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Vaginal delivery does not equal Natural Childbirth - Page 2

post #21 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreThanApplesauce View Post
I face possible induction and if I must do so, will be going though labor and vaginal delivery without pain meds. Dang straight I'll call it natural childbirth. It is not a "made up definition."
I was induced with my second. I went through labor and vaginal delivery without pain medications. Yes, I consider it to be a natural childbirth. I had a natural childbirth with my first child, and the experience felt the same to me. I labored. I worked through contractions. I pushed my baby from my body. That is natural childbirth to me.

And, frankly, I don't care how anyone else defines my birth. I define my birth.
post #22 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by green_momma2007 View Post
I would definately consider that a natural birth. Not all mommas go into labor on their own, and if it means getting induced to avoid a c-section....well, the more power to her. Besides, induced labors tend to be much harder, so if she managed to go without drugs, who are we to take the "natural" badge away from her.
Thank you.
post #23 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by green_momma2007 View Post
I would definately consider that a natural birth. Not all mommas go into labor on their own, and if it means getting induced to avoid a c-section....well, the more power to her. Besides, induced labors tend to be much harder, so if she managed to go without drugs, who are we to take the "natural" badge away from her.

When don't women go into labor on their own? I think that we've lost sight of what the natural physiological process of labor and birth is in our country. The process is interfered with the majority of the time and we don't know what it even is to not have that messed with. We think that an artificially induced labor is natural.

I think that this is sort of the point of the whole discussion. An induced labor is not natural. I know that there are times when it is necessary. I think that women who go through an induced labor without pain meds deserve medals. That is very difficult and those moms should be applauded. I am not saying that induced moms don't work hard to push their babies out or get through their labors or anything like that.

But that doesn't make synthetic pitocin natural. Pitocin doesn't work the same way in our bodies as oxytocin does. It is not the same.

Shelley
post #24 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by gethane View Post

This is not a competition. There are no medals, or badges to be won. Everyone who takes a living baby home from the hospital is a winner.
: Well stated!
post #25 of 164
I'm not trying to be tongue in cheek here, just curious. For you purists, a natural birth is a birth when not medicated and there are no interventions, right? What about, say, directed pushing, or coaching, or something? (We're not talking about what is IDEAL but rather what is NATURAL...) I would argue that it's not necessarily natural because it's not having the woman use her own instincts.

It seems like it's a slippery slope to say what is and what isn't natural - heck, it seems a solitary, unattended birth seems most natural by definition, because that's the only one where a woman is going by her instincts alone, and yet in a way it's UN-natural too because to the best of my knowledge, most births within the context of human women have been attended by other women in their social group...

And then what about other ways of jump-starting labor, maybe not pitocin through an IV but how about herbal remedies, etc. Were those unnatural births as well?

Just thinking (typing) out loud.
post #26 of 164
You make some interesting points and I do think it could indeed be a slippery slope. However, I do think its fair to say that not every vaginal birth is "natural" and I believe the OP is decrying this slide in mainstream usage, and even here on MDC, because its a result of such a high c-section rate, so anything else is "natural." I think its valuable to consider whether on a NATURAL family living site we should embrace this mainstream definition as "if it comes out the vagina its natural" as opposed to the more traditional definiton.
post #27 of 164
In 1971, a television news show focused on an elective, scheduled caesarean section delivery. The surgery was called "natural childbirth" because the mother was awake and her pain was blocked by the used of acupuncture needles, not drugs.

Is this really natural childbirth? This attitude has been over 35 years in the making. It is nothing new at all.
post #28 of 164
Could it be that cesareans have become so common that when a baby arrives via the vagina, many consider it to have been a "natural" birth, regardless if drugs were involved?
post #29 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post
I think natural birth is a great term to describe intervention-free birth.
Of course, then you have to define what counts as an intervention. Many people believe that any hindrance to birth, including being in the (unnatural) hospital environment, being closely watched, not being in one's own normal home setting, is an intervention. Or things like coached pushing, pushing in the lithotomy position, etc.

I have had two births that I refer to as unmedicated hospital births. I think the word "natural" has a host of connotations that can be misleading or otherwise dilute what I mean to communicate when I describe those births. Just as "natural" can be used as a euphemism for "vaginal," I think it's also more accurate to say "unmedicated" if what I'm trying to communicate is that I didn't use pharmaceutical induction/augmentation or pain relief.


I would agree that how a woman defines her birth to herself is important...but when discussing birth with other people, it's important to choose language that best achieves whatever our goals are. In the case of vaginal=natural, I think the OP is objecting to the way that the cultural definition of "normal" gets shifted when language is used in that way. As somebody who cares about cultural attitudes about birth, I choose my words carefully when discussing birth with other people.
post #30 of 164
Guess I haven't had one, then. With dd#1 I have proudly talked about my natural birth with her. I had half a dose of nubain early in labor and that's it. I have always been proud of this, as it was the least intervention-laden birth I have ever experienced or those of people I know IRL around my age (not talking about grandma! ).
post #31 of 164
I'm trying to figure out why it matters so much?

I've birthed 8 children. 6 singletons and a set of twins. Three homebirths, the rest in the hospital.

I've not had an epidural or any other pain relief medication. I've had one induction and one birth where labor was augmented with pitocin.

I call them all natural.

If one really wants to have a "natural" childbirth, shouldn't one then forgo the use of labor balls, birthing pools, backrubs, hypnobirthing or other techniques? Come on, where does one draw the line? And who says one persons line is any better than the others?

A PP was right, there is no badge, no award for having the tightest vagina. What matters is that a baby is born safely, that the woman is safe and feels empowered by her experience. It's not about one upmanship.

Why all the qualifiers as to what a natural birth is or isn't?
post #32 of 164
For some people I think it is natural to desire relief from the pain of giving birth. They might get that relief from a water birth, rocking on a birth ball, having a massage, hypnosis, or getting an epi. None of those things are naturally part of birth, but around here most people who do the first four say they have had a natural birth. I know a lot of people who have had the last and they still consider themselves to have had a natural birth. They still pushed a baby out of their vagina which is the natural way to birth, they just had some help from a modern invention to deal with the pain. IMO birthing with a vaginal delivery is natural, giving birth via a c-section is not.
post #33 of 164
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gethane View Post
but that's the whole point, its NOT a badge, its a DEFINITION.

Sigh.

This is not a competition. There are no medals, or badges to be won. Everyone who takes a living baby home from the hospital is a winner.
yes this. I don't mean this thread to be a competition or to in anyway to state that one way is better than the other. This is about the definition of the term "Natural Childbirth"


Quote:
Originally Posted by shelleyd View Post
When don't women go into labor on their own? I think that we've lost sight of what the natural physiological process of labor and birth is in our country. The process is interfered with the majority of the time and we don't know what it even is to not have that messed with. We think that an artificially induced labor is natural.

I think that this is sort of the point of the whole discussion. An induced labor is not natural. I know that there are times when it is necessary. I think that women who go through an induced labor without pain meds deserve medals. That is very difficult and those moms should be applauded. I am not saying that induced moms don't work hard to push their babies out or get through their labors or anything like that.

But that doesn't make synthetic pitocin natural. Pitocin doesn't work the same way in our bodies as oxytocin does. It is not the same.
the bolded part is what strikes me most. ooops i guess i didn't quote the poster who said that some women don't go into labor on their own and need help. That kind of "knowledge" is what I'm talking about when I say I fear the mainstream medical model. There are thousands, probably millions of women out there who really believe that their bodies won't go into labor on their own, millions who believe that that they don't make enough milk to feed their baby. When women are fed these kinds of lies by the media, by the medical institutions they entrust to care for them are they even given a chance? Are they even capable of making choices that are for their own benefit or their babies benefit?


Quote:
Originally Posted by gethane View Post
You make some interesting points and I do think it could indeed be a slippery slope. However, I do think its fair to say that not every vaginal birth is "natural" and I believe the OP is decrying this slide in mainstream usage, and even here on MDC, because its a result of such a high c-section rate, so anything else is "natural." I think its valuable to consider whether on a NATURAL family living site we should embrace this mainstream definition as "if it comes out the vagina its natural" as opposed to the more traditional definition.
Gethane you read my mind. i don't *really* care that much when a woman at church calls her medicated vaginal delivery a natural childbirth because she can't say vaginal. But I do care when I come to MDC and see the same definition. I want to be able to read posts on the Natural Family Living site and not have to ask "When you say natural, do you mean drug free? or do you mean vaginal with lots of interventions and medications?"



Quote:
Originally Posted by georgia View Post
Could it be that cesareans have become so common that when a baby arrives via the vagina, many consider it to have been a "natural" birth, regardless if drugs were involved?
Yes i think that this is it. Go back to when I was born in 1970, and no one would have even asked if a woman had a c/s, because the c/s rate was so low, it was assumed that babies were born vaginally. But today, in this country, we have to ask. In my mom group of 8 women, half of the women had c/s and half had vaginal deliveries.



Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonflyBlue View Post
I'm trying to figure out why it matters so much?

I've birthed 8 children. 6 singletons and a set of twins. Three homebirths, the rest in the hospital.

I've not had an epidural or any other pain relief medication. I've had one induction and one birth where labor was augmented with pitocin.

I call them all natural.

If one really wants to have a "natural" childbirth, shouldn't one then forgo the use of labor balls, birthing pools, backrubs, hypnobirthing or other techniques? Come on, where does one draw the line? And who says one persons line is any better than the others?

A PP was right, there is no badge, no award for having the tightest vagina. What matters is that a baby is born safely, that the woman is safe and feels empowered by her experience. It's not about one upmanship.

Why all the qualifiers as to what a natural birth is or isn't?
It's just my frustration with the lack of definition. It's not at all about one upmanship, and I think that's where a lot of women go in their heads right away in these discussions. The "she's taking my badge away" type of comments. It's a definition. I don't make burgers for dinner using ground turkey and call them hamburgers I call them turkey burgers. and by calling them what they are, I'm not saying that someone else's cooking isn't as good as mine. It's just a definition.
post #34 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnw826 View Post
Guess I haven't had one, then.
Very, very few women today have had a truly unhindered birth. I'm not sure I know any. It's not something to feel judged about, it's a matter of how our culture has changed the way of birth, and something to think about as we change that culture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonflyBlue View Post
I'm trying to figure out why it matters so much?
The way we use language has an effect on how we define our own experiences, what experiences we work toward, and how we affect other people's perceptions of the world and what they work toward. Language change is one important part of cultural change.
post #35 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by hubris View Post
The way we use language has an effect on how we define our own experiences, what experiences we work toward, and how we affect other people's perceptions of the world and what they work toward. Language change is one important part of cultural change.
Exactly! Just as the language of breastfeeding ("benefits" as opposed to the fact that breastfeeding is the human standard, and formula actually has detriments) is important, so is the language of birth. As I said, I've had 3 c-sections and 2 highly managed vbacs. And I am not offended nor do I feel like someone is taking away my "accomplishment" by the fact that none of my births were "natural." They weren't. It's a description of a fact. Not a judgment.
post #36 of 164
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hubris View Post


The way we use language has an effect on how we define our own experiences, what experiences we work toward, and how we affect other people's perceptions of the world and what they work toward. Language change is one important part of cultural change.
ahhh so wise! You put into words why it frustrates me so much. The culture of birth is changing. womens choices are not being broadened they are being taken away.
post #37 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonflyBlue View Post
I'm trying to figure out why it matters so much?

I've birthed 8 children. 6 singletons and a set of twins. Three homebirths, the rest in the hospital.

I've not had an epidural or any other pain relief medication. I've had one induction and one birth where labor was augmented with pitocin.

I call them all natural.

If one really wants to have a "natural" childbirth, shouldn't one then forgo the use of labor balls, birthing pools, backrubs, hypnobirthing or other techniques? Come on, where does one draw the line? And who says one persons line is any better than the others?

A PP was right, there is no badge, no award for having the tightest vagina. What matters is that a baby is born safely, that the woman is safe and feels empowered by her experience. It's not about one upmanship.

Why all the qualifiers as to what a natural birth is or isn't?


i think you have to accept that people seldom use words to mean the exact same thing. that you can't define "natural childbirth" for another woman, because childbirth is a subjective experience, and "natural" is too vague an adjective. if you want to say unmedicated, uncoached, dry land vaginal delivery, you just have to use all those adjectives. if you want to shorthand all of that, then i suppose you could make up your own names for everything, but i wouldn't expect universal agreement or adoption.


i also think it's unnecessary to define another woman's birth experience for her. why aren't we talking about natural conception, either? i charted my temps and mucous, did i have a natural conception? why should anyone else care?
post #38 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
yes this. I don't mean this thread to be a competition or to in anyway to state that one way is better than the other. This is about the definition of the term "Natural Childbirth"



the bolded part is what strikes me most. ooops i guess i didn't quote the poster who said that some women don't go into labor on their own and need help. That kind of "knowledge" is what I'm talking about when I say I fear the mainstream medical model. There are thousands, probably millions of women out there who really believe that their bodies won't go into labor on their own, millions who believe that that they don't make enough milk to feed their baby. When women are fed these kinds of lies by the media, by the medical institutions they entrust to care for them are they even given a chance? Are they even capable of making choices that are for their own benefit or their babies benefit?


Gethane you read my mind. i don't *really* care that much when a woman at church calls her medicated vaginal delivery a natural childbirth because she can't say vaginal. But I do care when I come to MDC and see the same definition. I want to be able to read posts on the Natural Family Living site and not have to ask "When you say natural, do you mean drug free? or do you mean vaginal with lots of interventions and medications?"



Yes i think that this is it. Go back to when I was born in 1970, and no one would have even asked if a woman had a c/s, because the c/s rate was so low, it was assumed that babies were born vaginally. But today, in this country, we have to ask. In my mom group of 8 women, half of the women had c/s and half had vaginal deliveries.




It's just my frustration with the lack of definition. It's not at all about one upmanship, and I think that's where a lot of women go in their heads right away in these discussions. The "she's taking my badge away" type of comments. It's a definition. I don't make burgers for dinner using ground turkey and call them hamburgers I call them turkey burgers. and by calling them what they are, I'm not saying that someone else's cooking isn't as good as mine. It's just a definition.
But it is going to be hard to agree on a definition of "natural childbirth". Who gets to decided what is considered natural and what is not. Why are birth balls, massages to deal with the pain, and hypnosis considered "natural" to many at MDC. To me none of those things are a natural part of labor. They are just additional things that the mother wants/needs to deal with the pain of giving birth. IMO as long as you are pushing a baby out of your vagina you are giving birth the natural way.
post #39 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonflyBlue View Post
I'm trying to figure out why it matters so much?
Me too.

Who am I to tell another woman what she should call her birth? If you want to call yours "natural", more power to you! My definition of natural childbirth is an unmedicated, vaginal birth... but that's just me.
post #40 of 164
I prefer the term "normal birth"- to me, this means no pharma interventions, no ivs, no one telling the woman when to push or how to position herself. I had a normal birth and it was painful and wonderful. So many people in my life were horrified that I didn't have my baby at a hospital and that it wasn't highly managed. I had a lot of people tell me that there's no way I could have my baby without drugs and monitoring and that they knew I would cave and go to a hospital. When I didn't, they were shocked. I feel like I've become a normal birth proselytizer since my daughter's birth. So many people have absolutely no clue about how empowering and wonderful birth can be. I love showing my pictures and talking about it because I hope it lets people know what a great experience birth can be.

My mother has been a nurse at a hospital for 30 years. She's seen a lot of births. She couldn't believe the pictures from my birth because I looked peaceful and happy in between contractions and even while pushing. She had never seen a birth where a woman was free to move and do what she needed to do. She also couldn't believe that my midwives were knitting and taking pictures during the pushing stages. She also was surprised about how much control I had over my experience. She said, the difference between this and an OB birth is that you were totally in control of your experience. I guess the mother being in control kind of encapsulates my idea of normal birth.

I agree with Art and others about the new applications of "natural birth" being very telling about how births are managed in the US. I also agree with Gethane that it's not a competition. I don't think anyone has tried to make it out to be one, but MDC is a place where normal or "natural" birth should be talked about without people being defensive.
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