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How to Birth: Parenting Choice? - Page 3

post #41 of 51
Quote:
Again, we aren't talking about women who *in the process of childbirth* end up with a epi or c/s because of complications, etc. We are talking about women, like friends of mine, who outright say "I know there are risks, but I don't care! I don't want to feel any pain".

Does that make sense??
Ok, in this respect I would have to agree that that would be a "poor parenting choice". Obviously there is a real lack of thought and/or callous disregard for the safety of one's babe.

Thanks for clarifying. I was under the impression that we were talking about women's choices DURING childbirth, not before labour even begins.
post #42 of 51
I still don't think deciding on an epidural, even before labor, is a poor parenting choice. It isn't a choice I personally agree with, it has too many risks, but fear of pain does not, imo =bad parent. I think that people know epidurals have risks, but in reality, most (I know, not all) of the risks involved are for the mother (the most extreme things, paralysis, death, happen to the mother, not the baby) and many women are very much afraid of the pain of childbirth and are willing to assume these fairly rare risks in order to avoid that pain. It goes back to our culture's perceptions of pain and pain management and the way we teach (or fail to teach) women how their bodies work and what pregnancy and birth are really like.
post #43 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by anothermama
I dunno.......I'm so darned tired of apologizing for the truth. I mean, yeah, the parenting choice thing, I guess that's subjective. But I'm just kind of tired of hearing the ol "You don't know what my labor was like so don't judge me" line. :




If I posted my honest response to this, I would be immediately and permanently banned from MDC. And I seriously considered that posting it might be worth the loss anyway, because this is a perfect example of the kind of attitude that makes this website worse than useless, many days...but the following, from a PP more serene than I, will serve as a suitable substitute.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccohenou
if you are hearing the comment that you don't know what a woman's labor was like, you weren't there, and you don't have an accurate way to judge what was and wasn't needed - and you are hearing this so often that you are tired of it - it might be time to think about why that is.
post #44 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lousli
<snip> I think that people know epidurals have risks, but in reality, most (I know, not all) of the risks involved are for the mother (the most extreme things, paralysis, death, happen to the mother, not the baby) and many women are very much afraid of the pain of childbirth and are willing to assume these fairly rare risks in order to avoid that pain.<snip>
I would beg to differ that point. One of the most common risks of epidural anesthesia is fetal hypoxia secondary to maternal hypotension. While the hypotension itself is only mildly troubling to the mother, it is a serious problem for the baby who relies on maternal blood pressure for its oxygen supply and can lead to death of the baby. This hypoxia also leads to fetal bradycardia and lower blood pH. Additionally, epidural anesthesia can lead to benign fever, which cannot be distinguished from a pathological fever and thus makes the baby susceptible to all the "just in case" tricks of the NICU team.

Unfortunately, most women are not advised of the true risks of epidural anesthesia. They are told some of the minor, less troubling aspects: headache--"but we can give you something for that; hypotension--"but we give you IV fluids to prevent that" (never mind the risks inherent in fluid overloading a pregnant woman who is probably also receiving oxytocin).

For a better idea of the true risks of epidual anesthesia, every pregnant woman should be given a copy of Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M.D., Ph.D. and Morgaine Mehl-Madrona's paper Medical Risks of Epidural Anesthesia During Childbirth , and should have it loooooong before labor starts. Like around the 20 week mark would be ideal, IMHO.

Kate
post #45 of 51
I am not trying to say in any way that epidurals do not have risks. I totally understand that they do, and some of them are significant risks. I looked at the study you presented, and it seems pretty reliable. I think it is up to each woman to make the decision for herself.

I find it irritating that the risks of things that "we" disagree with are emphasized, while the risks of things "we" agree with are downplayed. Sometimes it seems, from reading here that a VBAC is a wonderfully safe option for anyone that has ever had a c-section, regardless of the circumstances, while an epidural is akin to selling your soul to the devil. Apparently, making the choice to have an epidural, (unless you "really need it", which others will feel free to judge for themselves) makes you selfish, a bad parent, and likely to continue making poor parenting choices in the future because clearly your overall parenting philosophies are embodied in this one choice.:
post #46 of 51

Choice

Isn't it all just about informed choice?
post #47 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Briannasmom
Kathan - I love your perspective. I am too afraid to piss people off. But I doubt change has ever occurred in this country without the change-makers seriously pissing off those who didn't see the need or want to change. Thank you.
:
It's not even about the epidural to me-- the statement above can be applied to SO MANY THINGS. To make a change you need to change people's minds, and to do that, you have to challenge what they believe. It can get ugly.
post #48 of 51
Just remember: sometimes when you pi$$ people off, you turn them off. And when you turn them off, not only do they not listen, but you are sometimes viewed as a fanatical crackpot, regardless as to how factual your information or morally correct your position. I've been working on a controversial issue for quite some time, and the people who most aggressively vocalize their point of view--right or wrong--are the most frequently ignored. And sometimes mocked unfairly, I might add.

Changing people's hearts and minds never works if things have to get ugly. Counter-productive, I am afraid, at least from my experience.
post #49 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SundayInSeptember
Just remember: sometimes when you pi$$ people off, you turn them off. And when you turn them off, not only do they not listen, but you are sometimes viewed as a fanatical crackpot, regardless as to how factual your information or morally correct your position. I've been working on a controversial issue for quite some time, and the people who most aggressively vocalize their point of view--right or wrong--are the most frequently ignored. And sometimes mocked unfairly, I might add.

Changing people's hearts and minds never works if things have to get ugly. Counter-productive, I am afraid, at least from my experience.
From another mama who works on a controversial issue (to say the least), I wholeheartedly agree. In my experience, it takes about eighteen months to two years of gentile education on a subject to get people to agree with me and in some cases be more outraged/ready to change the world. Some of our best spokespeople have had a gentile education over a period of time and they can influence others to come to the same decision. Perhaps, if people here looked at risks of epidurals as more of a long-term educational campaign that a "OMG you are such a bad parent- how could you ever do that to your baby?" campaign, there would be a lot less babies born under epidural anesthesia.

And to the point that the OP is referring to the women who have decided long ago to get the epidural, not the ones who end up with one due to unforseen circumstances- I don't believe that she has actually come back and said that. Perhaps she can come back and tell us just which women are the ones she thinks are making bad parenting decisions.
post #50 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by anothermama
that the choice to have an epidural is a parenting choice and that if you chose to have an epidural and don't need one and know the dangers, that it's a poor parenting choice.

MANY others took issue with this.

I'm interested in other thoughts and maybe a better way to articulate this.
I am not here to defend the universal use of epidurals, because I don't think they are a good thing for everyone, or even most people. But I did have two epidural births and I knew my risks. For me, I would rather have the epidurals than face some psychological skeletons in my closet from years of abuse in childhood. For once I didn't want pain to put me back into that dark place and steal the most joyful moments of life away from me.

While a greater woman might have found a way to work through that pain and use it to heal herself and not allow the ghosts to affect her anymore, I decided long ago I was too tired to fight or be brave in the face of those ghosts.

I am thankful that I had choices. I do feel guilty that my children had to feel the effects of those drugs because of my past. But I promised them that I will try hard to let that be the only thing from my past that will touch them. I had two very peaceful, joyful births with no complications, and no other drugs or interventions used. I labored in a safe place mentally and emotionally, and pulled my second daughter out with my own two hands and onto my chest. No regrets.

I am glad we live in a day and age when women have birth choices. I just wish that more women would educate themselves and empower themselves to research those choices, insist on them, and realize that they are in control and not the doctors and medical staff. I see too many women who succumb to pressure from doctors and submit to them without questioning anything. I believe that the wide spread use of epidurals is because traditional labor support from other women-- sisters, mothers, friends-- was done away with by our "modern" society. It's very hard to be confident in birth when you don't have any support on one hand, and someone offering pain relief on the other hand. We should not be angry at these mothers-- most of them don't know any better and are a product of their environment and upbringing when it comes to seeing doctors as all-knowing and powerful. Their own mothers probably did not have a good birth experience or even a natural birth. Gently educate people. Tell them about doulas and midwives and homebirths. But don't judge them. Many are just scared.
post #51 of 51
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Wonderful words of wisdom, USAmma.
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