What do you consider NCB--and would you have said something? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 56 Old 01-06-2010, 01:03 PM
 
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I was talking to an acquaintance of mine at a kid's function. Her first child was born around the same time as mine and although I didn't know all the details of her labor and birth, she had mentioned several times that she had a natural childbirth.

For this particular conversation we were talking about labor/childbirth in a group of people. The group consisted of mostly crunchy types--all of whom had done NCB, several waterbirths, homebirths, etc. In fact, among the group there was a Bradley instructor and a doula-in-training. Basically, every mom was pretty well-versed.
I think you were smart to not say anything to "correct" this woman who seems like she was proud to have a NBC just like the crunchy crew she was hanging out with. I'm sure she knows that drugs at the hospital isn't "as natural" as the other birthing styles you've mentioned.

In these situations, sometimes I like to try to get the mama to talk more about her birth experience--questions like, 'so what made you want to have a natural birth?' or "what did you like best about the experience?" or "what would you change if you could do it over again?"

Then it becomes less of a contest and more of a discussion, which is what I think we all want and are trying to do when we Talk Birth.

Bring on the Natural Ruffles Potato Chips!!!!
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#32 of 56 Old 01-06-2010, 05:18 PM
 
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NCB is something that is never seen in a hospital maternity ward. There is always an intavenous solution with something in it or a heplock, a fetal monitor of some kind, a mother put to bed, no eating, a catheter, and threats of drugs, forceps, or vacuum extractor or surgery.

Nothing natural about those.

Unfortunately, NCB is usually considered anything short of a c/sec by most people.
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#33 of 56 Old 01-06-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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NCB is something that is never seen in a hospital maternity ward. There is always an intavenous solution with something in it or a heplock, a fetal monitor of some kind, a mother put to bed, no eating, a catheter, and threats of drugs, forceps, or vacuum extractor or surgery.

Nothing natural about those.

Unfortunately, NCB is usually considered anything short of a c/sec by most people.
I dunno... my friend just had what I'll call the "perfect" hospital birth... no harassment, intermittant monitoring (so i guess not completely perfect), no heplock, ate when she wanted, no cath, no mention of drugs, and baby was born in the caul... I was shocked and thrilled for her - she had wanted a home birth but couldn't get a midwife (they were all booked up ).

Of course - there's the argument that even leaving your "normal" (home) environment makes it unnatural, by definition...

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#34 of 56 Old 01-06-2010, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies.

Just to clarify a few things. I don't judge anyone for their birth choices. In my area most people have epidurals, it's almost unheard of to not have one. So truly, no one would bat an eye no matter what kind of birth is being discussed.

As for listing my "credentials", I actually mentioned my own birth for the opposite reason: I had a hospital birth, which I believe some people would not consider "natural". So personally, I don't usually use the term NCB--I refer to my birth as non-medicated, which I believe to be completely accurate as I had no epidural, IV, shots, or pills during the birth. So, that was my purpose in mentioning that.

The reason for the stunned looks was because this woman had previously said did not have an epidural and made comments about her high pain tolerance. So, it was really just surprise on my part that she had the IV drugs. I had assumed that NCB would mean no drugs. I think the moral of the story is to not make any assumptions about what someone means by NCB.

I'm trying to think of an analogy. I guess it might be like someone saying that they EBF and then later mentioning that they give the baby a bottle of formula when they put her down to sleep. I don't care or judge if other people give their babies formula, but I would be surprised if someone said they were EBF at the same time.
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#35 of 56 Old 01-06-2010, 05:42 PM
 
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NCB is something that is never seen in a hospital maternity ward. There is always an intavenous solution with something in it or a heplock, a fetal monitor of some kind, a mother put to bed, no eating, a catheter, and threats of drugs, forceps, or vacuum extractor or surgery.

Nothing natural about those.

Unfortunately, NCB is usually considered anything short of a c/sec by most people.
Um, this is not true. (Don't forget, "never" is an absolute: a single natural birth would disprove your statement.) They are not as common or available as they should be, but they DO happen (and in some other countries are quite common).

I don't think fearmongering and exaggeration is the best way to promote natural birth.

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#36 of 56 Old 01-06-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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I totally agree with this. To take it a step further, one could even argue that a hospital birth at all is not "natural". Others might say that a homebirth with assistance is not "natural". I think getting hung up on the semantics is putting more energy into placing judgement than is called for.
Actually, my hospital births were entirely without intervention.... just a little listening in on the handheld doptone.

But yeah, I think folks confuse natural with vaginal because they can't bring themselves to say that word.
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#37 of 56 Old 01-06-2010, 05:50 PM
 
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NCB is something that is never seen in a hospital maternity ward. There is always an intavenous solution with something in it or a heplock, a fetal monitor of some kind, a mother put to bed, no eating, a catheter, and threats of drugs, forceps, or vacuum extractor or surgery.
Your statement is inaccurate from my personal experience in two different hospitals.

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#38 of 56 Old 01-06-2010, 06:02 PM
 
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NCB is something that is never seen in a hospital maternity ward. There is always an intavenous solution with something in it or a heplock, a fetal monitor of some kind, a mother put to bed, no eating, a catheter, and threats of drugs, forceps, or vacuum extractor or surgery.
.
I completely disagree. Rarely? Perhaps. Never, no.
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#39 of 56 Old 01-06-2010, 08:58 PM
 
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NCB is something that is never seen in a hospital maternity ward. There is always an intavenous solution with something in it or a heplock, a fetal monitor of some kind, a mother put to bed, no eating, a catheter, and threats of drugs, forceps, or vacuum extractor or surgery.

Nothing natural about those.
No, that's not true at all. I had amazing natural births at a hospital with none of those things. I ate, walked around naked, did pretty much whatever I pleased and gave birth standing up.
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#40 of 56 Old 01-06-2010, 11:24 PM
 
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NCB is something that is never seen in a hospital maternity ward. There is always an intavenous solution with something in it or a heplock, a fetal monitor of some kind, a mother put to bed, no eating, a catheter, and threats of drugs, forceps, or vacuum extractor or surgery.
My third birth would also be the needle to the bubble of the "never" part of your statement.

Walked into observation in full blown labor, changed clothes, and water broke all over the floor. Rushed to delivery room, got on the bed and pushed out my baby in three pushes, The midwife didn't even have a chance to get all geared up. No monitoring, no heplock or IV, didn't even have a chance to sign any consent forms until after the birth.

And, I disagree about being in a hospital making a birth unnatural. Many mammals seek out safe locations other than "home" to give birth. If a woman feels the hospital is her safe place I would think of that as natural for her.
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#41 of 56 Old 01-07-2010, 12:08 AM
 
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I also would call my hospital birth natural, but agree the term is misleading. Perhaps if I had been outside in a treehouse with no attendants it could truly have been called NCB?
I would probably not have said anything or maybe just engaged the mom in conversation about her experience.

Lucky wife to DH and mom to DS (10/02) and sweet DD (7/08) and DSD (3/93) and assorted animalia
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#42 of 56 Old 01-07-2010, 12:56 AM
 
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#43 of 56 Old 01-07-2010, 02:36 AM
 
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Well, I had my baby in a hospital, and she was induced (because I didn't know any better) via cervical stripping. No pain meds. I was totally the victorious, squatting, roaring goddess of hospital birth, and I would be really hurt/upset/ticked off if someone else sat in judgment of my first birth experience and claimed it wasn't "natural" just because their birth experience was more crunchy than mine. I think that it was about as natural as it could get under the circumstances and with my level of birth education at that time---had any other mamas been in the room watching while I was pushing her out, they would've proudly said, what a great natural birth, well done, mama!

I think that getting stuck on semantics is just asking for someone's feelings to get hurt. In fact, this thread actually really bothers me because this is supposed to be a place of support, not judgment. I never even would've thought someone would question that I had a natural birth--until hearing people here split hairs that induced birth in a hospital can never be natural. BOO! It's not a contest!

Even traditional midwives in indigenous cultures have a trick or two up their sleeve to get the birth going or ease the mother's pain (even in Ina May Gaskins books, they mention Castor Oil)---would anyone ever question that their clients had natural births? I mean, if the mom in question had chosen acupuncture or hypnotherapy for pain treatment instead, would that have been crunchy enough for your crowd to qualify her into the natural birth club?

Obviously, the mom did the best she could with the resources (internal and external) that were available to her at the time, and she is very proud of her vaginal birth. Please don't do or say anything to dampen her happiness or take away from her wonderful memory of that experience.

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#44 of 56 Old 01-07-2010, 08:16 AM
 
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Well, I had my baby in a hospital, and she was induced (because I didn't know any better) via cervical stripping. No pain meds. I was totally the victorious, squatting, roaring goddess of hospital birth, and I would be really hurt/upset/ticked off if someone else sat in judgment of my first birth experience and claimed it wasn't "natural" just because their birth experience was more crunchy than mine. I think that it was about as natural as it could get under the circumstances and with my level of birth education at that time---had any other mamas been in the room watching while I was pushing her out, they would've proudly said, what a great natural birth, well done, mama!

I think that getting stuck on semantics is just asking for someone's feelings to get hurt. In fact, this thread actually really bothers me because this is supposed to be a place of support, not judgment. I never even would've thought someone would question that I had a natural birth--until hearing people here split hairs that induced birth in a hospital can never be natural. BOO! It's not a contest!

Even traditional midwives in indigenous cultures have a trick or two up their sleeve to get the birth going or ease the mother's pain (even in Ina May Gaskins books, they mention Castor Oil)---would anyone ever question that their clients had natural births? I mean, if the mom in question had chosen acupuncture or hypnotherapy for pain treatment instead, would that have been crunchy enough for your crowd to qualify her into the natural birth club?

Obviously, the mom did the best she could with the resources (internal and external) that were available to her at the time, and she is very proud of her vaginal birth. Please don't do or say anything to dampen her happiness or take away from her wonderful memory of that experience.
I honestly think this is exactly why "natural" is not descriptive enough. Everyone has their own view of what "natural" should (or should not) entail, so it's sort of a useless descriptor. I mean, I used evening primrose oil and pineapple and RRL tea to help get things going last time... and at 7 cm begged my homebirth midwife to break my bag of waters. Is this natural? I dunno if I'd say it *is* since it's not like how an animal gives birth, but it's more natural than, you know, the epidural route? It's a spectrum, you know?

I guess for everyone's sake it's more useful to actually say what you MEAN instead of using a term that's so subjective, although this can be true across many discussions of parenting! Is it co-sleeping if your kids only come into your bed for part of the night? Sure, since they're sleeping WITH you, but some people could argue otherwise since it assumes the child has his/her own bed. But I guess if you're going to worry about how other people are defining subjective terms, then you just need to be careful about how you discuss your own situations, too, you know?

But then, for the sake of discussion, and not trying to "out crunchy" each other, perhaps we should just be happy with thinking that if it *felt* like a "natural" childbirth to the mother - enough for her to describe it as such - then it is, in essence, close enough...

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#45 of 56 Old 01-07-2010, 12:53 PM
 
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Even traditional midwives in indigenous cultures have a trick or two up their sleeve to get the birth going or ease the mother's pain (even in Ina May Gaskins books, they mention Castor Oil)---would anyone ever question that their clients had natural births? I mean, if the mom in question had chosen acupuncture or hypnotherapy for pain treatment instead, would that have been crunchy enough for your crowd to qualify her into the natural birth club?
good point!!!!!
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#46 of 56 Old 01-07-2010, 01:09 PM
 
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When DS was born & people asked if I got to have a 'natural birth' I'd say no & then they'd say, "Oh so you had to have a c-sec" and I'd be like no... they gave me meds & an epi & broke my water & gave me pitocin & used the vacuum etc. to which everyone would just look confused because to them it's still a "natural birth" because it was a vaginal delivery. So now I don't say anything about NCB or not... I just say I had a really difficult/traumatic birth experience.

It's really frustrating that there's inconsistent terminology.

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#47 of 56 Old 01-07-2010, 02:43 PM
 
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I prefer unmedicated, to natural childbirth. But, really, who cares if this mama had something in her IV? I chose to go without drugs for MYSELF, not to get nods from other mothers. Besides, my birth was so fast that I can't really take credit for not using drugs, because they weren't offered! But seriously I hate the "holier than thou" attitude of the NCB community. Labor hurts! I don't blame women for wanting drugs. I think it's a little odd to plan on getting an epidural, but once you're in labor I totally understand.

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#48 of 56 Old 01-07-2010, 03:24 PM
 
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I dunno, I think in so many ways this sounds like a spitting contest YKWIM? Its like women need to compete to see who has the "best" birth...with "best" having many definitions depending on the crowd. The OP sounds very judgy to me ("stunned looks" and then producing her credentials). Why do we all feel such a need for one-upmanship? So many crunchy mommies are tramatized because their births do not go as they wished, and then they/we are made to somehow feel impure because of it.

So now that I have probably offended everyone...sorry.
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#49 of 56 Old 01-07-2010, 04:41 PM
 
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I wouldn't have said anything either. I think that "natural" is a subjective term for a lot of people (though I have a clear idea of what it means for me), and I wouldn't quibble with someone's pride over her "natural" birth even if I wouldn't describe it that way.

HOWEVER, when someone is describing MY birth, I feel free to correct them. I get REALLY annoyed when my DH describes DD's birth to other people as a "natural birth," because it most assuredly was NOT.

One of our big arguments when I was pregnant went like this:
ME: I'm not giving birth in the hospital, because I want a natural childbirth.
DH: You can have a natural childbirth in the hospital! Didn't you hear the nice L&D nurse, she said you can turn the lights down and have music and everything!
ME: But giving birth in the hospital just isn't natural to me. And besides, they always try to intervene SOMEHOW.
DH: Well, they won't intervene in OUR birth.
ME: I'm NOT GOING TO THE HOSPITAL to have this baby.

Well, we both ended up eating our words. My HB ended in a (non-emergency) transfer (for exhaustion) after three days of labor... and it was really good, as transfers go, but I ended up getting an epidural to help me rest. And with the epidural came everything else: catheter, IV, electronic fetal monitor, blood pressure cuff, lithotomy position for pushing, etc. Thank heaven I managed to have a vaginal birth, but it was IN NO WAY NATURAL. I have to correct DH on this point constantly. Now it goes something like this:

ME: I am not going to the hospital to have our next baby because I really want a natural childbirth sometime in my life.
DH: But you HAD a natural childbirth in the hospital! You can certainly do it again!

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#50 of 56 Old 01-07-2010, 04:48 PM
 
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it means no pain meds to me. though for some it means no interventions at all - not even inductions. However, there are folks who just don't like the word "vaginal" and subsitute "natural" in its stead. I've seen that in newspaper articles a few times.

As long as we get the births we want or are comfortable with our decisions (not the dr deciding for us) and are treated respectfully and like competent adults it doesn't matter to me how someone gives birth. (Though I'll admit I don't have much patience or tolerance for the folks who abdicate responsibilty just blithely and blindly hand over everything to their dr.)

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#51 of 56 Old 01-07-2010, 04:58 PM
 
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Now it goes something like this:

ME: I am not going to the hospital to have our next baby because I really want a natural childbirth sometime in my life.
DH: But you HAD a natural childbirth in the hospital! You can certainly do it again!
LOL this is the exact opposite of me & my DH. He has been saying "next time let's just do a home birth" (which I would love but am way to chicken to do) however I don't think it has much to do with being 'natural' for him... he's got other reasons. I get the impression that men don't care as much about childbirth being natural? Or maybe it's just MY man. Though he does understand that I want to experience a 100% NCB.

I have to say that although I will never consider my DS's birth to be natural I do feel a little relieved reading this thread. I have had a hard time coming to terms with DS's birth but seeing that so many others have had to have similar interventions makes me realize I did the best I could when you take into account my past, my situation, and the knowledge I had at the time. I had gotten so caught up in my ideal of a NCB that I was devastated when things went so drastically different than I'd hoped. But part of the reason I wanted a NCB was, in fact, to (subconsciously) live up to some ideal/standard I had set for myself which was reinforced by other crunchy mommas, crunchy articles, etc. I never stopped to consider that maybe in SOME cases a little intervention is necessary. Yes, I had more interventions than I would have liked, and more than I probably really needed, but I don't think it would have been possible in my case to truly have a birth that was med-free, intervention-free, etc. Just realizing that right now (11 months after the fact!) is really giving me a little peace. I wish we weren't all so hard on ourselves... I think many (most) of us probably agree that NCB (however you define it) is ideal, but that doesn't mean interventions are evil. Overused, yes, but not bad in & of themselves. Not ALWAYS unnecessary.

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#52 of 56 Old 01-07-2010, 05:15 PM
 
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But seriously I hate the "holier than thou" attitude of the NCB community. Labor hurts! I don't blame women for wanting drugs. I think it's a little odd to plan on getting an epidural, but once you're in labor I totally understand.
No kidding! I just had my first hb and it was horribly painful. I remember seriously considering going to the hospital for and epi! After months of planning my hb! Mostly I was worried about how far along I was and didn't know how long I could last.

I remember saying to my sil, right after the birth, "I don't know how anyone doesn't get an epidual in the hospital." And I really mean that.

I had a beautiful, fast, and furious homebirth. It was freakin' natural! My last birth was "natural" in the hospital until I got an epidural. They never 'touched' me otherwise....

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#53 of 56 Old 01-07-2010, 08:57 PM
 
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Years ago a person on these forums noted a newsreel reporting a woman having a planned repeat c/sec that was declared a natural birth because she had no chemical or regional anesthesia, only acupuncture needles for pain relief. I hope I remember it correctly. Anyway, begging the question, "Is that a natural birth?"

NCB is something that is defined by one's experiences in life and expectations of childbirth.
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#54 of 56 Old 01-07-2010, 09:37 PM
 
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Years ago a person on these forums noted a newsreel reporting a woman having a planned repeat c/sec that was declared a natural birth because she had no chemical or regional anesthesia, only acupuncture needles for pain relief. I hope I remember it correctly. Anyway, begging the question, "Is that a natural birth?"

NCB is something that is defined by one's experiences in life and expectations of childbirth.
wow. well, not natural by my standards, but certainly impressive.

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#55 of 56 Old 01-07-2010, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here. I appreciate everyone's replies. I'm saddened that I come across as "judgy" to several people, but I'm glad that has been pointed out to me. As I said before, my surprise was based on my misunderstanding of what that particular mom meant by the term NCB--not the actual details of the birth itself. But based on the responses to this thread, I've been thinking about my reaction and trying to let go of any judgment--conscious or subconscious--I may have. I would never want to give someone the impression that I was judging them for their choices, so this thread has been an eye-opener for me.

Along the same lines, I was rereading the guidelines for this forum and the guidelines themselves use the term natural childbirth. Which makes me wonder if MDC has an "official" or minimum definition. Certainly the term is out there and in use. As for myself, I will continue, as I have, to pretty much avoid it completely.
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#56 of 56 Old 01-08-2010, 11:52 AM
 
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I don't think anyone is giving you a hard time... I believe one of the biggest benefits of MDC is getting us to see how we "sound" or challenge what we think. I would never have guessed that someone may thing that giving birth in a hospital would consider it not NCB...oh well, live and learn.

I completely understand why you asked your question and I think it's sparked a great conversation. I think it can really teach us how to support each other even when we have different viewpoints.

Mama to 4. winner.jpghomebirth.jpg
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