"What's wrong with drugs?" - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-22-2007, 03:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I gave birth without drugs despite 41 hours of labor. : My initial email birth announcement didn't mention that, but when folks followed up and asked me how I was feeling, I mentioned that I was so proud of that. One friend wrote back, "What's wrong with drugs?" Now usually I am cautious (not cautious enough according to DH...) about this because I am speaking to friends who did have drugs with their own births (often by C-section) -- however, this friend has no intention of having kids ever, so that is not a concern here. Where do I begin?
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Old 08-22-2007, 03:19 AM
 
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How about using "I feel" statements?
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Old 08-22-2007, 04:28 AM
 
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How about using "I feel" statements?
I disagree. I think "Studies have found..." statements would be a much better route!

You can just keep it brief: studies have found that women who don't use pain medication have fewer complications during and after labor.

And good job in going med free in a long labor! It IS an achievement, and I wish more women were doing it.

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Old 08-22-2007, 07:47 AM
 
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I disagree. I think "Studies have found..." statements would be a much better route!...
I agree.

A lot of moms will dismiss studies thinking, "Well, it turned out okay for my baby." I might add in something about epidurals and chronic back pain for mom *or* not wanting to further set your child up for becoming an addict by flooding him with narcotics at the same time he's receiving the greatest concentration of bonding/imprinting hormones.

~BV
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Old 08-22-2007, 10:59 AM
 
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Yep, facts. That's the way I'd go. I prefer my babies drug free and here's why. I prefer no needle in my spine and here's why. You know, but put more nicely

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Old 08-22-2007, 02:44 PM
 
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I tell people straight out that medications interrupt the normal chemical processes in the body that are necessary for a healthy, normal birth process. Medications and their administration (e.g., sticking a needle in your spine for an epidural) carry risks to both the mother and baby. If you interrupt the birth process, you may require other interventions, which also carry risks to mom and baby, and further interrupt the birth process, requiring further interventions...etc.

Plus, the body already has a way of dealing with discomfort: endorphins. Mmmm, yummy endorphins. Why accept some cheap risky imitation when you can have the real deal AND still be able to feel your own legs and work with your body?

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Old 08-22-2007, 02:52 PM
 
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There is plenty of evidence that drugs, all of them, pass through the placenta and affect the baby's health. This has been around for decades. What does a dose of painkiller that makes a mom who weighs 150 pounds loopy do to a fetus that is five to nine pounds? The liver of the fetus is not fully developed until a few months after they are born, so what is the advantage of giving drugs to a mother that will cause her baby to breathe shallow and sleep deeply to the point of death?

Most women are quite conscientious about their tobacco, alcohol and OTC drug intake during the nine months leading up to labor. Why do they suddenly open their veins, spinal columns, nasal passages, and mouths to the strong narcotics that strangers pump into their bodies in the hospital during labor?

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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Old 08-22-2007, 02:59 PM
 
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I tell people that I decided it was too much to take the potential risk of side effects and the possibility of more stringent intervention or harm to my baby to just side step a little pain. I did it and women have been doing it for millenia w/out pain meds. It *is* do-able and going the "weenie" route (imo) isn't worth the possible consequences, to me. Of course, I try and put it into nicer terms. I also tell people that this was my choice and has no berring on other people's choices... I just hope that they were informed choices, you know?

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Old 08-22-2007, 03:11 PM
 
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I had a drugged birth, and wish I had not; so perhaps share with her that the rate of c-sections is higher among women who elect for painkillers; the epidural is not always effective (it wasn't for me), yet the simple fact that it was administered limits the positions in which a woman can labor regardless of the effectiveness of the drugs. (I wasn't allowed out of bed despite having full feeling and control of my body.) Additionally, the epidural can cause some women to not know when or how to push, resulting in either stalled labors or severe tearing. (This happened to my mother during my brother's birth - she went drug free for me)
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Old 08-22-2007, 03:39 PM
 
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I don't know about you but I went natural cause I'm a scaredy cat - not of normal pain but of needles, unnatural pain, side effects, limited mobility, unnatural chemicals, and sugery.
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Old 08-22-2007, 03:58 PM
 
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I'd glance at the pertinent chapter(s) of The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth and give a short summary. Then give her the book title in case she's interested in studies or more info.
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Old 08-22-2007, 04:01 PM
 
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My main reason was that I was scared of the side effects - I always get the icky side effects from ANY drugs and the ones they use for labor are pretty heavy on the potential baddies. Now that I've done it and it wasn't so bad, I don't see why you WOULD need drugs for a normal healthy delivery. And I also think the endorphins and other hormones your body makes naturally are better drugs than anything they can give you synthetically. Kind of like Nature's gift. And of course you and baby are both more coherent afterwards and there is less of a recovery. All in all... I say it's a no-brainer. Unless of course something is TERRIBLY wrong and you're in massive amounts of pain, but that's not a normal healthy labor by any means.
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Old 08-22-2007, 05:54 PM
 
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I'd just go with - I didn't use drugs for 40 weeks, why fall at the last hurdle?
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Old 08-22-2007, 06:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by applejuice View Post
Most women are quite conscientious about their tobacco, alcohol and OTC drug intake during the nine months leading up to labor. Why do they suddenly open their veins, spinal columns, nasal passages, and mouths to the strong narcotics that strangers pump into their bodies in the hospital during labor?
Yup, it strikes me as very strange that there are some women who are dead-set against ingestion of ANY caffeine, alcohol, soft cheeses, or deli meat during pregnancy, but blithely accept an epidural as "safe". Holy risk perception muddle, Batman!

may my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living whatever they sing is better than to know  - e.e. cummings
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Old 08-23-2007, 01:27 AM
 
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A lot of moms will dismiss studies thinking, "Well, it turned out okay for my baby." I might add in something about epidurals and chronic back pain for mom *or* not wanting to further set your child up for becoming an addict by flooding him with narcotics at the same time he's receiving the greatest concentration of bonding/imprinting hormones.

~BV
Do you have a link to back up that claim? Because it could be considered a rather inflamatory claim.
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Old 08-23-2007, 02:11 AM
 
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So, I gave birth without drugs despite 41 hours of labor. : My initial email birth announcement didn't mention that, but when folks followed up and asked me how I was feeling, I mentioned that I was so proud of that. One friend wrote back, "What's wrong with drugs?" Now usually I am cautious (not cautious enough according to DH...) about this because I am speaking to friends who did have drugs with their own births (often by C-section) -- however, this friend has no intention of having kids ever, so that is not a concern here. Where do I begin?
Congratulations PiePie!!!
Where did you give birth?
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Old 08-23-2007, 08:08 AM
 
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*or* not wanting to further set your child up for becoming an addict by flooding him with narcotics at the same time he's receiving the greatest concentration of bonding/imprinting hormones.

~BV
Um, yeah I'd like to see some facts regarding this. I support natural childbirth (I am a trainee midwife), but I have never come across any information regarding a correlation to abusing drugs as an adult. :
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:29 AM
 
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Um, yeah I'd like to see some facts regarding this. I support natural childbirth (I am a trainee midwife), but I have never come across any information regarding a correlation to abusing drugs as an adult. :
I don't have the reference but I know Henci Goer is referencing them in her talks and they might be on her website.

They were Scandanavian studies done in the 70s, 80s & 90s maybe. Due to socialized medicine it's really easy to pull birthing data on adults. Anyway I believe they compared groups of people who'd tried recreational narcotics and those who were had become addicted to recreational narcotics alongside their birth records and found those that had narcotics administered during labor/birth were far more likely (6 or 7xs maybe?) to become addicted. I'd think anyone with a family history of addiction would take special care to avoid exposing their children to narcotics alongside bonding hormones.

~BV
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:36 AM
 
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Most women are quite conscientious about their tobacco, alcohol and OTC drug intake during the nine months leading up to labor. Why do they suddenly open their veins, spinal columns, nasal passages, and mouths to the strong narcotics that strangers pump into their bodies in the hospital during labor?
Um, coz they are in unbelievable pain perhaps?!?!?
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Old 08-23-2007, 01:00 PM
 
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They were Scandanavian studies done in the 70s, 80s & 90s maybe. Due to socialized medicine it's really easy to pull birthing data on adults. Anyway I believe they compared groups of people who'd tried recreational narcotics and those who were had become addicted to recreational narcotics alongside their birth records and found those that had narcotics administered during labor/birth were far more likely (6 or 7xs maybe?) to become addicted. I'd think anyone with a family history of addiction would take special care to avoid exposing their children to narcotics alongside bonding hormones.
Dr. Bertil Jacobson did this report. It was written about in Omni Magazine in 1988. Do you think this may explain the psychedelic generation of the 1960s after their mothers were given amnesiacs during labor in the 1940s and 1950s? The study also said that babies born by forceps would use mechanical means to commit suicide and babies with cord problems would use suffocation methods.

See also:

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-3834823.html

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/317/7169/1346

I have posted this before on MDC and been flamed by mothers who said I was adding to their guilt by stating that they were now being told their children were destined to be drug addicts because of the drugs they took during labor. I am only trying to add to your knowledge and information. Will your OB tell you about this? Your anesthesiologist? We live in a culture that believes chemicals will solve our problem.

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Old 08-23-2007, 01:25 PM
 
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Um, coz they are in unbelievable pain perhaps?!?!?
this is an interesting discussion for me. I think that pain is relative and different for everyone. I think the "unbelievable pain" that I experienced was tolerable because I was in my own home and I was surrounded by people who were supportive and not encouraging me to take pain meds.
not to say this isn't possible in a hospital but the way hospitals are set up and run is not conducive to tolerating the pain of labor.

most hospitals (in this area just about all of them) are spending more money on new technology and machinery and not enough on training and staff. If women were welcomed at a hospital (although this is probably more likely to occur in a birth center) with warmth and respect by people who view birth as a normal and natural process and understand the hormonal, emotional and spiritual aspects of birth and thereby allow women to birth as they choose, then maybe pain meds would not be as necessary.

The pain is bad but add to that all of the disrespect and humiliation women experience compounded by the cold and informal atmosphere that immediately demands them to use their neo-cortex and gets their adrenaline pumping, it's amazing anyone can get through it without pain killers.

So yes, I see why some women need an epidural in the hospital but ideally we need to have a space that will allow women to birth in comfort and safety with excellent support and if they did have this then a lot less epidurals would be given.
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Old 08-23-2007, 02:12 PM
 
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ITA, Jimibell.

My first two labors were long and posterior, but I managed to get through them at home. I credit the education, health and exercise I assessed for myself and my caregivers.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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Old 08-23-2007, 02:44 PM
 
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I also agree with that. It makes such a difference the people you're surrounded by. I'm lucky in that our L&D dept is really wonderful. I still didn't want to give birth there but most of the nurses and staff are warm and sweet and knowledgeable. The few bad apples are still enough to make your body tense up though... But the quality and attitude of the staff makes all the difference in the world. At home you can choose who to invite and who not to, that's why I think it'd be the best option. In a hospital it's the luck of the draw.
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Old 08-23-2007, 04:42 PM
 
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At home, the mother is queen of her domain.

In the hospital, the mother is a patient.

Big difference in approach to the advent of birth.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:04 PM
 
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Dr. Bertil Jacobson did this report. It was written about in Omni Magazine in 1988. Do you think this may explain the psychedelic generation of the 1960s after their mothers were given amnesiacs during labor in the 1840s and 1950s? The study also said that babies born by forceps would use mechanical means to commit suicide and babies with cord problems would use suffocation methods.
That particular study only mentions the opiates = future drug addictions as a side note. Then, if you read one of the other links you gave, it states:

Quote:
Dr. Bertil Jacobson, who was to report his findings today at the Third International Congress on Pre- and Perinatal Psychology, noted that only a tiny percentage of mothers given barbiturates or opiates at birth during the period studied produced babies who later became addicts.
Definitely doesn't seem like a hard and fast rule.

-sarah-
mom to three, 4 and under.
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:08 PM
 
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Um, coz they are in unbelievable pain perhaps?!?!?
Ah, but how horrible is it that the ONLY way most people know to deal with pain is through pharmacology?

How many OBs honestly talk to their clients about reducing fear of birth? How many of them talk about the relationship of fear to pain? How many discuss - honestly discuss in depth - use of massage, changing position, different relaxation techniques, visualization, laboring in water, etc etc etc?

Has anybody ever heard an OB tell a client that being able to feel the physical sensations of birth might be a GOOD thing? Do they talk about the normal feedback loop of birth, the body's own defenses against discomfort, the way that we can use pain/discomfort to guide what we do?

All I ever hear from mainstream sources is pain = bad = medicate the dickens out of yourself.

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Old 08-23-2007, 05:10 PM
 
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this is an interesting discussion for me. I think that pain is relative and different for everyone. I think the "unbelievable pain" that I experienced was tolerable because I was in my own home and I was surrounded by people who were supportive and not encouraging me to take pain meds.
Sure, and I absolutely agree with that. It was *your* experience, not everyone's, and I think it translates for a lot of women.

However, homebirth does not take away the pain or even diminish it to levels comparable to most pain we would experience, for many women.

I find it a bit patronizing/negating of that reality when choosing pain relief for what is often excruciating is compared to not cutting down on caffeine or alcohol intake during pregnancy.

I notice this a fair bit in the natural birthing community. Contractions called 'rushes' or freaking 'pillowsqueezes!' OMG!! It's pain, man. Maybe not for everyone, but for a good many of us. And while birthing at home with decent attendants can make a *world* of difference in how we are able to cope with that pain, it's still for many of us an incredible amount of pain.
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:12 PM
 
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Um, yeah I'd like to see some facts regarding this. I support natural childbirth (I am a trainee midwife), but I have never come across any information regarding a correlation to abusing drugs as an adult. :
I seem to recall reading something like this in the Bradley book. My friend has it right now, so I can't check, but in the workbook there's an opinion piece by Jay Hathaway, AAHCC, saying: "A news report (July 11, 1987, Associated Press) linked teen-age drug addiction to the use of childbirth drugs by their mothers. Other reports have linked adolescent suicide to birth events."

Now, I haven't looked at the studies in question personally to see if they were believable, but bryonyvaughn wasn't just making it up. Really, whether or not it's true, there are plenty more reasons to avoid unnecessary epidurals (wasn't there a recent study linking epidurals with problems breastfeeding? Or maybe that was Pitocin, or both...). Sometimes someone is going to end up sincerely needing one, but that doesn't mean that everyone should get one automatically. And I agree very much with Jimibell that staying in a safe environment is the best way to avoid needing an epidural. I know that was the last thing on my mind, even during transition and back labor, because it just wasn't available. I didn't have to spend any mental energy on resisting the temptation of drugs (not that I personally find them at all tempting, yuck, needle in spine), so I could focus on better ways of relieving my pain. Like pushing that baby out so I could be done.

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Old 08-23-2007, 05:37 PM
 
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Sure, and I absolutely agree with that. It was *your* experience, not everyone's, and I think it translates for a lot of women.

However, homebirth does not take away the pain or even diminish it to levels comparable to most pain we would experience, for many women.

I find it a bit patronizing/negating of that reality when choosing pain relief for what is often excruciating is compared to not cutting down on caffeine or alcohol intake during pregnancy.

I notice this a fair bit in the natural birthing community. Contractions called 'rushes' or freaking 'pillowsqueezes!' OMG!! It's pain, man. Maybe not for everyone, but for a good many of us. And while birthing at home with decent attendants can make a *world* of difference in how we are able to cope with that pain, it's still for many of us an incredible amount of pain.
I am not talking about the pain going away, I am talking about the reality that epidurals, which come with MANY risks (that most women are not fully informed of, but that's another discussion), would not be as common if women were able to birth in peace. It doesn't mean it doesn't hurt like a mother-f.......I personally would never say that!! I just mean that it can be tolerable under the right circumstances (and in fact I agree that it can be intolerable under the wrong circumstances).

As to comparing it to not taking in alcohol, caffeine, tylenol, etc during pregnancy; my take on it is that the doctors will take time (and all the books and strangers) to explain the risks of drinking, etc and quite a big deal is made out of it but an epidural is seen as not only acceptable but is strongly encouraged (in most hospitals).....this is the hypocrisy. They're saying basically that if you need a drink or have a headache or worse yet, a toothache, during pregnancy, you should suffer for your baby.....but once you're in labor it is OK to pulse drugs through your and your baby's bodies.
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:41 PM
 
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It can be tolerable under the right circumstances *for most women*.

I completely agree with spreading information about the risks of epidurals and pain relief, and about the options for getting assistance to deal with and minimize the pain in natural ways.

I just cringe sometimes because I see on the one hand epis and the 'agony' of labour pushed on women, and then on the other hand the actual real pain many women experience is minimized.

I support informed *choice* for women re: pain relief in childbirth. I support sharing information about options other than medical pain relief, but I also really think acknowledgement is essential that the pain is real and intense for many of us, and that it is valid and not necessarily an indication of ignorance to choose medical pain relief.

Both things.
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