Considering any non-c/s birth "natural" ? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 55 Old 03-22-2003, 10:58 PM
 
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I haven't had time to read every post here, but I just wanted to pop in and say, before Juelie wakes up, that I would consider "natural" to mean "without intervention". Intervention meaning anything that does not occur naturaly, without assistance, in the body.

HOWEVER, there ARE interventions that are nessecary. I had a completely non-interventive home birth. But, I still think its crazy how women who did not have a completely "natural" birth are constantly pushed to defend their experience. Don't most women feel bad enough as it is??? Interventions are not evil- most exist for good reason. The problem is that they are very often used unnessicarily. I am proud to say that I had a natural birth, but if I hadn't, or if I don't in the future, I doubt it will be any less of a wonderful experience. And I doubt I will be any less of a strong woman as a result!

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#32 of 55 Old 04-17-2003, 01:41 AM
 
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Calling an assisted birth "unnatural" is a little off putting. To me it is "unnatural" for humans (i.e. not in our nature) not to use our brains to develop means of protecting us from things that will kill us.

The sad fact is that while most women can sucessfully give birth without any "intervention", historically many, many women died this way.


Do you think that a "natural" birth is always good? If you think that a natural birth means an unassited one, I hope you said no. Births that end with the death of the mother and child would fit that description.
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#33 of 55 Old 04-18-2003, 11:12 AM
 
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Deaths can occur in a hospital with a room full of staff. Just because the mother is in the hospital doesn't mean she is safe from complications.

Generally, I think unassisted births are carefully planned and thought out. Mothers who are at risk for complications should not plan unassisted births. I wouldn't try an unassisted birth but I know some people do fine with it..I don't think it is a good idea for a VBAC IMHO..

I dont think assisted births is what the previous posters mean by "interventions" generally intervention implies; medication, episiotomy, forceps, c-section...ect ect

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#34 of 55 Old 04-19-2003, 01:37 AM
 
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The real reason that women used to die was that doctors came straight from disecting specimens and did not wash their hands.

Today, most of the problems occur because of the interventions a woman receives by choosing to have an OB in a hospital and/or a bad diet and sedetary lifestyle. So, yes, it is the mother's fault most of the time.

You sleep in the bed you make is what I usually tell people.
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#35 of 55 Old 04-19-2003, 08:01 AM
 
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Today, most of the problems occur because of the interventions a woman receives by choosing to have an OB in a hospital and/or a bad diet and sedetary lifestyle. So, yes, it is the mother's fault most of the time.

Kat20, Would you mind siting the resources where you got this information? I am sure there are plenty of women on this board and perhaps this thread that do not fit your description. I hope that you never have to go through what some of the women here (including myself) have had to go through.

I certainly hope if you give birth (I don't know if you have been/are pregnant or have children or not, but I am assuming you don't considering the harsh judgement that you are making towards so many mothers) and if you ever have complications that warrent intervention that women don't say to you "You made your bed, now lie in it."

This is the VBAC forum at MDC. This a place where women who have had C-sections go for support and information. Until you have walked a mile in these women's shoes, you have no idea what their circumstances are. I hope you think about that before you come here to play the blame game.

edited for spelling
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#36 of 55 Old 04-19-2003, 10:00 AM
 
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Kat,

I do not know where you studied history, but your information is not correct. Dying in childbirth long proceeded doctors. This is a simple and well known fact. The death of women in childbirth was recorded in the earliest historical records. I don't know what has made you so afraid to face this fact, but you should not spread untruths.

Even the most ardent EDUCATED advocates for v-bac estimate that about 1 in 100 women will need a c-section no matter what. Telling these women that they did something wrong is a lie.

This board was set up to help women who want to have a v-bac. Many women on this board who had c-sections believe that those sections were not necessary and are working to find out the best way to avoid them.

Many others feel that although they wish they did not have to have a section, that without one their baby would have died.

While feeling sad about the need for a section they certainly feel very happy that humankind was able to figure out how some babies who were destined to die, could be saved.

Your profile says that you do not have any children. Maybe when you have a precious child you will understand.

I have given birth by c-section and v-bac. The importance of my method of giving birth, pales in comparison to the importance to me that I have two beautiful healthy children.
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#37 of 55 Old 04-19-2003, 02:22 PM
 
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When I went to my (hospital run) childbirth class before my dd was born, the instructor asked how many planned a natural childbirth. I didn't raise my hand b/c I was sure I wanted my epidural as soon as I was in the door. When so few people raised their hands, she clarified, saying 'you should all want a natural birth, if you don't want a natural birth, that means you want a surgical birth'. Most of the rest of the class was describing all of the possible interventions (even though they are *hardly* used, they want you to be prepared for the 'just in case').

I ended up being admitted at 32 wks for PROM and dd was delivered at 35 weeks w/no pain meds and epis that was probably not needed, as well as IV, b/c we hadn't gotten results of GBS. I consider my birth natural, even though there were interventions. With dd being so early, things were so strange and off, I'm glad they went as well as they did.

People trust their dr and the medical community to get them through and they are given misinformation. I think that's why so many consider a vaginal birth a natural birth, regardless of the interventions. They figure interventions wouldn't happen if they weren't needed b/c drs surely wouldn't steer them wrong, right?

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#38 of 55 Old 04-19-2003, 07:28 PM
 
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Even the country with the lowest infant mortality rate and one of the highest life expectancies (Netherlands) has a 4 to 6% c/s rate.

Also, due to finances, insurance or lack of availability, many women are not able to choose between an OB and a midwife, or between the nice OB and the mean one. Some women who are getting state-paid care often only have the choice of one doctor, and it's not usually the nice one.

Women also do not necessarily have the choice to avoid interventions. True, there are legal rights, but those are rarely considered. It's just about impossible to sue a doctor just because she held you down and gave you pitocin and then you had to have a c/s.

I'm fortunate to have choices and know my rights, but I don't blame the women who aren't in my position.
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#39 of 55 Old 04-20-2003, 12:30 AM
 
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In "Male Practice: How Doctors Manipulate Women," the late and great Dr.Mendelsohn discusses the history of childbirth extensively. He goes into detail about how more women died when doctors took over the birth process. He actually says that childbirth would be a lot better if obstetrics were abolished.

The rate he gives for necessary c-sections is only about 5 percent.

The quality that I appreciate about the late Dr.Mendelsohn is that he tells it like it is in his books and, he is brutally honest without holding anything back. I'm beginning to think his personality was similar to mine.
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#40 of 55 Old 04-20-2003, 12:48 AM
 
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Dear Kat20

May be you are right!

Dr. Mendelsohn also said that he felt a Caesarean Section birth in a hospital was safer than a vaginal birth because the way OB's intervene in vaginal births, and Caesarean is definitely safer.

After all, you are delivering from above, in the heavenly sense.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#41 of 55 Old 04-20-2003, 12:57 AM
 
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I remember seeing a television news show in 1971 when I was in high school; they were showing a woman delivering a baby by Caesarean Section wide awake using only acupuncture needles for anesthesia. The commentator said this was "natural childbirth".

Since then, I have come to realize that lots of people play with that term "natural childbirth". I know that most people consider it natural childbirth if the mother is awake at that point in time, no matter how many interventions the mother and baby may have endured during the birth/labor process. Many mothers leave out the fact of the drug intervention/assistance.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#42 of 55 Old 04-20-2003, 01:33 AM
 
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In Open Season, there is the story of a woman who had a c/s without anesthesia. She was screaming out that she could feel every cut and the nurses told her that there was no way she could be feeling it. The anesthesiologist was there the whole time. Finally, after the baby was born and the woman was being stitched up, still in agony, the OB started getting all mad at the woman for "tensing up" and shouted "I can't do anything down here!" so the anesthesiologist gave the patient general anesthesia. He was standing there the whole time and could have given it to her as she was screaming, but no. I guess that wouldn't have been very "natural."
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#43 of 55 Old 04-20-2003, 04:20 PM
 
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Kat,

You need a little work on your logical reasoning. The fact that doctors, who had not yet picked up on the importance of hand washing, caused some mothers to die when they initially began intervening in birth (about 100 years ago) is in no way, shape or form proof for your statement that "the real reason that women used to die" was that doctors did not wash their hands. Yes, some deaths were caused by this, but not all or even most maternal deaths have occured this way in the long history of childbirth.
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#44 of 55 Old 04-20-2003, 11:17 PM
 
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One cause of death was the fact that upper-class women were put into corsets as soon as they reached puberty, and wore the corsets all through their pragnancies. This caused deformed babies, damaged maternal organs, and lots of deaths.

Among the poor, living conditions were a cause. Also, women would work in the fields all day right after having a baby, and the babies would be fed a watery gruel mixture or sometimes were harnessed to the bellies of animals and would have to nurse off them.

It wasn't only lack of hand-washing that doctors were guilty of, there were the routine high-forceps deliveries as well, with unwashed forceps of course. And the administration of chloroform for pain; there is no way to mete out an appropriate dose of that. You just pour some on a rag and hope you got it right.
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#45 of 55 Old 04-21-2003, 07:39 AM
 
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I only have a couple of minutes, but I wanted to respond to you again, Kat20.

I am not clear on how you can blame women for the c-sec rate in this country when you go on to state that there is a problem with OB's performing far too many unneeded c-sections.

I am totally agreement that this country's c-section rate is far too high, but I am still unclear how you can place the blame on women, by saying that they made their bed and they need to lie in it. Many women live in a state or area where VBAC isn't even an option for them. For some women, birth with a midwife or a homebirth is truly a "luxury" because insurance does not cover that choice in many cases. Some woman chose an OB because that is all that there is for a choice in the area that they live in. Some women chose a family practioner or a midwife and still end up having a c-sec. Many good family practioners and midwifes will not assist homebirths due to liability issues in this sue happy nation. There is a level of faith or trust that a woman puts in her birth attendent, based on research, intuition, good faith, and many other factors, but still women are c-sectioned. Many educated, fit, well researched women are still c-sectioned.

: still unclear as to why all the blame goes to victim, especailly in a forum where many women who have had a c-sec go for support. A place where women are going to empower themselves and make informed choices.
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#46 of 55 Old 04-21-2003, 08:23 AM
 
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With all due respect, KeysMama, you may think you are being polite, but as someone who gave birth in a hospital, I find your statement very dismissive. It's like you are trying to make women who had empowering, positive birth experiences - and this can happen in hospital settings - feel like their experiences were less than ideal simply because of where they occured.

No it's the mindset of the hospital organization staff, etc that make it nearly impossible for a woman to birth normally and natrally in that setting. As a doula and apprentice midwife I have yet to see it. I would never consider changing a womans thoughts on her birth and making her feel less for birthing in a hospital. Women are intelligent beings, I am here to provide information and she can make decisions about what kind of birth she wants and what is best for her. It is not my birth!


I understand that this thread is about the fact that some people believe any non c/s birth should be considered "natural", (and I agree that this is kind of strange!) but there seems to be an undertone to this discussion that any intervention at all is not only not "natural" but probably completely unnecessary, and something to feel guilty about.

Of course not, sometimes interventions save lives and thank God for them then. And it does occur to me that these women who go around talking about thier "natural" births LOVE thier birth experience. Itr would be great to make a friend and not discount thier experience but tap into that love of birth and show them what else there can be. BTW Most of the time our hospitals use intervention routinely and it is not necessary, that is the overtone and very often it is true. The practice I work with has a 7% transport rate, usually for pitocin about 1% total need forceps/vacum) and of the 7% a 2% Cesarean rate, all with much better mortality stats than doctors and hospitals.


Completely "natural" birth is unattainable for some women. Not most women, but some. No matter how much we plan, read, work with our midwives, etc., real life sometimes just doesn't cooperate. I had the most wonderful, supportive, "natural" midwife I could have hoped to find. When it became clear that intervention was needed, I trusted her. And both ds and I are alive today. A hundred years ago, we'd both be dead.

True and that is something those women need to understand and come to terms with themselves. All women should not have the knowledge of how unneccesary and even sometimes dangerous uneeded interventions can be glossed over so that the few who truly need them fell better about themselves. I have sat with women in labor helped them adjust with going to a hospital and thought to myself "just do the damn c-sec now, or do the damn episiotomy, she needs it get that baby out."(Heartrates in the 50's and 60's on the baby) Then helped them adjust to thier experience and grieve the loss of a natural homebirth, without losing sight of the fact that the interventions were needed to have a healthy baby.

I think it's time we stopped being so judgemental of each other - and especially of ourselves - for the kinds of births we have.

I do not judge. It is not what I would choose but not my birth either. I am however convinced that the most natural birth possible is what is the safest and wonderful for both mom and baby.
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#47 of 55 Old 05-02-2003, 10:54 PM
 
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To Alexa 07:

Be advised that the information that Kat 20 used is well versed and documented in any story about Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis. He is the premier doctor in developing modern medical antiseptic behavior. He was an Austrian doctor who noticed that women in his hospital developed a condition known as "puerperal fever" or "childbed fever". This disease was assumed by all of the arrogant doctors to be the result of hysterical, silly women.

Incidentally, only the very wealthy women at this point in history could actually afford a hospital birth with an OB. Therefore there is the assumption that these women had pampered lifestyles.

The patients who could not afford an OB, but did go to the hospital, had a midwife, and the midwives had a tradition and routine of washing their hands in handling the birthing woman, and their patients did not develop the infectious problems that patients of the OB's did.

Many, many women still gave birth at home with midwives at that time, and some lived and some died. There are really no good statistics on this.

It is not the universal hospitalization of women in childbirth that has saved mothers; it is better sanitation and better nutrition.

I am not saying that the midwives' patients did not die or have any kind of problems; they just did not have the iatrogenic problems that the OBs' patients had - puerperal fever.

Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis noticed that if the doctors would actually wash their hands in an antiseptic solution as they left the morgue after working on dead bodies before they touched the laboring women, the women would not get sick. The doctors did notice a difference between the women under Dr. Semmelweis's direction and the women who did not get his treatment. Instead of following his example, the doctors drove Semmelweis out of practice and he died in an asylum for the insane. They felt they were G-d and even G-d did not have to wash their hands! HOw could anyone actually accused them of hurting and killing some of these women. The work of Semmelweis was studied and used by Jenner, Lister and Pasteur and others for whom sanitation meant something.

I am a homebirth mother and I myself was born at home.

Women die in childbirth everyday in American hospitals from nosocomial and iatragenic causes. Since the hospitals keep the numbers, no one really knows how many or why.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#48 of 55 Old 05-03-2003, 04:16 PM
 
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In one French town, when hospital birth became the norm, literally every woman who gave birth in the hospital died shortly thereafter. The women were buried two in a coffin to disguise the rate of death.

T
In one New York inner city hospital, black women had babies that were healthier at birth than white women's babies, despite the black women's lack of prenatal care and health insurance. It was then noticed that during labor, when the black women asked for pain medication, they either did not get any or received a much lower amount than the white women received.

(Both from "Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution" by Adrienne Rich)
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#49 of 55 Old 05-03-2003, 04:29 PM
 
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Sounds like the black women were getting better treatment even though that was not the intended outcome!

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#50 of 55 Old 05-04-2003, 12:00 AM
 
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Yep! Although I think it's rude to deny someone medication on the basis of race, in this case it helped.

But the women didn't know it was better for their babies; they thought they were getting the raw end of the deal.
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#51 of 55 Old 05-04-2003, 02:48 AM
 
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In CA, medi-Cal mothers were denied epidurals unless they could come up with a cash payment at the moment they needed/demanded it.

There were plenty of stories of fathers driving out while their wives were in labor to get the necessary fee.

Epidurals and the like were not covered by Medi-Cal and the anesthesiologists were rarely reimbursed by the Medi-Cal recipient, so they were demanding payment upfront in cash.

Later the State Legislature took care of this. I wonder if it was an improvement or not as far as their babies' health, the mothers' health and their outcomes are concerned.
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#52 of 55 Old 05-04-2003, 02:50 PM
 
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Of course women and babies throughout the history of humankind have died during childbirth; no one is disputing this. I think that also no one is disputing that obstetrics has a rather ugly past. But knowing history does not much help us with determining whether childbirth is inherently dangerous (relatively speaking of course, since all of life could be considered dangerous from a certain perspective) or whether it is usually made so by environment, i.e., diet, sanitation, stress, social practices, etc.

The latter seems a much more reasonable assumption to me, but I do not have scientific proof that this is so; and neither has the opposite assumption been proven true (although it is generally treated as such in our society.)

We are (as a society) unfortunately not in a very good position right now to make any definitive judgements about the true risks of birth because we don't anymore know what uninterfered birth looks like. The World Health Organization issued a statement saying that "By medicalizing birth, i.e. separating a woman from her own environment and surrounding her with strange people using strange machines to do strange things to her in an effort to assist her (and some of this may occasionally be necessary), the woman's state of mind and body is so altered that her ways of carrying through this intimate act must also be altered and the state of the baby born must equally be altered. The result is that it is no longer possible to know what births would have been like before these manipulations. Most health care providers no longer know what "non-medicalized" birth is. This is an overwhelmingly important issue."
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#53 of 55 Old 05-04-2003, 03:29 PM
 
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MamaOui wrote: "...still unclear as to why all the blame goes to victim..."

It shouldn't. But I think that tendency of some people here is probably a backlash against the much more common tendency to shift blame to others (or to a vague unknown) that one sees on the more mainstream boards. If a woman has a cesarean and talks about it here, she might try to open up discussion about it to try to determine how it could have been avoided; and she may come to the conclusion that she made some poor decisions, and say so. But this is not the norm. Most people are going to say, "oh it was just one of these things." Or, "the doctors said it was for the best, therefore it was." Or (admittedly more common here), "the doctors are evil, they did it to me."

Of course blaming a specific individual is wrong for many reasons. But I think that speaking generally about taking personal responsibility for the bad things that happen to us is a good thing. For me it is empowering to acknowledge and act on the fact that everything in my life is not subject to outside powers. For instance, my first birth was emotionally traumatic. I blame my midwife, sure, but I also have to take some of the responsibility for it myself. *I* hired her, *I* gave her the power to make decisions for me, *I* allowed her to behave toward me the way she did. I believe that it was only by seeing this that I was able to make for myself the most effective and edifying changes in my approach to birth.
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#54 of 55 Old 05-04-2003, 03:55 PM
 
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This thread is really interesting. But it's got me wondering what exactly a natural birth is supposed to look like. Or what we all here at MDC think it is. But rather than highjack the thread, I've posted a new one.

anna kiss partner to jon radical mama to aleks (8/02) and bastian (5/05)
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#55 of 55 Old 05-04-2003, 05:20 PM
 
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Hi blueviolet, ITA w/ what you are saying. I have done a lot of soul searching re: my c-sec and VBAC experiences.

I actually have more issues w/ my VBAC then I do w/ my c-sec, but anyway (long story). I think I shoulder some of the responsibility for the choices I made, but I still think the whole structure of birthing babies in the US has a long way to go before I could ever feel comfortable with statements like:

Quote:
So, yes, it is the mother's fault most of the time.
posted by Kat20

or

Quote:
You sleep in the bed you make is what I usually tell people.
posted by Kat20

So my "still unclear as to why all the blame goes to the victim " was in response to the quotes above. I find those kind of statements to be counterproductive and offensive (especially when this is supposed to be a place for women who are planning to VBAC after a c-sec go for info) and that was the point of my last post.
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