How to Birth: Parenting Choice? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#31 of 51 Old 09-15-2006, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
anothermama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: somewhere between here and there
Posts: 2,852
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkprincess
I guess I'm getting a different vibe from the op...



That, imo, is much different that the (many) friends I've had who brush off my talk of natural and say, "well just to let ya know, I'm getting the epidural ASAP". And refuse to research or discuss it further. The second attitude is the one I'm guessing the op is really commenting on. Am I correct?

And while I do understand that there are a lot of factors (fear of pain, worship of drs, etc) in how and why women choose to do certain things I do believe that the bottome line rests with the parents.





Great discussion!




Yes.............it so hard to talk about, too, because people get REALLY defensive, so it almost seems fatalistic..........you almost just have to give up talking about it at all.
anothermama is offline  
#32 of 51 Old 09-15-2006, 12:27 PM
 
lolalola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,006
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by anothermama
Yes.............it so hard to talk about, too, because people get REALLY defensive, so it almost seems fatalistic..........you almost just have to give up talking about it at all.
Personally,I think it is VERY important to discuss these kinds of issues, and I'm grateful that there is a safe place like MDC to do so

And I admire you for putting your thoughts/perspective out there. Many people are so afraid of offending others that they end up not having an opinion at all....which is much worse than disagreeing with someone, because it closes all possibility of discussion and learning!

I just think that in the case of childbirth,( which is a very personal affair)women get sooooo tired of being scrutinized (or feel they are being scrutinized) for the choices they make, that a certain level of defensivness is inevitable.
lolalola is offline  
#33 of 51 Old 09-15-2006, 01:54 PM
 
Awaken's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,581
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by funshine
Unfortunately, many women put more thought into what crib bedding to buy than into educating themselves about pregnancy, birth, parenting, etc. That's sad. My hope for them is that at some time down the road, their well-being and their babies' well-being starts to weigh more heavily in their decision-making process.

*I* find it offensive when people say things like "I made the choice that was right for me and my family" - when they didn't actually gather information and make an informed choice. Their only choice was perceived convenience over education. How any parent can justify that is beyond me. :
Awaken is offline  
#34 of 51 Old 09-15-2006, 02:16 PM
 
ccohenou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 1,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thinking about this some more...
I certainly do believe that birth choices are parenting choices, in that they obviously directly affect my child. I feel a great weight of responsibility to make the most prudent birth decisions I can make, for the sake of my child. I have done things in bringing my children into the world that I *really* did not want to do, things that devastated me and ripped my body apart, because I believed that they were the best way to ensure the life and health of my children. And those are parenting decisions I am proud of, and my pride in those decisions is one of the few good and growing things that I have taken from my two otherwise traumatic and horrendous births.

And in part because of these experiences, I have a deep sense of not-knowing, especially when it comes to birth, and a real awareness that things do not always go according to plan. And so, although I do believe in making sound judgments and prudent parenting decisions based on the best available information, I *also* do believe that unless I was there and living it, there is no earthly way for me to know what was or was not needed, whether the pain was really unbearable, whether the baby was really in trouble, whether things would have gone well if not for x... There are true and factual things one can say: having an epidural increases the likelihood of a cesearean. Having an epidural may cause difficulties with blood pressure, fever, or fetal distress. Having an epidural may lead to breastfeeding difficulties. But there is no way for an outsider to decide whether the benefits outweighed the risks for any particular mother or labor. Really, who but the person who was there and living it could say?
ccohenou is offline  
#35 of 51 Old 09-15-2006, 02:42 PM
 
elanorh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,266
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've been thinking about this - I mentioned it a bit in my earlier post, and several others have commented on it too (this tendency of women, but actually of people in general, not to research things adequately (or at all)).....

I think it's easy for those of us who for whatever reason learned to be critical thinkers, and to think outside the box and question the System -- those who were raised to be strong individuals -- to think that everyone else ought to think similarly to us (in terms of questioning things, analyzing information, not making assumptions).

But if you look at our educational system we've got a tremendous dichotomy in the way we raise our kids. Most kids are raised to be "independent" from birth ( : ) (and really, not as independent as parents think) --- but then by the time they are starting pre-K/school, they are quickly socialized about groupthink and doing things "as expected" by their teachers, classmates, etc. Conformity is emphasized (and conformity is something we naturally veer towards as a species anyway, since we are herd animals (note: conformity *could* be to question things, but that's not the conformity we're teaching our kids, by and large - and by "we" I'm talking about the general culture, not necessarily MDC)).

So most people in our society are raised to:
1. Not question authority
2. Assume that what they're told/hear is correct
3. Lacking the intellectual tools/training to actually research/question/inform themselves.

Add into that mixture the assumption that some things (like parenting) are so basic and obvious that people don't need any education on them, and you've got a potent admixture for disaster (and lots of people who won't realize that's what even hit them, since it's what happens to most people they know anyway).

I think an example would be Home Economics/Nutrition -- many high schools and junior highs have completely phased out such courses. Cooperative Extension in some states doesn't offer anything about food safety/nutrition anymore. And yet, we have skyrocketing obesity and Type 2 Diabetes going on in our nation and research shows that over half of all meals consumed are prepared in restaurants/fast food chains. The justification for ditching all the nutrition etc. training is that "people learn that at home, it's easy and instinctual." But obviously, it's not, or we wouldn't have the mess we've got going on today. Despite that, you don't see many people making that connection between lack of knowledge and the results -- or clamoring to change it.

I know I rambled -- hopefully what I typed makes sense. I think in some ways when we say that mothers (and their partners) should have informed themselves better, it's almost a "blame the victim" approach. Sure, they should have researched it more adequately. But they've been raised to do as they're told and conform, and that it's not necessary to research things (that causes problems after all). So like many other issues -- it boils down to needing to figure out a way to help people learn (from childhood) how to be critical thinkers.

Not all who wander are lost.
elanorh is offline  
#36 of 51 Old 09-15-2006, 04:54 PM
 
sparkprincess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: St. Louis MO
Posts: 3,482
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Agh! So many good points that I want to comment on/agree with etc.

I think it's really good to discuss these topics and use discernment and, yes, even judgement. I think it's very worthwhile to dig into these difficult, sticky topics and examine them so we can hopefully make changes for the better.

I guess though, for me, the question(s) isn't so much "Is how we choose to birth a parenting choice", (because I believe that it is) but "How do we make these choices? What are our influences? How does that impact us? How do we change it?". And how do we present our knowledge to others without being accusing and harsh or weak and wishy-washy??

I guess what I'm getting down to is: for myself I believe that I can honestly feel that how we birth is indeed a parenting choice and yet I can hold that belief and try and educate others without being cruel, critical, pushy, and overbearing. I can believe that parents are responsible for the descisions they make and yet at the same time be fully aware of the pressures of the society and culture around us. I can educate with facts, figures, and logic while extending courtesy, respect, and empathy. So the bottom line for me is that I can, in a way, see both sides of the issue, but I don't feel that I have to go to one extreme or the other.

sparkprincess is offline  
#37 of 51 Old 09-15-2006, 05:16 PM
 
Lkg4dmcrc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 379
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turkish Kate

We all have our own biases as to what we think are "perfect" parenting choices. My bias is very simple--anything you do that puts your wants ahead of your baby's needs is not your best choice.
Putting your want of natural childbirth ahead of your baby's health counts, too, right? I know that I endured days of back labor, contractions 2 minutes apart, and absolutely refused any interventions and certainly an epidural because I did not want to be seen as a wimp. Consequently, days later, I end up with a very unwanted traumatic cesarean which is clearly not good for the baby. But my desire for a natural birth was so strong that I thought about risking death to my baby rather than be seen as a failure in birth and motherhood. Many other mothers in my position after just one day of labor went with the epidural and pushed their babies out. Perhaps the epidural in some cases is the better parenting choice?
Lkg4dmcrc is offline  
#38 of 51 Old 09-15-2006, 05:45 PM
 
lolalola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,006
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
But my desire for a natural birth was so strong that I thought about risking death to my baby rather than be seen as a failure in birth and motherhood.
The flip side!! Clearly an example of how powerful the societal/cultural pressures are to conform to ideologies about what makes a "good mother". Sorry mama.
lolalola is offline  
#39 of 51 Old 09-15-2006, 06:03 PM
 
ccohenou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 1,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lkg4dmcrc
Putting your want of natural childbirth ahead of your baby's health counts, too, right?
For me, absolutely. I have given up my dreams, my hearts desire for a beautiful gentle birth, and gotten to be knocked out with GA and the baby cut out of me instead, as a parenting choice. And I think I was on the verge of making some very poor birth choices because of my own desire for a good birth. I probably delayed and fought longer than I should have, and it could have been catastrophic.

And on the flip side of judgment, I have (privately, silently) judged as unwise parenting some people's choices to have homebirths or UCs in the face of serious risks. Sometimes it has worked out for them in the end and sometimes it hasn't. Just goes to show...in the end I really don't know what will be best for anyone (including myself, when it comes to birth, I just make the best choice I can with the hand I am dealt).
ccohenou is offline  
#40 of 51 Old 09-16-2006, 01:42 PM
 
sparkprincess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: St. Louis MO
Posts: 3,482
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
See though, I don't think that's what the op was meaning. I don't think anyone here is saying "Every single woman in the world needs to have her baby, unassisted, in the middle of the woods somewhere and if she doesn't she's a bad parent". (although I don't doubt for a minuted there are people out there that DO believe that!)

Again, we aren't talking about women who *in the process of childbirth* end up with a epi or c/s because of complications, etc. We are talking about women, like friends of mine, who outright say "I know there are risks, but I don't care! I don't want to feel any pain".

Does that make sense??
sparkprincess is offline  
#41 of 51 Old 09-16-2006, 02:43 PM
 
lolalola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,006
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Again, we aren't talking about women who *in the process of childbirth* end up with a epi or c/s because of complications, etc. We are talking about women, like friends of mine, who outright say "I know there are risks, but I don't care! I don't want to feel any pain".

Does that make sense??
Ok, in this respect I would have to agree that that would be a "poor parenting choice". Obviously there is a real lack of thought and/or callous disregard for the safety of one's babe.

Thanks for clarifying. I was under the impression that we were talking about women's choices DURING childbirth, not before labour even begins.
lolalola is offline  
#42 of 51 Old 09-16-2006, 04:41 PM
 
Lousli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,453
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I still don't think deciding on an epidural, even before labor, is a poor parenting choice. It isn't a choice I personally agree with, it has too many risks, but fear of pain does not, imo =bad parent. I think that people know epidurals have risks, but in reality, most (I know, not all) of the risks involved are for the mother (the most extreme things, paralysis, death, happen to the mother, not the baby) and many women are very much afraid of the pain of childbirth and are willing to assume these fairly rare risks in order to avoid that pain. It goes back to our culture's perceptions of pain and pain management and the way we teach (or fail to teach) women how their bodies work and what pregnancy and birth are really like.
Lousli is offline  
#43 of 51 Old 09-16-2006, 05:51 PM
 
GalateaDunkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by anothermama
I dunno.......I'm so darned tired of apologizing for the truth. I mean, yeah, the parenting choice thing, I guess that's subjective. But I'm just kind of tired of hearing the ol "You don't know what my labor was like so don't judge me" line. :




If I posted my honest response to this, I would be immediately and permanently banned from MDC. And I seriously considered that posting it might be worth the loss anyway, because this is a perfect example of the kind of attitude that makes this website worse than useless, many days...but the following, from a PP more serene than I, will serve as a suitable substitute.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccohenou
if you are hearing the comment that you don't know what a woman's labor was like, you weren't there, and you don't have an accurate way to judge what was and wasn't needed - and you are hearing this so often that you are tired of it - it might be time to think about why that is.
GalateaDunkel is offline  
#44 of 51 Old 09-16-2006, 05:56 PM
 
Turkish Kate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Body in Jax FL, Heart in Istanbul
Posts: 1,641
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lousli
<snip> I think that people know epidurals have risks, but in reality, most (I know, not all) of the risks involved are for the mother (the most extreme things, paralysis, death, happen to the mother, not the baby) and many women are very much afraid of the pain of childbirth and are willing to assume these fairly rare risks in order to avoid that pain.<snip>
I would beg to differ that point. One of the most common risks of epidural anesthesia is fetal hypoxia secondary to maternal hypotension. While the hypotension itself is only mildly troubling to the mother, it is a serious problem for the baby who relies on maternal blood pressure for its oxygen supply and can lead to death of the baby. This hypoxia also leads to fetal bradycardia and lower blood pH. Additionally, epidural anesthesia can lead to benign fever, which cannot be distinguished from a pathological fever and thus makes the baby susceptible to all the "just in case" tricks of the NICU team.

Unfortunately, most women are not advised of the true risks of epidural anesthesia. They are told some of the minor, less troubling aspects: headache--"but we can give you something for that; hypotension--"but we give you IV fluids to prevent that" (never mind the risks inherent in fluid overloading a pregnant woman who is probably also receiving oxytocin).

For a better idea of the true risks of epidual anesthesia, every pregnant woman should be given a copy of Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M.D., Ph.D. and Morgaine Mehl-Madrona's paper Medical Risks of Epidural Anesthesia During Childbirth , and should have it loooooong before labor starts. Like around the 20 week mark would be ideal, IMHO.

Kate
Turkish Kate is offline  
#45 of 51 Old 09-16-2006, 06:16 PM
 
Lousli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,453
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am not trying to say in any way that epidurals do not have risks. I totally understand that they do, and some of them are significant risks. I looked at the study you presented, and it seems pretty reliable. I think it is up to each woman to make the decision for herself.

I find it irritating that the risks of things that "we" disagree with are emphasized, while the risks of things "we" agree with are downplayed. Sometimes it seems, from reading here that a VBAC is a wonderfully safe option for anyone that has ever had a c-section, regardless of the circumstances, while an epidural is akin to selling your soul to the devil. Apparently, making the choice to have an epidural, (unless you "really need it", which others will feel free to judge for themselves) makes you selfish, a bad parent, and likely to continue making poor parenting choices in the future because clearly your overall parenting philosophies are embodied in this one choice.:
Lousli is offline  
#46 of 51 Old 09-17-2006, 07:40 PM
 
SundayInSeptember's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 28
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Isn't it all just about informed choice?
SundayInSeptember is offline  
#47 of 51 Old 09-17-2006, 07:52 PM
 
frontierpsych's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Where the other 4999 Bensoners are...
Posts: 6,377
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Briannasmom
Kathan - I love your perspective. I am too afraid to piss people off. But I doubt change has ever occurred in this country without the change-makers seriously pissing off those who didn't see the need or want to change. Thank you.
:
It's not even about the epidural to me-- the statement above can be applied to SO MANY THINGS. To make a change you need to change people's minds, and to do that, you have to challenge what they believe. It can get ugly.

I'm a modifiedartist.gif DH is a reading.gif we have 2 angel.gifs, and DS is a rainbow1284.gif baby.gif
frontierpsych is offline  
#48 of 51 Old 09-17-2006, 08:05 PM
 
SundayInSeptember's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 28
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just remember: sometimes when you pi$$ people off, you turn them off. And when you turn them off, not only do they not listen, but you are sometimes viewed as a fanatical crackpot, regardless as to how factual your information or morally correct your position. I've been working on a controversial issue for quite some time, and the people who most aggressively vocalize their point of view--right or wrong--are the most frequently ignored. And sometimes mocked unfairly, I might add.

Changing people's hearts and minds never works if things have to get ugly. Counter-productive, I am afraid, at least from my experience.
SundayInSeptember is offline  
#49 of 51 Old 09-17-2006, 09:55 PM
 
Lkg4dmcrc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 379
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by SundayInSeptember
Just remember: sometimes when you pi$$ people off, you turn them off. And when you turn them off, not only do they not listen, but you are sometimes viewed as a fanatical crackpot, regardless as to how factual your information or morally correct your position. I've been working on a controversial issue for quite some time, and the people who most aggressively vocalize their point of view--right or wrong--are the most frequently ignored. And sometimes mocked unfairly, I might add.

Changing people's hearts and minds never works if things have to get ugly. Counter-productive, I am afraid, at least from my experience.
From another mama who works on a controversial issue (to say the least), I wholeheartedly agree. In my experience, it takes about eighteen months to two years of gentile education on a subject to get people to agree with me and in some cases be more outraged/ready to change the world. Some of our best spokespeople have had a gentile education over a period of time and they can influence others to come to the same decision. Perhaps, if people here looked at risks of epidurals as more of a long-term educational campaign that a "OMG you are such a bad parent- how could you ever do that to your baby?" campaign, there would be a lot less babies born under epidural anesthesia.

And to the point that the OP is referring to the women who have decided long ago to get the epidural, not the ones who end up with one due to unforseen circumstances- I don't believe that she has actually come back and said that. Perhaps she can come back and tell us just which women are the ones she thinks are making bad parenting decisions.
Lkg4dmcrc is offline  
#50 of 51 Old 09-18-2006, 03:17 AM
 
USAmma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Arizona
Posts: 18,763
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by anothermama
that the choice to have an epidural is a parenting choice and that if you chose to have an epidural and don't need one and know the dangers, that it's a poor parenting choice.

MANY others took issue with this.

I'm interested in other thoughts and maybe a better way to articulate this.
I am not here to defend the universal use of epidurals, because I don't think they are a good thing for everyone, or even most people. But I did have two epidural births and I knew my risks. For me, I would rather have the epidurals than face some psychological skeletons in my closet from years of abuse in childhood. For once I didn't want pain to put me back into that dark place and steal the most joyful moments of life away from me.

While a greater woman might have found a way to work through that pain and use it to heal herself and not allow the ghosts to affect her anymore, I decided long ago I was too tired to fight or be brave in the face of those ghosts.

I am thankful that I had choices. I do feel guilty that my children had to feel the effects of those drugs because of my past. But I promised them that I will try hard to let that be the only thing from my past that will touch them. I had two very peaceful, joyful births with no complications, and no other drugs or interventions used. I labored in a safe place mentally and emotionally, and pulled my second daughter out with my own two hands and onto my chest. No regrets.

I am glad we live in a day and age when women have birth choices. I just wish that more women would educate themselves and empower themselves to research those choices, insist on them, and realize that they are in control and not the doctors and medical staff. I see too many women who succumb to pressure from doctors and submit to them without questioning anything. I believe that the wide spread use of epidurals is because traditional labor support from other women-- sisters, mothers, friends-- was done away with by our "modern" society. It's very hard to be confident in birth when you don't have any support on one hand, and someone offering pain relief on the other hand. We should not be angry at these mothers-- most of them don't know any better and are a product of their environment and upbringing when it comes to seeing doctors as all-knowing and powerful. Their own mothers probably did not have a good birth experience or even a natural birth. Gently educate people. Tell them about doulas and midwives and homebirths. But don't judge them. Many are just scared.

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
USAmma is offline  
#51 of 51 Old 09-18-2006, 10:04 PM
 
poetesss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: on the move?
Posts: 774
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
:


Wonderful words of wisdom, USAmma.
poetesss is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off