mother gave birth, for the first time she nursed her baby and did not reject it. She *learned* what she was supposed to do.

"Instinct" is a big word that gets tossed around a lot, and people begin to think that it should work like it does in some birds and lower mammals -- that we should be driven by it to very specific, stereotyped behaviors. When baby opens mouth and peeps, we peck at the dark area to feed it. But we don't work that way. Our "instincts" are largely reactions in our brains giving us the urge to do *something* -- but that's pretty much it. Our babies' cries put us into an stressed state. They make us feel like we should be taking some *action* -- but what action we take is, largely, defined by *culture*. There are many cultures that deny babies nursing in the first 24 hours because they beleive that colostrum is unhealthy. There are cultures in which mothers birth onto the ground and no one is allowed to touch the baby until it cries on its own. Instinct? No. Culture.

And CIO is *cultural*. It grows from our culture's insistence on the importance of independence and sleeping alone. Other cultures may not do it, but may have practices around eating or sex or cleaning that you might find equally shocking or "anti-instinctual." But waht they're doing is "Doing something," as *their culture* defines it.

Finally, before continuing to propagate an untested theory about whether people who have c-sections, or epidurals, or breastfeed a certain number of months, are "better" mothers, it might be a good idea to read some of the other forums here, where women who have read books and websites that say similar things are saying that they have been very, very hurt and damaged by people expressing similar theories to them. Sorting mothers into classes of "better" and "Worse" is something that never, ever goes well.
post #44 of 154
I think my main problem with this assertion is that being an AP-parent=being a good parent. There are PLENTY of schools of thought on how to parent children, and plenty of children who grow up non-AP who turn out to be really well-adjusted and normal. The concept of "doing what's natural" is one which is really subjective.

Not breastfeeding, not co-sleeping, and letting your baby CIO doesn't make you a "bad parent" or even a parent who has "difficulty." I reserve the phrase "bad parent" for a parent who beats their children, starves them, or is otherwise abusive. Maybe even one who allows their children to play in the street. I don't think formula constitutes child abuse. I think its a choice some woman made for her child that she thought was the right decision. She probably didn't make it because she had an epidural, she probably made it because she thought it would be easier. I have plenty of friends who formula feed and its not because they don't know there's such a thing as breastfeeding, they just didn't want to do it.
post #45 of 154
thank you for that brilliant post, savinthy!!

As for the OP's theory, the opposite has been true for me. While pregnant with my first, I always assumed he would crib sleep, I would *try* to breastfeed, and honestly had no feelings about CIO one way or another. He was a 33 weeker, born after PPROM and pitocin + epidural, spent 15 days in the NICU, and never was able to breastfeed properly. I had to EP for him for a year, and he has extensive medical problems (I *think* we're up to 20 hospital stays in 32 months, but I may have lost count). We still co-sleep with him, and not once has he ever CIO. Despite his frequent unpleasant (sometimes painful) medical procedures, he is firmly attached to us, and we to him. He is actually an extremely happy kid, and I am bonded to him like I am to no other person on earth.

My daughter (6 months) is EBF. She was born at 37 weeks with nearly no interventions (she was internally monitored for severe decels). No doctor present- in fact, the nurse was only halfway in the room when she was born! I have had a very hard time bonding with her, and developed PPD and PP-OCD when she was 3 months old (I am on meds which have helped tremendously). I love her with all my heart, but the bond I share with my son (and did from the instant I saw him) just isn't there yet.

I have never cared much about 'natural' childbirth (a term I strongly dislike, as if anything other than drug-free homebirth is 'unnatural' and therefore bad)- my biggest goals were (a) a living baby, and (b) getting as close to full term as possible. I have many risk factors requiring medically invasive pregnancies, so when I come out on the other end with a baby, I'm over the moon, regardless of how that baby came out of me.

Yes, I think there are plenty of interventions that take place for the wrong reasons. I also think some people insist on *avoiding* medical interventions for the wrong reasons. To assert that the circumstances of birth dictate the mother/child relationship seems short-sighted at best, not to mention pretty illogical.
post #46 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.
Yup.

I've been blessed with two natural births and amazing bonding experiences post-birth with my children, but most of my close friends have given birth with pain meds, or had c-sections, or all of the other interventions you talked about. ALL of them are amazing moms. Truly. They're all fantastic, loving, attentive...from the get-go. A little PPD here and there, but nothing out of the ordinary. PPD has also affected some of my friends with beautiful, natural births.

I don't like the superiority inherent in this kind of reasoning. A natural birth, a home birth, whatever birth, does not make you a superior parent. And as far as CIO and the rest, I think those attitudes come from the people you surround yourself with, NOT on what kind of birth experience started you out as a parent.
post #47 of 154
: I can't even express how "off" this comment is to me. I had an absolutely beautiful, peaceful, lovely midwife attended water birth and had a really difficult time transitioning to motherhood. The notion that a natural birth makes a natural mother is laughable to me. I've definitely adapted to being a mom, but it wasn't an easy road. I have lots of friends who had c-sections who were just natural moms and everything was totally easy peasy for them.
post #48 of 154
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info, everyone!

So far, I have read one Mothering article that was suggested by a mod and it was right on target with what I was looking for. I'll have to read the others after we paint some pictures, make cookies, and chase the dog around the yard a bit

Here is the article, in case anyone was interested:

http://www.mothering.com/pregnancy-b...print-of-labor

and I also updated my original post with captions from the article for those just joining who might also be interested in what the research shows.

And, as always, personal experience is always welcome. Not everybody fits into the majority and there are all kinds of differing personal experiences.
post #49 of 154
as opposed to a "good/bad" or "better/worse" sort of "judgemental splitting" would it be fair to say that for some people, mothering comes "easier" than for others?

i find mothering to be a very easy job. that could be because a b-zillion factors from learned behaviors, education, personality type, whatever.

in my experience, women with all sorts of parenting theories, birth experience, support networks or lack thereof, etc etc etc can be "good" or great mothers. but, for them, mothering may be "easy" or "difficult" depending upon their circumstances and experiences.

for example, it is very easy for me to completely disregard other's opinions about how and when and where i breastfeed my son. this comes from a lot of things--my natural personality is pretty much i dont' care what anyone else thinks. establishing our BFing relationship was a bit of work (and very little compared to some other women so i don't really even consider it "difficult" just that it was what was necessary and a little more work than i expected--though i had intuitive nudges about two-three weeks before the birth to be concerned about BFing), and so i really focus on DS's nursing needs and no one's opinions.

so, there could be a lot of reasons why mothering is easy for some and not easy for others. and, i think that exploring how women feel birth may or may not have impacted whether or not they found mothering easy (with this child, the next, or the next), would also be interesting.

but it's not about whether or not it is "easy" makes it "good" or "bad." just women sharing what was easy or difficult for them in regards to mothering and why that might be so in their experience.
post #50 of 154
We planned for a natural birth, but part of that planning was preparing for a hospital birth should that be necessary. We prepared a birth plan in writing and took a tour of the back up hospital "just in case". It turns out that we needed to transfer to the hospital, which was San Francisco General. I don't have any comment on the food they tried serving DP, but otherwise we were well treated and the hospital itself is "Baby Friendly" they went over our written birth plan with us before doing anything and overall the experience, while not what we ultimately hoped for, was a pretty positive one. In fact, going on the fifth day of an excruciatingly difficult prodromal labor getting checked into the hospital at the time was a welcome relief. For DP I know that an epidural was one of the last things she wanted, but when the time came and she resigned to it, that was a very welcome relief too. Immediately after our son was delivered he did need to be suctioned (meconium) but I was able to follow him over to where they did that, cut the cord myself and though I'm sure he didn't see much I could swear he looked at me and recognized me amidst all these doctors poking at him and I think we shared a special few seconds there as he sorted dad from the doctors then within a minute or so I was able to carry our son in my arms over to my exhausted partner and place him in her arms where he remained pretty much full time until we left the hospital the next day. He was skin to skin within minutes and almost immediately he was breastfeeding as well. We discharged about 18 hours after delivery so we didn't really stick around to let many people poke at either DP or DS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
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.
While I don't think we had a crappy birth, I completely agree. It wasn't what we had wanted but everything turned out well in the end. Even if emergency C was necessary (and it was getting pretty close to being necessary) I don't think it would have changed how we handled being new parents and our bonding/parenting methods once we got home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcgirl View Post
I think lack of support and a social network has a lot more to do with parenting difficulties than the birth experience.
Yes. Sadly. I wish we had more of a support network.
post #51 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
I don't like the superiority inherent in this kind of reasoning. A natural birth, a home birth, whatever birth, does not make you a superior parent. And as far as CIO and the rest, I think those attitudes come from the people you surround yourself with, NOT on what kind of birth experience started you out as a parent.

This is exactly right. Some people who subscribe to this philosophy will write off anyone who disagree as "offended" or "taking it personally." I am no more offended than if you asked if blondes made better mothers - because I think the notion is that ridiculous. It's the smugness and superiority that come with questions like this that put me off. Even planning my homebirth, at my most gung-ho natural birth, tell everyone about it, it's so awesome, I would NEVER have thought to insinuate that people who did not do it would make lesser mothers.

And savithny's post was fantastic and spot on. It is our culture and values that make us the mothers we are, not our births.
post #52 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
FIrst of all, you need to remember that primate mothering is not, in fact, based primarily on instinctive behaviors. There are some, its true, and there are also hormonal mediators of behavior.

But we're not rats. We're not bugs, we're not mice, we're not cats, we're not goats. We're primates. And it is common across primates, especially the "Higher" ones, that parenting behavior is learned, to the extent that monkeys and apes reared in zoos away from natural family groups actually refuse to parent. Sometimes they *kill* their babies from sheer ignorance of what to do with them after they're born.

DO you see the significance of that? A chimpanzee that has had a "natural" birth, if she has never seen other adult females caring for their babies? Will refuse to nurse her baby. She doesn't know how. "Instinct" does not take care of that in primates.

She can *learn* how, though. Zookeepers at one primate research center had human mothers sit outside one pregnant chimp's enclosure every day of her pregnancy, nursing their babies, cuddling them, carrying them -- and when that mother gave birth, for the first time she nursed her baby and did not reject it. She *learned* what she was supposed to do.

"Instinct" is a big word that gets tossed around a lot, and people begin to think that it should work like it does in some birds and lower mammals -- that we should be driven by it to very specific, stereotyped behaviors. When baby opens mouth and peeps, we peck at the dark area to feed it. But we don't work that way. Our "instincts" are largely reactions in our brains giving us the urge to do *something* -- but that's pretty much it. Our babies' cries put us into an stressed state. They make us feel like we should be taking some *action* -- but what action we take is, largely, defined by *culture*. There are many cultures that deny babies nursing in the first 24 hours because they beleive that colostrum is unhealthy. There are cultures in which mothers birth onto the ground and no one is allowed to touch the baby until it cries on its own. Instinct? No. Culture.

And CIO is *cultural*. It grows from our culture's insistence on the importance of independence and sleeping alone. Other cultures may not do it, but may have practices around eating or sex or cleaning that you might find equally shocking or "anti-instinctual." But waht they're doing is "Doing something," as *their culture* defines it.

Finally, before continuing to propagate an untested theory about whether people who have c-sections, or epidurals, or breastfeed a certain number of months, are "better" mothers, it might be a good idea to read some of the other forums here, where women who have read books and websites that say similar things are saying that they have been very, very hurt and damaged by people expressing similar theories to them. Sorting mothers into classes of "better" and "Worse" is something that never, ever goes well.
I think you make a really good point.
post #53 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk8ermaiden View Post
This is exactly right. Some people who subscribe to this philosophy will write off anyone who disagree as "offended" or "taking it personally." I am no more offended than if you asked if blondes made better mothers - because I think the notion is that ridiculous. It's the smugness and superiority that come with questions like this that put me off. Even planning my homebirth, at my most gung-ho natural birth, tell everyone about it, it's so awesome, I would NEVER have thought to insinuate that people who did not do it would make lesser mothers.

And savithny's post was fantastic and spot on. It is our culture and values that make us the mothers we are, not our births.
nak. ITA with this post.
post #54 of 154
I haven't read past the first page.

I can't speak for anyone else. For me, not labouring with dd1 definitely affected my parenting. I basically "did the motion until I felt the emotion" with her. I don't like to think about it, honestly. I adore her, and I was a good mom by my actions, but my mental state was...not great. I tried to have that baby for 10 years, and then when she got here, I was just...flat. It broke my heart.

It doesn't seem to happen for everyone, though (which, honestly - just makes me feel worse - I must just inherently be a crappy mom, yk?).
post #55 of 154
How does this work for mom's that do not birth their own children (adopotive, mom's using surrogates etc) and dad's? They aren't getting any natural birthing rush to make them good parents.
post #56 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllyRae View Post
Unfortunately, there *are* people that think like that...over and over again here you read people saying that because they didn't get the birth they want that they can't be good moms and shouldn't have the children they birthed. It's really really really tragic that people think that way. Natural birth is wonderful, but it's not the end all and be all of parenting. Nobody should be made to feel like they can't be good parents because their bodies couldn't birth naturally.
"Made to feel"? By whom? That's how I felt, and I wasn't "made to feel" that way by some mysterious outside agency.

Quote:
I can't figure out if that type of mindset is due to the trauma of an emergency birth or due to the mindset that in order to be a good mother, you must birth naturally, breastfeed for 3 years, and never raise your voice.
??
Why must it be either?

Quote:
It just doesn't leave room for the fact that sometimes, things don't go as planned. To me, some of the best mothers had to overcome aversities and obsticles and they were such great mothers BECAUSE they could do that with grace and without feeling like an utter failure.
Well, I'm not a great mother. Maybe it's because I have no grace, and did, in fact, feel like an utter failure.

Quote:
Overcoming obsticles at birth is just one of many many obsticles mothers have to overcome!
That's probably true. If I'd ever overcome anything at birth, I might feel qualfied to express a stronger opinion.

Quote:
A lot of it might just be attitude and mind over matter. My youngest baby was a 36 week preterm baby born via c-section and had to be in the nursery for 4 1/2 hours due to breathing issues. I also had the hardest time nursing her. Yet, she's still nursing and we probably have the best attachment of any of my kids. I went into it with the attitude that it was just one day out of many I would have with her and this was my little girl who needed me so very much. I didn't feel like a failure because of my birth with her and I didn't feel like less than a mother because I choose to have a positive attitude about her birth. And because I made that choice, I was able to start bonding as soon as I saw her (well, I was bonding during pregnancy too... : ) and felt all of those instant lovey dovey maternal feelings. But like I said, I chose to have a great attitude about her birth and I think that helped a lot...
This is one of the most condescending, dismissive and insulting posts I've read on this subject in a looonnnng time.
post #57 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk8ermaiden View Post
This is exactly right. Some people who subscribe to this philosophy will write off anyone who disagree as "offended" or "taking it personally." I am no more offended than if you asked if blondes made better mothers - because I think the notion is that ridiculous. It's the smugness and superiority that come with questions like this that put me off. Even planning my homebirth, at my most gung-ho natural birth, tell everyone about it, it's so awesome, I would NEVER have thought to insinuate that people who did not do it would make lesser mothers.

And savithny's post was fantastic and spot on. It is our culture and values that make us the mothers we are, not our births.
yes. and yes to what savinthny also said.
post #58 of 154
I do not know why I was so basically ok with needing to have a c-section, but I'm sure it wasn't because I 'chose to.' It's not that simple. Just like it's not that simple that Right Birth=Good Parent.
post #59 of 154
I think there is a lot of truth to "mind over matter"

Of course PPD is real and people need that support and help but one also has to WANT to get better. One cannot just wallow in misery and think it will happen.

I had a pretty hard time in between my kids and I thought I was DONE. I was miserable, I couldn't do anything, I hurt all the time, I could not sleep there was just a lot of things going wrong.

Of course my dh reacted badly and said to "snap out of it" but instead I went to the Dr. I ended up being diagnosed with a chronic illness and my dh realized how destructive his attitude was. PPD was NOT in my head, it is very real. Whether "wanting" to get better means exercising, taking the meds you might need, eating better, taking your vitamins, or any other things that might help.

It isn't easy and no one can drag us into mental health. That is our path and one has to pick their foot up and put it in front of their other foot. No one can do it for you, they should certainly help. But they cannot make you.

With my son, I really had my heart set on a VBAC, I was really trying to do everything right and everything went wrong. If I blamed myself for that, rather than a genetic fluke I would truly be miserable.

PPD, PPP and many other conditions are very real. But there is much to be said for "wanting" to get better. It doesn't work on its own, but it is a part of the process.
post #60 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
FIrst of all, you need to remember that primate mothering is not, in fact, based primarily on instinctive behaviors. There are some, its true, and there are also hormonal mediators of behavior.

But we're not rats. We're not bugs, we're not mice, we're not cats, we're not goats. We're primates. And it is common across primates, especially the "Higher" ones, that parenting behavior is learned, to the extent that monkeys and apes reared in zoos away from natural family groups actually refuse to parent. Sometimes they *kill* their babies from sheer ignorance of what to do with them after they're born.

DO you see the significance of that? A chimpanzee that has had a "natural" birth, if she has never seen other adult females caring for their babies? Will refuse to nurse her baby. She doesn't know how. "Instinct" does not take care of that in primates.

She can *learn* how, though. Zookeepers at one primate research center had human mothers sit outside one pregnant chimp's enclosure every day of her pregnancy, nursing their babies, cuddling them, carrying them -- and when that mother gave birth, for the first time she nursed her baby and did not reject it. She *learned* what she was supposed to do.

"Instinct" is a big word that gets tossed around a lot, and people begin to think that it should work like it does in some birds and lower mammals -- that we should be driven by it to very specific, stereotyped behaviors. When baby opens mouth and peeps, we peck at the dark area to feed it. But we don't work that way. Our "instincts" are largely reactions in our brains giving us the urge to do *something* -- but that's pretty much it. Our babies' cries put us into an stressed state. They make us feel like we should be taking some *action* -- but what action we take is, largely, defined by *culture*. There are many cultures that deny babies nursing in the first 24 hours because they beleive that colostrum is unhealthy. There are cultures in which mothers birth onto the ground and no one is allowed to touch the baby until it cries on its own. Instinct? No. Culture.

And CIO is *cultural*. It grows from our culture's insistence on the importance of independence and sleeping alone. Other cultures may not do it, but may have practices around eating or sex or cleaning that you might find equally shocking or "anti-instinctual." But waht they're doing is "Doing something," as *their culture* defines it.

Finally, before continuing to propagate an untested theory about whether people who have c-sections, or epidurals, or breastfeed a certain number of months, are "better" mothers, it might be a good idea to read some of the other forums here, where women who have read books and websites that say similar things are saying that they have been very, very hurt and damaged by people expressing similar theories to them. Sorting mothers into classes of "better" and "Worse" is something that never, ever goes well.
I agree.

I had a c-section with DD. I don't have any regrets about it. It was necessary. I feel such a fierce love for her beyond anything that I thought I was capable of. We still co-sleep and we practice attachment parenting. My c-section had no impact on the way I feel about her or the way I parent.
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