Is a vaginal delivery w/ drugs still "natural" - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Is having a vaginal delivery w/ drugs still a "natural birth"?
Yes, I believe it is. 17 7.00%
No, for a natural birth you need to have been drug free. 226 93.00%
Voters: 243. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-06-2006, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I vote for no.

What does everyone else think?
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Old 11-06-2006, 05:08 PM
 
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Absolutely not. There's not just a choice between a vaginal birth and a c-section, with one being natural and the other not.

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Old 11-06-2006, 05:47 PM
 
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No, but I do recognize that some people use the terms "natural" and "vaginal" synonymously - especially in mainstream circles. I always ask for clarification ("by 'natural' do you mean 'vaginal' or do you mean 'drug-free'?" and I specify when I'm discussing birth.

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Old 11-06-2006, 05:52 PM
 
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Of course not. There's nothing natural about spinal anesthesia or IV narcotics. I find it sad that "natural" has become synonimous with "vaginal".

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Old 11-06-2006, 05:53 PM
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I know I'm in the minority here and do not mean to offend, but I do believe that a vaginal birth, even with drugs, is a natural birth. If speaking of giving birth without the intervention of drugs, I specify "drug-free natural birth."
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Old 11-06-2006, 05:55 PM
 
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I think it's a specrum, a woman laboring alone doing exactly what she instinctually needs to being the most natural, a C-Section with the mom knocked out being the least. My labor was mostly natural but I received vaginal exams and antibiotics and had a few people I didn't want coming in and out of the room and such, so it wasn't completely so. For definition purposes I'd draw the line at no pain meds (-cain drugs OR narcotics) and possibly include no chemical induction.
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Old 11-06-2006, 05:57 PM
 
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I tend to think no. However, there are lots of things done that aren't "natural" during many births. For instance, my last birth I had my water broken, so that wasn't natural, but my baby was born with no meds at all and through my vagina.... I call it a natural childbirth, but I am sure some would argue that it isn't, techinically.

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Old 11-06-2006, 06:00 PM
 
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And just an afterthought.... I think lots of people use the word "natural" when refering to a vaginal birth because they don't want to say "vagina" or "vaginal"

Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.

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Old 11-06-2006, 06:01 PM
 
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No, I think just as a previous poster did that "natural" has become to mean born through the mother's body as opposed to a c-section.
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Old 11-06-2006, 06:04 PM
 
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I don't think an epidural falls under 'natural' birth but there are other interventions that are much more mild - heck would one say that a woman who happened to have tylenol in her system didn't have a natural birth? And some herbs and things are chemicals as well so... I think there is some grey area.
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Old 11-06-2006, 06:06 PM
 
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Well, "natural" and "vaginal" are not synonyms, and there is nothing remotely natural about having drugs in labor. So, no, a vaginal delivery with drugs is not natural.
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Old 11-06-2006, 06:51 PM
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i said 'no' as well. natural means without interventions in my book.
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Old 11-06-2006, 06:56 PM
 
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I voted yes, mostly because I don't like the survey. I think the idea of the survey is great. But in its current form, it is completely black and white. Life, mothers, babies and births are all grey (or green, orange, red...).

What if a mom tries for natural, and then right before she delivers the placenta some medical person gives her pit in the thigh without asking because it is "routine"? What if she is 43 weeks and tried sex, nipple stimulation.... and nothing works, but then she gets a bit of cervidil, and goes on to have a completely natural labor from that point on? What if she had stop and start labor for a few days, and opted for a big glass of red wine and a sleeping pill, so she could get some rest? What if she didn't have morphine or pit, but took a couple of tylenol?

Well, you get the idea. Life is to colorful for Yes and No. Is there a way to make this survey a little more flexible?
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Old 11-06-2006, 07:00 PM
 
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I think that when most people say "natural" they think drug-free, at least most people who I talk to. Then again, they are those that will say, no I had him/her naturally, as in, no, I didn't have a c-section. It's a matter of perception. What "natural" means to one person doesn't mean the same to another. I think when talking about "natural" it's probably wise to specify whether you mean drug-free or vaginal. So really, I think it depends on how you define "natural".

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Old 11-06-2006, 07:01 PM
 
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I hate that it seems so black and white. I guess my birth wasn't natural because of the 1/4 shot of Nubain, and the AROM, and the membrane stripping. But, I still say I had a natural birth. Did I have a TOTALLY natural, intervention free birth, no, but I'm not willing to give up the hard work that I did for the sake of fitting into someone else's definition of natural.
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Old 11-06-2006, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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But perhaps I was curious if people had to pick one answer, what they would pick. That's just what I wanted to know. If you don't like that type of survey, you're free to start your own, I'd be curious about those answers too.
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Old 11-06-2006, 07:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkg View Post
I know I'm in the minority here and do not mean to offend, but I do believe that a vaginal birth, even with drugs, is a natural birth. If speaking of giving birth without the intervention of drugs, I specify "drug-free natural birth."
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotwings640 View Post
I tend to think no. However, there are lots of things done that aren't "natural" during many births. For instance, my last birth I had my water broken, so that wasn't natural, but my baby was born with no meds at all and through my vagina.... I call it a natural childbirth, but I am sure some would argue that it isn't, techinically.
I think these are valid points.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hotwings640 View Post
And just an afterthought.... I think lots of people use the word "natural" when refering to a vaginal birth because they don't want to say "vagina" or "vaginal"
I think this is just really funny!

I voted "no", tho.

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Old 11-06-2006, 07:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post
What if a mom tries for natural, and then right before she delivers the placenta some medical person gives her pit in the thigh without asking because it is "routine"?
This happened to me, although when they told me they "needed" to do it, I resisted a little by saying, "do you really HAVE TO?" and they said yes. Then, immediately after the shot the Dr says "sometimes massaging helps as well". And we're like, so why didn't you try that FIRST!!!??

Couple other comments. When I mean "vaginal" but don't want to say it, I say "normal", instead of "natural". Mine was drug-free but I hesitate to say "natural" b/c it was in a hospital.

Re: induced labors that are otherwise natural, I was sitting having lunch w/ 3 moms from a new mommy group and 2 of them had induced labors that were otherwise drug-free. I was totally amazed, not only at this accomplishment but also just the odds that we all sat together coincidentally. As an aside, after hearing their stories I believe they both would have given birth at the exact same time had they NOT been given pitocin...

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Old 11-06-2006, 07:37 PM
 
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I think this is more a reflection on the increased rate of cesarean births...that a baby that comes out of your vagina is natural.

Sad.
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Old 11-06-2006, 07:47 PM
 
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I think that any woman who has gone through birth has the right to call it whatever she wants.

Personally, anyone I really *care* to know how they had their baby will have clarified if it was natural/unmedicated vaginal or natural/medicated vaginal.
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Old 11-06-2006, 08:00 PM
 
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No...

Natural is drug-free
with drugs it is just vaginal

 
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Old 11-06-2006, 08:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamamidwife View Post
I think this is more a reflection on the increased rate of cesarean births...that a baby that comes out of your vagina is natural.

Sad.
yes.... very....

 
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Old 11-06-2006, 08:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post
What if a mom tries for natural, and then right before she delivers the placenta some medical person gives her pit in the thigh without asking because it is "routine"?
I'm not sure how this would bear on it at all. If she's about to deliver the placenta, her baby is already born. How can anything done after the baby is born have any bearing on whether or not the childbirth was natural?

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Old 11-06-2006, 08:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paxye View Post
No...

Natural is drug-free
with drugs it is just vaginal
May I just say that after three unwanted c-sections, "just vaginal" is a rather bizarre term to me?

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Old 11-06-2006, 08:53 PM
 
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Hmm.. I'm not sure about this. I had a small amount of entonox during my labour, but I gave birth at home, in water with no dilation checks, or interventions, my husband caught our baby and the cord was left intact until after the placenta turned up in its own time. Dd had no vitamin K or anything else so it was 99% natural. I know people who have had drug free births but have had waters broke, lying on a bed with a monitor and their babies have had vit k, eye drops etc so I would say their entry to the world was less natural.
I guess I believe that active birth without pitocin/hands on medical assistance is more natural with or without drugs than the most drugfree ob/gyn birth.
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Old 11-06-2006, 09:50 PM
 
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Natural birth, to me, means giving birth the way nature intended - without medication.

I can see how there might be some grey area because some women have small doses of medication, some women have medication but it doesn't work, others take homeopathic remedies or herbal remedies, so really I guess "natural" is in the eye of the beholder.

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Old 11-06-2006, 09:53 PM
 
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so since I had nitris with DS1 does that mean I did not have a natural birth?
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Old 11-06-2006, 09:54 PM
 
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I think that a natural birth is one without pain medications.

My first birth, I had nubain and it was a vaginal birth. I don't consider that natural.

My second, I had no pain meds at all, but did have antibiotics for GBS. Though abx are drugs, I do consider that a natural birth. I was feeling it just like we have for millenia, lol.
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:18 PM
 
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Sounds like a potentially loaded question to me, when you consider how very much emotional valuation we place on the term "natural birth". Would we use the term "unnatural birth" to refer to anything else? Personally, I prefer more specific descriptive phrases instead; such as unmedicated vaginal birth, vaginal birth w/ IV pain meds, etc, when it's appropriate to use such descriptions. Other times, of course, it's just more practical to stick with the phrase "natural birth". And if we're gonna be sticklers on that, well then anything other than unassisted, unmedicated vaginal birth would be something less than natural, wouldn't it? Splitting hairs, of course. If you had to pin me to the two answers in the survey, I guess I'd have to say that no, the medicated birth is not "natural". No offense to anyone who might perceive that negatively. It happens to be what I had w/ three of mine though (a dose of IV pain meds or two), and I felt pretty "natural" about them all. Then again, maybe the hair-splitting doesn't matter to me.
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:23 PM
 
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heck no. drugs aren't "natural." however, i don't think not natural=wrong or horrible.

to me a "natural" birth is both vaginal and drug-free, that means labor augmenting drugs as well as pain meds.

Chrissy, lucky mama to Noah (9), Lilah (6), Rowan (3) and Laney (1).
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