Non-medicated delivery by choice-why? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have had two babies and two epidurals. Why should I entertain the possibility of going natural with #3?
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#2 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 01:32 AM
 
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It's really up to you. If you've had two epidurals and been pleased with your birth experiences, then you probably don't have a good reason to try for a drug-free birth. However, I found that the more educated about birth I become the more I learn towards the midwifery care and drug-free models of birthing.

My main reason for wanting a drug free birth is that interventions often slow down labor, causing more interventions to be employed, which slow down labor even more and putting you at risk for a c-section. I want my body to be able to labor on it's own, at it's own speed. Women's bodies are meant to bear children, and I'm trusting that my body will know what is best (not a doctor or nurse). There are many many other reasons not to choose drugs, which I also agree with but that is my main reason.

A good resource that presents the pros and cons of epidurals as well as a myriad of other birthing choices is Henci Goer's The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth. It might help answer your question.
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#3 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 01:43 AM
 
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Let me count the ways (and I'll be specific to epidurals since that's where you're coming from)...

The drugs injected into the epidural space do indeed reach the baby, and in a matter of 3 minutes. I think it's a common misconception that an epidural is safe for the baby because the drugs aren't injected into the blood stream, however they are quickly absorbed by the blood vessels surrounding the epidural space. An epidural isn't even supposed to be given too close to the actual birth because it is known that the drugs will then be trapped in the baby's system and his/her immature liver will have to attempt to metabolize them (vs. passing them back out the cord and letting mom do the work). The peak concentration of drugs in the baby's system is supposed to be at approx. 2 hours post administration. You can't know how quickly your baby will be born after receiving an epidural. Here's a list of risks & side effects of the epidural (taken from Kim James' site ):

1. Hypotension (Drop in blood pressure)
2. Urinary Retention and Postpartum Bladder Dysfunction
3. Uncontrollable Shivering
4. Itching of the face, neck and throat
5. Nausea and Vomiting
6. Postpartum Backache
7. Maternal Fever
8. Spinal Headache
9. Uneven, incomplete or nonexistent pain relief
10. Feelings of Emotional detachment
11. Postpartum feelings of regret or loss of autonomy
12. Inability to move about freely on your own
13. Loss of perineal sensation and sexual function

Very Serious and rare risks:

14. Convulsions
15. Respitory paralysis
16. Cardiac arrest
17. Allergic shock
18. Nerve injury
19. Epidural abscess
20. Maternal death

Labor Side Effects:

21. Prolonged First Stage of Labor
22. Increase of malpresentation of baby's head
23. Increased need for Pitocin augmentation
24. Prolonged Second Stage of Labor
25. Decrease in the ability to push effectively
26. Increased liklihood of forceps or vacuum extraction delivery
27. Increased likelihood of needing an episiotomy
28. Increase in cesarean section

Baby Side Effects

29. Fetal distress; abnormal fetal heart rate
30. Drowsiness at birth; poor sucking reflex
31. Poor muscle strength and tone in the first hours.

And I'll add to that list:

32. Increased risk of teenage suicide for the baby
33. Healthiest choice for both me & my baby

So that's where I'm coming from. I'm also happy to have gone through what childbirth is really like, unhindered, for my body. It hurt though - I'll give you that. But still it was amazing and I decided to go forward that way again (and that hurt even worse, and if there's a next time I'll go natural again). I think for me it really comes down to safety for my baby though. When all is said and done that's just where I have to draw the line. Hope this makes sense and didn't sound snotty or anything - it wasn't meant to be.

Mama to four remarkable kiddos, all born at home.
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#4 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 01:50 AM
 
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love_homebirthing,

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#5 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 03:52 AM
 
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I agree with love_homebirthing.

I guess my take on it is: Epidural by choice: Why??
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#6 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 04:02 AM
 
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Same here.

AmiBeth

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#7 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 04:20 AM
 
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I really did enjoy feeling birth. There is pain, yes. It overwhelms you and something about it is amazing. How can you stay in tune with your body if parts of it are numb? I want to be in tune with my body when it is doing something amazing.

I don't think we need to convince you unless you believe it something that makes it worth it. I know I do. Four children including twins w/o meds or episiotomy later

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#8 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 04:27 AM
 
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The reason for me was I wanted birth to be sacred, not to be put in a hospital bed and strapped on down the line for the assembly of dr's and nurses to 'fix' me with.
Yes, I demanded an epidural quite a few times at my homebirth, but I thank GOD that people distracted me or didn't run me to the hospital for one. My birth was perfect with out one! I wouldn't do it any different!


Katie
(Darlene was 9 pounds 6 ounces too..Sorry, had to brag!)
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#9 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 04:59 AM
 
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All great answers. Sacred, oh yes! Never felt more alive in my life. Didn't want my baby born on drugs, didn't want to be on drugs myself. Wanted to give birth as I concieved, in the comfort and privacy of my own home.
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#10 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 06:10 AM
 
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" I want to be in tune with my body when it is doing something amazing."

Ditto.
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#11 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 06:51 AM
 
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For all the reasons listed above, I have had two unmedicated births and plan a third (very soon)!
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#12 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 07:55 AM
 
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You should have the birth experience that you want. That includes making a truly informed choice -- knowing all the options and possible risks and choosing the path you feel is best.

http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articl...ogyinbirth.asp
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#13 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 08:14 AM
 
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From what I remember about why I *personally* made the choice, it had to do with early, early bonding ~ eye contact from the child.

To be perfectly honest, it was probably a pride thing for me as well. Those and the fact that the women in my family and many women if my life feel strongly about non-medicated birth where possible.

In retrospect, I think it helped me be proud of my body and somehow enduring the pain of labor helped build my confidence in my strength and then in my confidence as a mother and woman.

Maybe this can happen with epidural ~ I wouldn't be surprised but I can't say.

It would be interesting for you to talk to mothers who have had both.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#14 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 08:16 AM
 
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Oh, that and I knew that interventions tend to create more interventions and on down the road. I really, really wanted a vaginal birth and I was afraid of any interventions that would have hindered that.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#15 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 08:57 AM
 
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I will speak from the perspective of having experienced both ways. My first son I had an epi shortly after arriving at the hospital (my before Mothering days!). My son was born many hours later via vacuum after much pushing and a double episiotomy (to get the vacuum on). Second son, totally natural, was at the hospital for two hours before baby was born (arrived in transition) and only pushed a few times. Would I go natural should there be a next time, yes! Why? Because it was better than the first birth, very powerful feeling having pushed him out on my own. I learned alot from the Goer book and Bradley and from Mothering of course.

Doreen
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#16 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 09:42 AM
 
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I'm going to be giving birth here any day to #3 and ya know, I will probably end up getting a spinal even tho I want a natural birth more!
I had a natural birth with my 1st and I only made it thru due to lots of prayer and a hot hot shower.
My second I had to be induced because my water broke 2 &1/2 weeks early and I had a spinal.
I have to say there was a big difference in the way I reacted to the baby each time.
With my 1st I was much more in tune and careful and willing to sacrifice anything.
It's hard to explain but, there is a difference and I'm sure it has to do with the natural hormone levels that occur during natural birth.
I really want a natural birth again, I'm really going to hang on, but for me, a spinal lasts 2 hours and that's all I needed both times to relax and I just open right up.
If I do get it though, I will get it earlier in the labor (like when I'm at a 4 ro 5) that way it'll wear of by the time I push her out. I like to be in tune and feel what position I need ext when delivering.
Good Luck with your decision, It's a toughie!
Nicole
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#17 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 11:56 AM
 
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I agree with Jenne. I think we don't look at the dangers of having an epidural, if we did, it wouldn't be so popular.
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#18 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 12:37 PM
 
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I wanted a natural birth with number 1 because I didn't want to go down "intervention road" well I ended up with a dose of Fentanol, not only was it a joke for pain, but it made me really "out if it" in a bad not good way. I don't remember the early time with my son, but what I do remember isn't happy new mother thoughts. He was the worlds worse nurser, I believe because the drugs were given too close to delivery, in the hospitals defense they didn't realize I was going so fast. He also had some serious liver problems (not newborn jaundice) and Fentanyol is contra indicated if you have liver problems so I believe that made his liver worse.

Dd was drug free, she was alert and an amazing nurser. I also have way more positive memories of her birth.

Mom to ds 9 dd 7 : and dd 3/08 : if I can I go to
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#19 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 03:29 PM
 
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I did take an epidural for the first one. It turned out that I had reached 9 cm by then! But my medwife pushed them through the whole labor until I finally broke down. My labor was over 24 hours long. I didn't like the epidural. I didn't like the numbness. I'm going to try and go natural again, and hopefully, I will succeed this time. I'm considering homebirth, so I guess I'll have to succeed then!

DS was kind of out of it when he was born, and I think it was due to the epidural.
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#20 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 03:41 PM
 
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I had an epidural, after 24 hours on pitocin (which I started 40 hours after my water broke.) I decided to take it because I was exhausted from attempting to get labor started, hours and hours of contractions that did not dilate anything.

I didn't like it. I couldn't feel anything below the waist, at all. I couldn't push properly. Urge to push? hah. It was totally terrible. I gave birth on my back, with other people pushing my inert legs into a squat.

I now know that some anaesthesiologists don't give quite such a big dose. Maybe they did this because they knew that they were going to crank up the pit to twice what was normal in that hospital, and because if it didn't work I was going to have a surgical birth. Or because they wanted me to sleep until it was time to push.

My son was not born sleepy, he was alert, but he didn't nurse at birth and didn't latch on properly. It was a huge challenge to get his nursing going. One lactation consultant told me that she has seen that more in long labors with epidurals.

All of which is to say, I would try it without if I were you. Especially on a third birth, it's bound to be shorter and easier, the best time to do it.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#21 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 03:48 PM
 
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No needle in my spine, no needle in my spine, no needle in spine.......

Is that clear? Labor was tough, but do-able. All drugs pass to the baby in some small amount. I was very happy not to have done that to my little ones.

And the power/empowerment that came with doing it myself? Un freaking believable! I could take on the world now!
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#22 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 03:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
In retrospect, I think it helped me be proud of my body and somehow enduring the pain of labor helped build my confidence in my strength and then in my confidence as a mother and woman.
I had an epi with my 1st birth, unmedicated with my 2nd. I can't tell you the high I was on for months (years, heck--a lifetime!). I felt connected with all the women in the history of our planet who have experienced this amazing process. My natural birth was so empowering for me and for sure made my postpartum period much easier.

For no other reason then for my baby's health and safety and to give her the best possible start in life was enough for me, though, the rest was just icing on the cake.

Read about the risks involved for your baby when you get an epidural and the choice is an easy one, IMO.
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#23 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 04:40 PM
 
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Darn it. I just typed out a response and my half asleep nurser kicked the keyboard and I lost it.

From the perspective of someone who has labored three different ways

ds#1: unplanned c-sec (transverse babe) after two days of natural back labor and pushing

ds#2: unplanned induction with pitocin, epidural (with a window of pain WAY worse than 2 days of back labor)

dd#3 natural: labored for a bit in water, birthed on land

-My unplanned c-sec, the recovery/nursing was awful, but the labor/pushing is something I feel good about to this day

-My first (medicated/intervention) VBAC was awful and I felt hazy and out of control. I was in worse pain with the epi than I was without one the first time around. The recovery was easier, but there was some sort of disconnect with ds#2 at first. Ds#2 was jaundiced and swallowed meconium. I had another lengthy labor and I was getting worn down and scared into intervention.

-My natural VBAC was amazing and empowering. Dd nursed right away and we had a beautiful start. The amount of energy I had was incredible. To be fair, my labor was only 14 hours long this time around.

And my choice to do it naturally, had alot to do with knowing the risks/effects of intervention. I also had faith in my body to do what it needed to do.
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#24 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 05:09 PM
 
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For me, it was never really a decision to be made. My mom had my brother and I both w/o drugs, and raised me to believe that the drugs are there for emergencies only. She never actually said "drugs are there for emergencies only", but that is what I got out of it. And since I've never viewed birth as an emergency, drugs were never really an option, ya know?

Quote:
In retrospect, I think it helped me be proud of my body and somehow enduring the pain of labor helped build my confidence in my strength and then in my confidence as a mother and woman.
I felt like I could do anything!!!
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#25 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 05:21 PM
 
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I choose non-medicated for lots of reasons. Here are some of the top ones:

#1. I choose to give birth at home- I am neither sick nor injured therefore have no need to be in a hospital.

#2. I think that nature and evolution (or God or the great spirit or whatever you'd like to call it...) have infinite wisdom and have designed the most perfect process for us. The "pain" is there for a reason. Sometimes it's there to tell us what to do next (push!) Sometimes it's simply there to remind us that this is a momentous occasion.

#3. I believe that my baby is safest without intervention. (and research backs this up)

#4. I believe I am safest without intervention. (research backs this as well)

Good luck with your choice!

-Angela
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#26 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 05:24 PM
 
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I particularly agree with the first 2 post. But all the rest were fabulous as well.

I hate needles more than I hate contractions.

I had an alert baby -- you don't know what they mean by alert until you've experienced if for yourself. She was amazingly alert and attentive to all of us, and when she lacked on I said "wow, that is strong". My other babies didn't do this.

It was empowering to feel my body pushing my dd out. What awesome power a woman has!!!! There is no way to describe that force from within you body unless you have felt it unmedicated for yourself.

Other women who have had unmedicated births don't include you in their conversations until you've BTDT. I was astounded by the number of women whom I knew who opened up to me on another level after I had my vaginal birth -- it was also like there was something wrong with me and they didn't want to catch it before. Sad but true, some sort of rite of passage for the women I know all from my church. (not necessarily bbf quality women)

For me being able to say "I did it" was an added bonus. I was on a high like no other for months.

Ina May's Guide to Natural Childbirth was inspirational.

2nd A Thinking Woman's Guide to A Better Birth by Henci Goer
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#27 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 05:41 PM
 
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After administration of epidural my 1st labor totally stalled out (contrx but no dialation) for about 20 hrs at 4 cm dialation and nearly resulted in a c-sect due to failure to progress. This time around I'm way more scared of drugs than of pain.
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#28 of 68 Old 01-19-2005, 06:09 PM
 
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Aside from the epidural risks, I really wanted to feel the whole process and even though I had a very long labor, I am so happy I got experience every minute of it drug-free ESPECIALLY the actual birth, that unmedicated is beyond words!

Jenny, proud maker of red things
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#29 of 68 Old 01-20-2005, 02:48 AM
 
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I had one hospital birth, one home birth, both unmedicated. It just never occurred to me to choose drugs, even though I'm normally the type to request drugs for anything at all uncomfortable.

I didn't want to be confined to the bed, or have all the other things that go along with the epi, all the monitoring and extra people to deal with and all that. I also did not want to drug the baby.

Both births were incredibly painful. I did not enjoy either one and I'm glad I'm not going to have any more babies. But I'm also glad I never took the drugs.
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#30 of 68 Old 01-20-2005, 02:54 AM
 
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For me giving birth drug free was amazing. The moment she was born the pain disappeared and I just had the endorphin response... and I was high high high... the highest I've ever been. Full of love and energy and totally ecstatically joyful.

Also I remember when my baby's father was holding her I thought, "Be careful! That is precious." I think it had to do with the fact that she did not arrive easily! There is no 'easy come easy go' attitude after natural birth. :LOL I think labour is a natural baby protection mechanism, becoz even before you really fall in love with them, you know you don't want to lose them and have to do THAT again! :LOL At least that was my thought!
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