Do you think women have a "right" to a painfree childbirth? - Page 5 - Mothering Forums
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#121 of 162 Old 03-05-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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i'm not sure where this thread has gone but as to the original question I say, again, "no" because pain relief is not a right, it's an entitlement provided under some circumstances. Rights and entitlements are not the same thing. Receiving social security payments upon retirement is an entitlement, not a right, as is public education.
If a woman chooses to give birth in a hospital she is presented with a patient bill of rights upon her arrival - adequate pain relief is listed as one of every patients rights. Your statement is accurate for those women who choose homebirth or, in some cicumstance, birth centers but not hospitals.
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#122 of 162 Old 03-05-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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I don't understand why you're assuming that the person doing the exam is rough? Why can't the person who is doing it be gentle? My doctor certainly doesn't do VE's roughly...
She's not assuming it. She's asking if consenting to a VE means that the woman should just have to take the pain, no matter how rough and painful the VE may be. They can be pretty awful.

I'm certainly not judging anyone for taking an epi. I'm not being even slightly snarky when I say it takes a far braver woman than I am to take a needle in the spine. I've had to psych myself through the roof for it with my 3 non-emergency sections, and would have much preferred to be knocked out, even if it did increase the risk to me. I actually think I'd have given up being able to see my baby right away in order to avoid that needle. Epis and spinals terrify me.

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#123 of 162 Old 03-05-2010, 10:46 PM
 
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Yes. It is a decision each woman must make for herself. However, it is imperative that the woman has complete informed consent. Meaning she needs to know all the risks/pros/cons etc in order to make that informed decision. But yes they do have the right if chosen because it is an option and therefore have the right to make that decision.

I wanted a natural childbirth but once some interventions were thrown at me I opted to get the epidrual for fear that i'd become so exhausted i'd be forced into a c-section (and it was close...I was told several times during pushing that if i didn't hurry up a c-section would be inevitable)

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#124 of 162 Old 03-05-2010, 11:40 PM
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My epidural was far from "pain-free."

Just sayin'.

(It gave me a massive migraine).

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#125 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 12:08 AM
 
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I believe that rights, in their truest sense, are not things that others must provide for us. They are just things we can freely chose to do or not to do - speak our minds, worship as we choose, own a gun to protect ourselves, live without fear of the government invading our homes without cause. Sometimes these rights must be protected, but never provided.

I think the concept of rights gets really sketchy when we start saying that we have a right to something that someone else has to provide us.
In some cases, such as a right to a trial by jury, I consider this a right to live without people accusing you unjustly and having to prove that you did commit a crime rather than you having to prove your innocence, IYKWIM.
Exactly 100% agree. I personally feel that,as you said - we as humans do not have an inherent "right" to anything that must be provided to us. I DO think we are entitled to take advantage of the opportunities provided to us. Therefore, I would say we do not have a basic human "right" to things like public education, or medical services including pain relief during childbirth. That being said, I DO think that we have the "right" to make CHOICES including utilizing the resources mentioned above when and where available.

I think it comes down to defining the word "right". I think there are people on this thread who think of it as I do, as an inherent thing. Whereas there are people to seem to think more on the lines of what it means in our current society. It all boils down to the definition of the word, IMO.

So no, I do not believe it is a basic human right to have a pain free childbirth (or be offered pain medication etc), however I do believe it is the right of every woman to make those choices. I am so glad that we live in a place where the choice is available to most women and only wish that the knowledge was given as freely so women could have more power in those choices - whatever they may be.

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#126 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 12:20 AM
 
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Putting aside that the "right" to pain-free cannot be guaranteed (as pain meds can fail to provide 100% coverage), I strongly believe that women have a right to choose whether or not they want/need pain meds. What right does anybody on the other side of the debate have to choose for me? While I would have loved to have been able to give natural, med-free birth to my DD, and I gave it an honest shot, it did not turn out that way in the end. I had to decide in the moment to do what was right for me under my circumstances. And I am thankful that I had choices. I do think that all women should be better informed about their choices and the associated risks, but then should be free to choose what they feel is best for them under their personal circumstances.

My pregnancy and birth experience made it difficult for me to understand why any woman would want to risk a homebirth, or "worse", UC. It took some time for me to understand that my pregnancy/birth experience was not the same as everybody else's - I can only make choices for myself based on my own experiences, but cannot and should not project my situation and/or impose those choices on others. We don't, in fact, walk in each other's shoes and cannot fairly judge another's situation or make decisions about what medical options should or should not be available. Yes, there are many places where (or times when) these options are not available - the answer is not to take the options away where they exist but to make them more readily available where/when they do not, together with genuine informed consent. This goes equally for homebirths, UC, waterbirth, med-free birth, as well as medicated birth.

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#127 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 01:09 AM
 
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The problem with this debate as it takes place in the larger society is that women are often accused of choosing home and/or natural birth for the sake of their 'experience' rather than safety (either neonatal or maternal) but somehow epidurals are conferee with safety, when this is not true at all, scientifically. Epidurals RAISE risks, that is why they require a higher level of care and monitoring. They are all about the mother's 'experience'. So as long as medicated childbirth choices aren't assumed to be choices made for the sake of fetal safety, maternal experience be darned, we're all good.
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#128 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 01:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TCMoulton View Post
If a woman chooses to give birth in a hospital she is presented with a patient bill of rights upon her arrival - adequate pain relief is listed as one of every patients rights. Your statement is accurate for those women who choose homebirth or, in some cicumstance, birth centers but not hospitals.
Just because a hospital calls it a "right" does not make it so. It is an entitlement offered by the hospital. Or as my DH call it, a "small r right." Our culture does a great deal to confuse the concept of rights and entitlements.

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#129 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 05:33 AM
 
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The more i think about this the more i think the word "right" is no use. Do humans have a "right" to clean drinking water? Yes, but many many peoples of the world don't have access to that "right". In that context are we saying all women should have the right to ACCESS to pain relief during labour (which doesn't mean they have to have it, and isn't a should or should not about having it)?

I am not comfortable with epidural being cited the whole time as the only way to get a pain free labour. Proper support HAS been shown to significantly reduce pain for many women (and that is not a criticism of partners, doula's or labour support - sometimes epidurals ARE required no matter how much support a woman has) but of a medical system when you might or might not know your nurse or ob, and where they might or might not be in the room for much of your labour depending on what time of day it is and how many other women there are labouring. If a woman wants to have as little pain as possible WITHOUT an epidural (for whatever reason) she should have access to that proper support. I dislike the anaesthesia being made into a "right" by the hospital, because it basically amounts, in this country anyway, to women being offered drugs as soon as they are in enough discomfort that they need more input than a nurse or MW popping into the room every 40mins. Epidurals in many hospitals in the UK are used as a blunt instrument to fix staffing problems - not enough midwives to stay one on one with a woman who clearly needs that level of support during her labour? Give her an epidural and strap on the electronic nurse. Even when you state on your birth plan you REALLY don't want to have drugs (even for one woman i know due to an ALLERGY to a whole host of the drugs on offer) they are often offered as soon as you start to vocalise any discomfort during contractions.

Obviously this isn't the case in every labour in every hospital in every country. But for a large proportion of women i do think drugs are offered or even pushed by staff who simply don't have the time and resources to do anything more individualised/useful for the woman.

I think the danger of telling women that pain relief is their "right" is that many will interpret that as meaning they NEED to have it and they MUST have it. When i was a kid we lived in a house with no mains or well water - we drank burn water off the hill. It was fresh, uncontaminated and tasty. So many people i have told act like i was living in 3rd-world style poverty when i said that, because the "right" to mains water being so widespread and so over-cited as a critically necessary thing for "civilisation" means that they are all terrified of non-mains water. When actually a good bit of the water one finds running wild in Scotland (especially the highlands and islands) is perfectly safe to drink as it is.

So perhaps it's more useful to think women should have the right to medical assistance WHEN NEEDED during labour, including pain relieving drugs if necessary. But that the pain relieving drugs in and of themselves should not be isolated, since i think enough (childless) women already believe that labour is unbearable without epidurals, which is only the case for SOME women during SOME labours. And to respond to what a few others have said, yes, i think epidurals used to allow women in long labours to rest so they can go on and have the vaginal birth they wanted are very much medically indicated and one of the wonderful aspects of the existence of such procedures.

The access to pain relief in labour is something which i both hope not to need and am very grateful for the existence of.
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#130 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 06:35 AM
 
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You know, I think there are two separate issues that are getting conflated in this thread. The first is, should people be entitled to (or provided with) health care services in accordance with a generally accepted "standard of care," either because people have a fundamental right to health care services or because society decides that the services should be offered. In this context, I think pregnancy and chidlbirth should be treated in the same manner as any other health condition.
A lot of good posts here, and I like this one also. Like many others I look at it from the point of view of a legal right because I've gotten into many endless discussions of the word right and what it means, so I don't want to get hung up on that. Currently, the access to pain relief medications in labor is a standard medical practice, but I don't think it's an unconditional legal right. The doctor clearly has some say in the matter because it is medical treatment and a lot of pain relief involves the distribution of controlled subtances.

For me it comes down to the question does any human have the right to pain relief for painful conditions, and it doesn't seem like we do. Clearly human compassion and standards of medical care dictate a certain level of alleviation of suffering, but certainly there are many situations where we can't do much for pain. My father suffered a lot of pain in the last years of his life and his pain medication was a controlled substance, so he couldn't get all that he thought would help him. He also had to undergo certain medical procedures without anesthesia because his breathing was compromised enough where the doctors wouldn't anesthetize him. I think his rights in this situation were his ability to agree to or deny having the procedure.

When I suffered a ruptured disc in my back, I couldn't get up off the floor because the pain was so bad. My husband called the paramedics who got me up, and I ended up going to the ER via ambulance and I wondered what they could even do for me. They assessed me and gave me some pain medication but then told me that was all they could do for me, they would not admit me to the hospital unless it got to the point where I was having fecal incontinence from nerve damage. The prescription I got for pain medication was for a very limited amount. So even in a situation where I have access to paramedics, hospitals, healthcare workers and pain medication, there are still limits to what you can demand and receive in terms of pain relief. I was happy they gave me some pain medication, and I feel like healthcare is a service I pay for so I do have a legal right to the standard of care for which I am paying, but I was always aware that they could just have sent me home without doing anything for me other than testing.

in regards to current obstetrical practices, I think women do have certain legal rights that end up being taken away from them under the guise of medical standards. I think ultimately a woman's right to pain relief should mean that other people can't stop her from doing things to help cope with the pain, and yet it seems these things do happen, sometimes deliberately. On a philosophical level, I feel like a woman's autonomy to do things with her body during labor is more of an inalienable right, but the access to an epidural is provided as a for pay medical service and I wouldn't say that it is necessarily a legal right. It's more of an issue when a standard of care is denied to groups of people in a discriminatory fashion that I think the question has meaning.

This reminds me of a story with my mom. My mother started having babies in the 40s, and her first 3 were twilight sleep. Her 4th child was born in Hawaii in 1955 and she had no idea when she went into it that she would get nothing but oxygen. When the doctor put the mask over her face, she thought she was getting knocked out, but that didn't happen. The doctor said he didn't believe in using pain medications during birth, and she ended up having a baby naturally (other than an oxygen mask, I guess). So he had the right to practice medicine as he saw fit and he didn't think the rendering a woman unconscious was a good practice. My mom was expecting it, though, so it was rather a shock to her, but I don't think her legal rights were violated.
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#131 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 11:02 AM
 
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That pain was nature's way of telling me I should have been looking where I was going, and not stepped into a giant hole.
Okay, I just burst out laughing.

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#132 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 11:52 AM
 
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Certainly they are not the same, but IMO, they all generally fall into the category of things that are not necessities and which I think it is appropriate to expect people to provide for themselves.

And of course the standard of care - including on-demand c-sections and epidurals - drastically increases the cost of maternity care. I'm not sure how much this increases the overall cost of health care. There is a reason that we were able to pay in cash for a midwife assisted home birth on an income that was very near the poverty line but would never have been able to afford out of pocket a hospital birth complete with an epidural (heaven forbid a c-section) and prenatal care with multiple blood tests and ultrasounds. There is a reason that my in laws were able to pay cash for all four of their hospital births in the late 70s and early 80s despite the fact that they were below the poverty line.
Part of the reason is astronomical malpractice costs, but a big part of it is that unnecessary, recently-available options have become the standard of care while outcomes for mothers and babies have become poorer or stayed the same.
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#133 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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"I'm sorry,honey. I know that you are shaking from the pain and in agony. I know you have been in labor for twenty hours and are only 6 cm, but we can't afford an extra 1000.00." How is that not classist?
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#134 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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Do you believe this to be the case only when you perceive this as not a necessity? A woman should have to provide this for herself unless it is medically necessary? So who makes that judgment? Do all women who need surgical births automatically qualify? What about maternal exhaustion? Do women have to provide their own pain relief if they need the repair for a fourth degree tear? Are women who experience normal childbirth automatically disqualified from pain relief unless they can afford it? What defines normal?
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#135 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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I think that people have the right to access medical care. I believe that the medical community has the obligation to offer options to reduce pain. That is why a hospital in the US, can not turn away an emergency (or woman in active labor), regardless of their ability to pay.

Where is this so called painless childbirth? I had a section with my DS due to cord entanglement. I did not have any contractions. The IV (all 6 attempts) hurt, the spinal hurt (and the side effects of itching were awful). There was also a heck of a lot of pain afterward. Yes, I chose to have a medical intervention to protect my son's life, yes I was medicated, yes I still felt pain.

that being said, I also think women have the right to their preference in a childbirth experience. I would never try to take away someone's right to HBAC. But I also recognize that not all women are low risk, educated on HB, or have a good enough support system to do that.

Wife to M , Mommy to DS aka Captain Obvious  (06/06) and DD aka Lissalot  (03/09, anoxic brain injury)
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#136 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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I don't mean to imply it's not a two way street (or that other people haven't had a different experience), because you're certainly right. But just from personal experience, I've gotten it a lot more from the NCB side than the main stream side. I really never had any ms people talk down to me the way I've had NCB do, even when planning a HBAC. I fully admit I'm biased and unfair because of personal experience. But, YMMV.
I have. I also haven't had any NCB people sic social services on me for endangering my baby...despite the fact that I'm sure many people thought I was (I sure did!) when I chose a c-section for my last "birth". (Totally OT, but I still can't believe that I came to a low so bad that I chose a medically unnecessary c-section. *sigh*) Someone - who chose to remain safely anonymous in her judgement - did that when I chose not to go to the hospital.

And, before you point out that the NCB community wouldn't have a leg to stand on, because c-sections are considered safe and prudent and all that, I'll point out that they could lie. The anonymous mainstreamer did.

Honestly, the only difference between the arrogant Monday morning quarterbacking by the mainstream community and the NCB community is the the NCB community tends to root their arrogant judgment of other women's decisions in something with a little more teeth than, "but my doctor said". Fortunately, there are plenty of women on both sides of this who don't do it at all.

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#137 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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I am not comfortable with epidural being cited the whole time as the only way to get a pain free labour.
It's no coincidence that it's being cited this way. The "right to a pain-free birth" thing is heard more often from medpros than anyone else. They don't really give a crap about that, imo. They think that selling it that way will get women to accept the needle, and then those women are much more likely to be compliant.

I strongly believe some women need the epi. I don't believe that it's the best option for the all of the huge number of women who get it.

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#138 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 04:48 PM
 
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I strongly believe some women need the epi. I don't believe that it's the best option for the all of the huge number of women who get it.
If a woman is not willing to go through training for pain management during labor (lamaze, bradley, what-have-you), and/or doesn't have a support system, I really think that the epidural IS the best option for her.

Even women who are commited to train for pain management sometimes need an epidural. Those who don't, I would say that most of the time they have no chance of being able to handle the pain. And generally an epidural is safer and more effective than other medical forms of pain relief.

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#139 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 05:55 PM
 
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i think the babies right to be born under the best possible circumstances trumps the mothers "right" to not feel pain.

Bring back the old MDC
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#140 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 06:10 PM
 
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"Pain-free"? No. That is simply impossible! They won't admit you into the hospital as a patient in labor until you are having ctrx, so those first few ctrx may be painful. So, it's not realistic to expect to never feel any pain!
First I agree that the question is faulty...

Second in response to what I highlighted above... considering that you can find care providers who will do elective inductions or cesareans before the start of labour and you can get an epidural placed before the induction gets started having a painfree birth (assuming the epidural works) is possible for both vaginal and cesarean births... in theory at least (like I said, assuming it works).

Do I think people have the right to pain medication if they ask for it. Yes. A thousand times yes. I don't think it's wrong or that women who choose it are in any way weaker than those who don't.

I think women need to be able to be the ultimate decision makers in childbirth. From UC to elective cesarean, the whole range should be open for them to choose from.

FWIW that is coming from a student midwife, and two time homebirth planning, UC comfortable, hospital birther because of twice being induced. The first time with an epidural after a dysfunctional labour and threatened cesarean (I wanted neither a cesarean OR the epidural I got instead) and the second time unmedicated with the exception of pitocin turned up past the maximum dosage. The second time noone could believe I didn't get an epidural. I had every reason to. And I didn't want it, and I didn't get it, and I'm glad.

But I don't judge anyone who chooses differently in that situation. When I hear people say that you "can't" birth without an epidural when you have pitocin I understand why even though for me it wasn't true...

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#141 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 06:32 PM
 
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Who decides it's a necessity? Seriously? This is a totally offensive thought to me. Who decides when that epidural or that c-section or that homebirth is necessary... necessary for the woman either physically or mentally. ALL of them should be options, and none should be taken away because someone else has decided it's not a necessity without knowing the facts of the situation. Because you can't possibly know the facts of the situation for each individual woman. You just can't.

ETA: I live in Canada. So personal cost to me is the same whether I have a UC or whether I have an emergency cesarean under general anesthesia after labouring in the hospital for two days and getting pitocin and multiple types of pain medication. I understand that isn't the case in the US. But that doesn't mean that those who can't afford something they need while they are birthing shouldn't have access to it. Understanding it's the reality doesn't IMO make it right.

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i think the babies right to be born under the best possible circumstances trumps the mothers "right" to not feel pain.
And again who decides this? I am extremely pro natural birth, pro homebirth even... but I cannot say with any certainty that it is the right choice for any woman but myself. She knows that. And when I say I support both NCB and hombirth it's because I have read the studies. I know that on paper it is statistically "better" for both Mom and baby. But it is NOT better for baby to have Mom still recovering from trauma either physical or mental months after the birth that could have been prevented if people had just listened to her to begin with. It's just not.

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#142 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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i think the babies right to be born under the best possible circumstances trumps the mothers "right" to not feel pain.
One thing that I will never buy into is the concept that being pregnant makes me somehow less of a human being. To say that the baby trumps the mother means that pregnancy renders me somehow less human than I was before I got pregnant. That is a repulsive concept to me.
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#143 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post
i think the babies right to be born under the best possible circumstances trumps the mothers "right" to not feel pain.
Couldn't the same thing be said about moms who choose UC - that that the baby's right to be born under the care of a medical professional (be it a doctor or midwife) trumps the mother's "right" to birth alone?
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#144 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 06:52 PM
 
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I haven't read through all the posts yet.

But my take on it is "right" I think is the wrong word. However I believe if a woman wants to have an epi or whatnot then she should be able to. I don't think anything in the childbirth will be without total pain short of being knocked out totally but then there is pain afterwards.

Yes since the beginning of time woman have birthed without pain but technology and times have evolved. So for me as a person with low pain tolerance and a person who can not use meditation or other things to block out pain then you bet I want that epi. I believe if a woman wants to have a natural birth more power to her but that does not make her superior to anybody else.

No one not even doctors ect can tell me or anybody else just how bad something hurts ect. Some can say its a 5 and for me it will be a 10 both of us are right.
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#145 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 06:53 PM
 
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If a woman is not willing to go through training for pain management during labor (lamaze, bradley, what-have-you), and/or doesn't have a support system, I really think that the epidural IS the best option for her.
Willing? What if they simply don't understand that those options help with pain? What if they can't afford it? Using the term "willing" seems judgmental, all by itself. Not everyone knows the things we know. I, for instance, at 24, had no idea that Lamaze and the childbirth classes my doctor recommended weren't the same thing. I'd never even heard of Bradley.

For all that...I laboured, with really bad back labour, for about 8 hours before I even woke up my ex. I had a support system later - for all I cared - but I did the first part completely alone, without training. Does that mean that "I did it, so anyone can?". Not at all...but the epi absolutely would not have been the best option for me, and I sure didn't need any "helpful" hospital staff pushing one at me, under the guise of my "right" not to feel pain.

What about my right not to have a needle stuck in my spine? IMO, there is nothing wrong with getting the epi, if the pain is that bad. There is something wrong with a culture that teaches us from the get go that we have to have it, because there's no way we can handle the pain without it. There's something wrong with a culture that yammers about the "right" to an epidural, without talking about any of the potential downsides ("yes, ma'am, here's your epi, you poor thing - oops - sorry about that six month backache, but you had the right to be pain-free...when we didn't want to listen to you"). Talking up the "right" to an epidural makes an epidural sound like an unmitigated blessing. I've personally never had one, so I can't say one way or the other...but if it's anything like a spinal...YUCK!

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
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#146 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 07:16 PM
 
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Yep, and along the same vein is that those unmedicated births were taking place at home with no surgical options, yet I don't think there is a single person here who would not say that hospital births and c-sections are sometimes necessary. And sometimes they are necessary not for purely physical reasons, but psychological reasons that are just as valid.

The same can be said for epidurals. There are a myriad of physical and psychological reasons they are necessary. They aren't for every woman but you can't possibly know if they are or not.

C-sections should not just be for the economically privileged, hospital births should not just be for the economically privileged, home births should not just be for the economically privileged, and epidurals should not just be for the economically privileged.

Again just because that is the reality for some now doesn't make it right...

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#147 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 07:35 PM
 
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Evolution selects for survival. It doesn't have anything to do with pain tolerance, psychological trauma, or non life threatening damage to either mother or baby. Just because someone survives childbirth doesn't mean that their experience is pleasant or not traumatic. To suggest that someone experience excruciating and/or traumatizing pain because they can't afford pain relief and um, well evolution will make sure they survive the process is absolutely dehumanizing to me.

As is the comment about the baby's right to be born under the "best possible" circumstances trumping the mother's right to pain relief. Maybe the "best possible" circumstances include having a mother able to care for her child and not experiencing severe PPD and PTSD every time she thinks of her child's birth. Of course not every childbirth experience goes this way, but some do.

And I'm not even going to get into the idea that someone who is a sexual abuse survivor might be denied pain relief because she couldn't afford it or someone else decided it wasn't in the best interests of her baby. The only person making that decision should be the woman birthing the baby.
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#148 of 162 Old 03-06-2010, 08:40 PM
 
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Humans are notoriously poorly evolved for childbirth. Because we walk upright, our hipbones must be large and solid with a very small pelvis opening. Human babies come out far less developed than any other mammal, because that's the last point they can fit. Human childbirth is far more dangerous and risky than it is for any other mammal.

Most biology textbooks at the high school and college level discuss this.

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#149 of 162 Old 03-07-2010, 03:16 AM
 
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I'd just love to hear what MDC mamas think of this.
My reaction is no, it's not a "right." but just mulling it over in my head and thought it'd be great to hear what other mamas think ...
I was forced to have my first child without medication. I was on medicaid, and it wasn't covered. An epidural wasn't my 'right' as a poor teenage mom.

For me, this turned out ok. I was scared, and it was very hard, but I did it. I had a 9lb.4oz. baby unmedicated, but with a little episiotomy.

For *me* this was awesome. Because I, thankfully, got the rush. I did not suffer PTSD from it. Instead I glorified in it, and have happily had three more unmedicated births.

But change the roles. If one of my girls were in my shoes - 18, scared an in intense pain? Begging for help the way that I did? Don't you *dare* tell me they do not have a RIGHT to pain relief. I'll tear you a new one.

Every woman should have a right to have a good birth experience. For some, that means the right to pain relief.

Of course, in a perfect world, I would rather all women had access to free education for holistic pain management. But that's just another Utopian pipe dream of mine...
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#150 of 162 Old 03-07-2010, 05:46 PM
 
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But again, who decides necessary?

We've already covered that there is no real way to distinguish between those who "need" an epidural and those who "want" one. How do you distinguish that? A person who is terrified of giving birth with pain to the point of psychological trauma for months after the birth I'd argue needs access to safe pain relieving medication, of which an epidural seems to be the most effective. Do you say no since she has no "medical" reason? What if that same woman is a sexual assault survivor? What if she cannot disclose that because the person abusing her is her husband who comes to every appointment with her.

You can't know. Noone can know with 100% accuracy. I want homebirths, I advocate for homebirths and natural childbirth, I am a student midwife and I do labour support now. That doesn't mean I don't understand that these are not in any way shape or form the best or right choices for every situation.

Alison
Mama to Toad (08/06), Frog (01/09)... and new baby Newt born on his due date, Sep. 8, 2010
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