It has been said on some boards that the medical community uses fear to get women to make uniformed medical decisions. Isn't that what's also being said when we say that interventions lead to unhealthy moms and babies? One of my cousins twin babies died at birth, without medical intervention she wouldn't have made it either. One of my friends, who is the in the top tier of healthy people I know, had to have her baby 3.5 months early weighing only 1.5 pounds, she also almost didn't make it. Yes, these are extreme circumstances regarding intervention and I do agree that our society does focus on medicalized births and I agree with pp that some people are too quick to go down the epi road. However, I get tired of reading that if a mother doesn't breastfeed she must be misinformed, if she doesn't have a homebirth she must be misinformed, etc. I'm for breastfeeding and homebirthing is an option if people want it, just for the record.
I care that a woman has the choice to have the birth that she wants and that she is informed of her choices. It's likely that in some areas, the resources are not available for some choices, and some choices may not be discussed like they should. I agree with a pp that said that the word "natural" is almost too vague. While I do think a homebirth with no drugs seems quite natural, I also see that being in a hospital bed with the support of the medical community around me may be natural as well. I also agree with another pp that it's easy to take this to the extreme - in fact I was talking with my DH last night about a comment on the homebirth section, and his first response was, "Well a house isn't really natural, neither is a bathtub. Having a baby in the woods, now that would be natural!"
How much does the definition of natural change with the influences we see day to day on tv? I wouldn't be surprised if the number of c-sections being requested has gone up (maybe only a fraction in this example), especially as women hear that certain celebrities get them done early so they don't have as many stretch marks. Same thing for the topic of some women putting of having babies earlier because they see that celebrities spawn children into their late 40's and early 50's and are gawked at and told how beautiful they are (never mind the stylists, hair and make-up people making sure they look fabulous). I think our definitions get shifted because "what's on tv or the internet is the norm" kind of thinking. You could make this case with tv shows as well, reality or not reality-driven. Obviously many people do not see the world this way, and I agree that those who don't need to fight to keep working to keep people informed. I just don't like the "well, this friend of mine had a baby in a hospital, how could she say it was natural with all of those IV's and sick people around?" type of statements.
Anyway, re-reading what I've written, this seems to be more of a babble with multiple topics. Basically I equate the word "natural" with the same subjectiveness as the word "healthy" and if anything, I think that the medical profession should at least provide the information for the various types of births and then give their professional opinion based on what they know of you and it'd be nice if they could refer you to an alternate opinion from a respected midwife so you can choose what you like (assuming the opinions are so polar opposite that you're stuck in the middle!).