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Banalization of Epidurals - Page 2

post #21 of 78
[QUOTE=ebethmom]
Quote:
Originally Posted by redsonya
I think you're being over sensitive. You shouldn't be judgemental of women who choose pain meds (notice I used the word "choose--" pain meds should never be pushed or forced on a woman).
QUOTE]

I believe that there are many women who have never explored their birth options. They don't know about the benefits of movement in labor, water to ease pain, support from doulas . . . They are not equipped to make an educated choice, so they choose what their OB's and nurses present as the only option - an epidural.
Maybe that is true in a lot of cases, but not always. I researched my choices, planned on a natural childbirth both times, hypnosis for #2. My mom is a midwife, for crying out loud. I know the risks of epidurals. And yet, I had epidurals with both births. I won't go into long details here, but there are a number of stories over on that thread about going back to epidural after a natural birth where women describe their reasons for chosing medicated births. Please don't assume that anyone who has an epidural is doing so because she doesn't know any better or was mislead by her OB.
post #22 of 78
The OP asked if there was someone she could write to. I would suggest the following:
a) if YOU are a writer, write this up and submit it to publications like MOTHERING, Midwifery Today, etc.
b) send a letter to the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services ( CIMS) at www.motherfriendly.org
c) circulate the annoyances so that we all get miffed at Target and such ( the grassroots effect, I am all for it...just check my post history!)
d) collaborate with someone who is a writer to get the words out there ( hint hint I am published and freelance....wanna collaborate??? PM me! )
post #23 of 78
I just went and reviewed the target shirt There are no reviews yet so lets show them what we think!
post #24 of 78
I posted my review they say it takes 5 days to post and it will post if it meet their content..so who knows.
post #25 of 78
Ive posted a link in the Activism forum and a review on the site. Plus sent it to everyone I know, some of which are real big activists.
post #26 of 78
I posted a review too - somehow I doubt they'll display all these activism related reviews though.
post #27 of 78
I don't think epidurals should be banned, but do I think they should not be the norm? Absolutely!
But, not everyone is up to natural childbirth for various reasons, I would never take away their right to pain meds.

I too get sick though when asking a pregnant woman (friend) "You taking a birth class?" Response: "Nope, I'm getting an epidural"

post #28 of 78
Other than for a c-section, is there any medical reason why someone needs an epidural? Since many of us have given birth without one, we all know that it hurts, so it's hard to accept "too much pain" as a reason.
post #29 of 78
I am guessing that most of epidurals are requested because of fear or are accepted if you're bullied into getting one.

If you're in a hospital and is going through horrible pain, it is hard to say no to the nurses pushing an epidural on you if you don't have a doula It happened to me last time.

And they also went on to tell me that because I was being induced, the labor was going to be way worse than the first two I had without meds, so I just accepted the offer

NEVER AGAIN!! The side effects of the Epi FOR ME where not worthy it... Luckily my baby did not have any problems that we know of
post #30 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greaseball
Other than for a c-section, is there any medical reason why someone needs an epidural? Since many of us have given birth without one, we all know that it hurts, so it's hard to accept "too much pain" as a reason.

Again, I'm going to have to disagree here. There were many women who posted here about the differences in labor between different women. That there are women who experience relatively painless labors, some who have more difficult labors, and others who describe labor as "being drawn and quartered." I have not had this last type of experience, but who I am I to judge another woman for being in "too much pain?" I mean, really, if someone tells me that it hurt too much, I'm totally willing to accept that as an answer. Or "I was afraid." "I was too tired." etc. I will never know what her birth experience was like.

I can understand saying that epidurals are becoming too common, that people are not adequately informed of the risks, that the medical community pushes epidurals on women for numerous reasons. But I dislike reading things like this thread that assumes that women who opt for epidurals are all misinformed or uninformed of the risks, or that they are weak for not being able to handle the pain or fear of their labor. That "we did it naturally so why can't you" attitude can be very patronizing, imo and can really turn people off to listening to what you have to say about birth.
post #31 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by amyjeans
http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html...sin=B00078MLWK

I will never shop Target again and plan on writing the company about this immediately.
I will also send this out to every Mama I know.
How completely apalling that they would consider this is the norm for birth?
What a way to set up a first time mama, too!
This type of #### I refuse to tolerate.
Thanks for posting the info OP.
Any btw- its not your preggy hormones riding you- its your good common natural sense.
Certainly you need to make the decision that's best for your family, but to boycott an organization because they sell one item you disagree with? That doesn't really make sense to me. I agree with your sentiment about epidurals. I just don't think boycotting Target is the way to change the culture of birth in our country. I *STRONGLY* disagree with cigarettes. I think they should be illegal. And yet, I am forced to shop at places that sell them. (Gas stations, grocery stores.) The best way to stop people from smoking is not to boycott the grocery store. The same principal applies here.

Back to the regularly scheduled discussion!
post #32 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildmonkeys
I wouldn't worry about it.

To be honest I had natural child birth the first time around and my big head boy broke my tailbone - it was a long painful recovery and I had alot of post birth anxiety/depression/fear based on my terrible experience.

I was extremely afraid to have a second baby (five years later, it still hurts too much to ride a bike or do a number of yoga positions) and truthfully I wouldn't have had a second baby if an epidural wasn't available.

I wouldn't waste too much energy getting upset over something that other people might decide is right for them - make your own choices and let others make their own.

BJ
Barney & Ben
Amen!! I had an epidual with my deliveries and yet I wouldn't go round telling others who did not that they were (fill in the blank) for doing so. Live and let live....
post #33 of 78
I just reviewed the shirt at Target.com.

What bothers me the most about these shirts is that there IS one about epidurals but not one single tee having anything to do with natural birth. I mean I know it wouldn't be a big seller since the vast majority of women go the drug route but it just doesn't seem right for the tees to only be about "sleepless nights" and epidurals. This to me is the major problem- we are all just assumed to be getting epidurals.

Everyone has a right to an epidural- but it's hard for those of us who do not want one to deal with all the pressure from our dr.s, society, friends, etc to have one. I was reading an article in "Fit Pregnancy" and one of the women they interview said "I'm not going to try and be a hero- if I need the epi I'll take it!" and this is so demeaning to those of us who believe in natural birth- not because we want to be "heros" but because we believe the risks of drugs and interventions outweight the benefits and are willing to handle the pain.

I don't look down on women who have had epis, etc. I just don't want to be mocked and looked down on myself for wanting to give birth naturally- and I think we can all agree that in real life there are a lot more people who are going to mock plans for NCB than plans for epidurals.

I don't think I will boycott Target but I am very disappointed in them for catering to this societal obsession with epidurals and medicalized childbirth as of there is "no other way to do it"
post #34 of 78
I have no problem with a mother choosing the epi route. I have a problem with a mother being uninformed of the risks and other options. I have a problem with a mother being pushed in one direction or another by biased views of her caregiver. I have a problem with a caregiver that doesn't give the best care and the mother ends up being unhealthy as a result and thus having a more painful birth because of it. And because of that choosing the epi when it didn't have to be that way.

I get upset about those things. I think there is a lot of incorrect information being fed to expectant mothers causing some of them to make choices they may not make if they knew the whole story. I've had alot of incorrect info fed to me and I am sure glad I found out all the facts now before I go into labor!

I have talked to women who have had more than one child and basicly didn't have a clue about anything that went on with their labor and delivery. They were just there being delivered and ended up feeling like they didn't have a choice in anything. They told me some of the things the doctors told them and some of it was very bias toward one thing or another. They basicly didn't get all the info offered to them and that isn't right.

There are also some women who don't want to know details, that just want to be taken care of and delivered as the doctors see fit. While I don't understand them not wanting to be informed I respect their decisions. The decisions ae theirs alone to make.
post #35 of 78
Thread Starter 
This isn't about condemning any individual's right to choose an epidural, and I think there is a distinction between questioning the intentions of two influential corporations and making judgments about real women's birth choices. There is nothing wrong with someone choosing an epidural, especially if she is informed of both the pros and cons. Nonetheless, an epidural is a relatively serious medical intervention, and it isn't a routine part of most births throughout the world. It seems strange to me that these two large corporations would nonchalantly "promote" epidurals when there is so much more to pregnancy and childbirth.

I find the Target t-shirts particularly odd - there are only two, and the other says, "Sleepless nights are in my future." Although somewhat negative, it makes some sense as sleepless nights are common enough as parents and new babies adjust to each other. But why not a shirt saying, "Diaper changes are in my future" or "Tiny clothes..." or "A stroller/sling/car-seat..." or for that matter, "Lamaze/Bradley/Hypobirthing classes..." or any of the myriad of things related to pregnancy and childbirth instead? Why specifically epidurals (unless maybe some group of obstetric anesthesiologists has a deal with the company)? Among the recent first-time mothers I know, none of them were thinking about epidurals during the first trimester (the stage for which the Target t-shirts are being marketed); they were thinking about the adjustments they would need to make to their lives, childcare, financial issues, housing issues, careers. Those that had miscarried before were primarily concerned with whether their pregnancies would result in an actual birth. A few of them had never even heard of epidurals. (I do understand that some women make up their minds immediately, especially those who have already given birth; this just hasn't been the case for the first-time mothers I happen to know.)

The CitiBank commercial makes even less sense. Realistically, the proportion of people in the general population for whom epidurals are a concern is relatively small - if they had to have a medical setting in the commercial, why not something with a more universal recognition such as a routine physical or getting a cavity filled? Even if they used a hospital birth scene, it could involve the financially worried father wanting to take the wife and baby home right away instead paying for a night in the hospital. Again, why zero in on the epidural when there are other, more universal aspects to childbirth?

KeysMama, thanks for the suggestions.
post #36 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by yamilee21
This isn't about condemning any individual's right to choose an epidural, and I think there is a distinction between questioning the intentions of two influential corporations and making judgments about real women's birth choices. ]\
Really? Because, to me, hearing what is and isn't an "acceptable reason" for having an epidural sounds pretty judgemental to me. Hearing that "too much pain" isn't an acceptable reason because "so many of us have given birth without one, we all know that it hurts" sounds REALLY judgemental to me.
post #37 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greaseball
The epidural is so accepted now that some people don't even consider it a drug. I've asked a few pregnant women IRL if they are planning to have drugs for the birth and they say, "No, just the epidural."
I have heard this so many times too. I think some women think it's some sort of "nerve block" that doesn't have anything to do with serious drugs.

I also hear women use the term "natural childbirth" to mean vaginal delivery. Several women I know have spoken highly of their "natural childbirth" complete with stadol, epidural, episiotomy, etc.


I believe that 100% of my mainstream friends have had or plan to have an epidural. It simply is unthinkable for them not to. I truly think they see it as a *risk-free way* to reduce pain in labor. "I'm not into pain" is the reason they give. (As if therefore, someone who goes drug free *is* "into pain" when of course that is not at all the reason behind it.)
post #38 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lousli
Really? Because, to me, hearing what is and isn't an "acceptable reason" for having an epidural sounds pretty judgemental to me. Hearing that "too much pain" isn't an acceptable reason because "so many of us have given birth without one, we all know that it hurts" sounds REALLY judgemental to me.
Lousli, I can't prevent other posters from making comments that you consider judgmental. My intention in starting this thread, which I attempted to clarify in my second post, was to discuss the two corporations' use of the epidural in marketing, and how this relates to perception of the epidural in the general public. By qoting me and then using unattributed "quotes" from other posters, your post makes it appear that I am the one making the "judgmental" comments.
post #39 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by yamilee21
Lousli, I can't prevent other posters from making comments that you consider judgmental. My intention in starting this thread, which I attempted to clarify in my second post, was to discuss the two corporations' use of the epidural in marketing, and how this relates to perception of the epidural in the general public. By qoting me and then using unattributed "quotes" from other posters, your post makes it appear that I am the one making the "judgmental" comments.
I'm sorry, that is not at all my intention. It was just that you wrote, "This isn't about condemning any individual's right to have an epidural" and while you may certainly feel that way, there are many others ont his thread who clearly do not. I did not mean to attribute those quotes to you, I was just pointing out that people on this thread are getting judgemental about an individual's right to have an epidural, or more precisely, what they consider acceptable reasons for having/not having epidurals.

I understand why you started this thread, and I don't expect you to be able to monitor the content of other posters. In fact, I have to say that despite having had epidurals with both of my births, I agree with you that it is not okay normalize epidurals and make it seem that it isn't any big deal or is somehow risk-free. I'm sorry if my post came across that I was trying to lay the blame on you for those comments. They really irked me though, so I was pointing them out.
post #40 of 78
Quote:
Other than for a c-section, is there any medical reason why someone needs an epidural?
I had a 26 hour labor (read, started with water breaking spontaneously and immediately moved into hard, regular contrax.) I had cervical issues that hampered dialation and I got an epidural after about 18 hours of intense labor. Was there a medical reason? Nope, just my own inadequacies, I guess....

I didn't find the OP to be judgmental at all, I too find the tee shirt offensive, and I think that some interesting, thought-provoking and important ideas were raised but I think many of the subsequent posts are pretty condemning. Not everyone has the ideal unmedicated, homebirth...but I don't think we have to invalidate births that don't fit the bill.
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