Question For the Natural Birth Advocates - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 03-09-2008, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Since becoming a midwife student, many people have asked me for advice. When my sister became pregnant last year she asked me if it was ok to eat deli meat, shellfish, etc. She was deadset against breastfeeding. Recently she's been asking me about vaccinations.

I give her my OPINION which is based on what I have been reading/studying and on my personal lifestyle choices. I would share with her the benefits of breastfeeding but she would debate me...saying it was "gross" or that formula is a good second choice and lots of her friends do it.....and their babies are just fine. When I told her that she has the choice whether to vax or not or even to delay it, she said, "Well there are studies on both sides of the fence so I'm just going to do what my doctor says."

My friend with Factor V said that she is scheduled for a repeat C-section on April 17th. When I asked why (clotting condition coupled with major surgery raised a flag in my head) she said, "Because (first daughter) was a c-section and my doctor just said it would be best." Um....best for whom?

Anyway, it seems like now that I'm a midwife student, people are asking for my opinion about their pregnancies and babies all the time...yet I'm not sure why. The women that ask my opinion are just doing whatever their doctors tell them to do....even if it's not the best course of action nor best for them or the baby.

So...my question: Do you ever just feel like saying, "Just go ask your doctor." I mean, I'm all for changing the way that people view birth and promoting a natural experience but I feel like I'm wasting my breath! After asking about the birth process, my sister added, ".....and don't try scaring me into having a natural birth with all your midwife talk." Why is natural birth so scary? Hmmmm......


Thanks for any info ladies!


Jen Burnett, DEM
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#2 of 8 Old 03-09-2008, 10:22 PM
 
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It is discouraging. I just received my provisonal CBE certification and I have taught a few classes and talked to many women. You can talk till you are blue in the face and then it still seems that it was useless. I love to talk birth and want to educate women, but when they don't seem to understand or change their ways, it is rough. Patience and support is crucial. I know I am not going to change the world, but if there is that one woman that I can encourage, then I guess I have done my job. It is a slow process. I view it more as a educational opportunity that I can hand down to my children so that they do not have the same view about birth that I was brought up on. Every little bit helps.
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#3 of 8 Old 03-09-2008, 11:33 PM
 
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All I can tell you is "don't give up". You may be the difference between c/s forever for one woman, or the path to midwifery for another. It was thru my childbirth educator that I found out about some local midwives, and had my second child at home. Yes, some students will cop out, and not take responsibility, and some will need whatever it is they are offered, but the point, I think, is to get them to find out for themselves. To think independently. Some people never will, and for others, it is the wings they need for ultimate personal and professional freedom!! You just never know. You are thier light, go for it...
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#4 of 8 Old 03-09-2008, 11:35 PM
 
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On the contrary lots of young people who dont think about birth, or know anything about birth get really interested when they talk to me, and I feel like the things I say to them might resonate, or that they might just consider them, when they get pregnant years later. Its pretty cool, I feel like I make lots of change just by believing in what I do.
On the other hand I often feel like you do.... breastfeeding is gross??? Formula is a good second option??? eek! some people aren't so easy to inform...
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#5 of 8 Old 03-09-2008, 11:46 PM
 
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I would not be discouraged by an immediate negative reaction. I have known of many women who rejected new advice which conflicted with their established ideas or their doctor's advice, gradually thought it over and absorbed it over days or weeks, or even months, and ended up looking further into the matter or eventually changing their minds. You may not always be around to see the change, but what you say does not always just go in one ear and out the other.
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#6 of 8 Old 03-09-2008, 11:49 PM
 
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A lifetime ago I was all about the meds & vaccs & disposables. Anything "natural" was to weird or too hard.

I had just found out I was PG with my 1st. She didnt say much to me, but the few things she did say opened the door a bit. I brushed her comments aside but when I held my son the first time I realized I wanted what was best & what *I* thought was best was BFing & I proceeded to BF even though it hadnt been planned.

Sometimes you may not think you are getting through. You may not see an immediate result but the seed does get planted & thats the best you can do.
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#7 of 8 Old 03-10-2008, 12:44 AM
 
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This can be very frustrating. As a natural childbirth educator, and a lactation educator- I find people ask me my opinion on things all the time and it seems like they are doing this only to start a debate!

Hang in there- and do your best to educate the ill informed people around you. I don't think an increased risk of childhood cancer, obeasity, and diabetes is a close second to human milk! Keep your chin up! You know the truth!
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#8 of 8 Old 03-10-2008, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all of your kind comments. That really does help me process things. You are right in that patience is needed!

I think more often than not, people make decisions based on doctors advice just because they are doctors. And for some reason, women ACCEPT that there will be complications with a c-section. In my experience, women are just happy to have the baby.. the method is not important....and that's ok too. BUT, when you ask a midwife, or student, CBE, doula, etc about birth, prepare for a little soapboxing....lol ()




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