Originally Posted by MrsMoe
I notice a lot of very very negative attitudes on this forum twords epidurals and the women that get them.... What about freedom of choice and the freedom to be who we are, not what others tell us that we should be.
First, epidural mythology says that unmedicated childbirth is the worst pain you can even immagine. The fact of an epidural as a standard offer makes birth sound horrifying. Luckily, my own mom told me that she thought it was worse to get a root canal than to have a baby and she was right. I can think of a number of things more scarry and painful than childbirth... food poisoning comes to mind, and so does a bad reaction I once had to Demerol.
Second, epidural mythology says that the pain of labor has no value. However, in my experience, the feelings in my body helped guide the birth. If I had not been able to feel my body, I am 100% sure my first child would have been born surgically.
In other words, epidurals are used as a way to scare women into submitting to medicalized birth, and the information women get is incomplete in some significant ways.
As for myself, I have never had an epidural. I had a hospital birth where I refused pain meds (mainly due to previous bad reactions) and subsequently, a home birth which is what I wish I had done the first time.
All I know is that the hospital staff didn't have a clue how to help a woman who wasn't numb and wouldn't believe anything I told them about what I felt in my body. So to me epidurals also reprsent unforgiveable ignorance about the process of birth on the part of conventionally-trained "medical experts". That experience has definitely given me a negative attitude.