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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I am just wondering about this in regards to another post.

Someone had an "all natural" childbirth. EXCEPT, she was given Pitocin to get her labor started after her water broke and her ctx didn't start within 12 hours. Okay, she is very "proud" of herself.

So, what does natural childbrith mean to you? I felt like saying, well, yeah natural except the pitocin. Okay, so you still had a medicated birth. This is back to my wonderings on the perception of pain/natural childbirth etc.

Do I (I not really meaning me, just meaning a woman) get to claim natural childbirth because I went through the pain of childbirth without drugs? What if I have acupuncture or use a TENS? Where is the line between what is natural and what is not.

Oh, and really, I don't care. LOL I mean, I think as women we all do a fabulous job getting these babies out into the world. I am thinking of this mostly from a philosophical (sp?) point of view.
 

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I consider it a vaginal, drug free birth.

Even if she was induced with pit.....I would still consider it natural.

Though...I think the goal should be as little intervention as possible.
 

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I'm somewhat turned off by the OP, and by the fact that "natural chidbirth" and "proud" are in quotations. The mama has every right to be proud of herself. She did drug free birth while on pitocin.
And her baby is fine, and she, I am assuming. Good for her. I hope she feels great.
 

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well I consider that pretty natural....depening on where you've chosen to give birth a lot of times you only have 24 hrs to give birth once your water has broken so it's a pretty wise choice to try and speed things up rather than risk needing a c-section. and it's pretty cool to not have pain meds with the pitocin because my understanding is it almost always causes longer and stronger contrax than usual. so I'd be very proud of myself if I did that. and I'd consider it *almost* natural.
but it bothers me when people use natural to describe vaginal, as if pitocin, AROM, epidural, and forceps are still all a natural birth just because it's not a c-section.
 

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I say the girl had a natural vaginal birth. Just because someone gets Pit after their water was broken doesnt mean it was a bad thing. Sometimes it is needed. (my aunt had PROM at 35 weeks and got pit nearly 19 hours later)

Kim
 

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Uh, I thought the whole point of natural child birth was NO interventions? Of course she should be proud, but so should a woman who gave birth with an epidural or another woman who gave birth without any drugs whatsoever. But natural, to me, means no artificial interventions, including all drugs.

A lot of people think of natural childbirth as just delivering vaginally. I think people say naturally because they don't like saying vaginally, LOL.
 

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I always stall on this question, because I am not sure, and because I had pitocin (and my waters broken) at 41+ weeks for medical need, but had no other meds. Despite constant monitoring, I did move around freely, labored in a tub for 3 hours, and avoided epidural. I was proud of that.

But when I'm asked, I'm not sure how to answer. I usually qualify it by saying I was aiming for a natural birth and had no pain meds, but was induced, in a hospital.

And that's my goal again. No meds at all. But I am planning it for the hospital, so maybe in some people's minds, that's not "natural" either. Maybe they only count home births as such? It's interesting from a philosphical point, Leos....

LOL, francais, I think people probably DO sub "natural" for vaginal. That's funny.
 

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To me, it should only be used to say vaginal, drug free birth.

Because "vagina" is a word many women won't say, the tendency in my area is for women to say "natural" when they mean 'vaginal with lots of other stuff going on'.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by thismama
The mama has every right to be proud of herself. She did drug free birth while on pitocin.
And her baby is fine, and she, I am assuming. Good for her. I hope she feels great.


They gave me pitocin 14 hours after my water broke to encourage regular contractions. I had been 3 to 4 cm all that time. Come to find out, he might have never come down otherwise--he came out hand first, and a shoulder was lodged under my pelvic bone. They also used a vacuum with one push to release/unwedge him. After all of this and 19 hours, I had an otherwise unmedicated birth. I was all for 'as little intervention as humanly possible', but sometimes I feel like, without that intrevention--we both could have died! I do tell people that I had a natural birth. Others in different situations have "more natural" births, I am sure. I am happy for them!
But that was the hand I was dealt, and for awhile, I was angry and sad about it not being 'more' natural--but I have learned to look back on Noah's birth fondly.

Peace--


Sarah
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Um, I used proud in quotes because I think every woman should be proud of her birth no matter whether she has drugs or not. I didn't use it to say that this mother shouldn't be proud. I thought I explained that.

I guess what I am really wondering is why do people tend to look down on moms who choose pain relief (because it is a drug right? or is there another reason I am missing) but the pitocin is okay?

My opinion is, do what you need to do. We all have an idealist view of birth and such, but unfortunately, as many of us know, what actually happens can be far from that idealist view.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by leosmama20
I guess what I am really wondering is why do people tend to look down on moms who choose pain relief (because it is a drug right? or is there another reason I am missing) but the pitocin is okay?
I think it's because people tend to see pain relieving drugs as purely optional, but drugs like pitocin as medically necessary (in some situations).

ETA that, while I do think that is people's perception, pain relief can sometimes be medically indicated in the case of exhaustion, *true* failure to progress, etc. In any case, I don't think people should be "looked down on" for getting pain medication - different people birth in different ways, and everyone has their own idea of what they want to get out of their birth experience. I am not choosing a homebirth to be a hero, likewise I am not going to criticize someone for choosing the epidural route. HOWEVER, I do think women should educate themselves on what the risks are. I *do* kind of look down on someone who does nothing to research the effects of the pain drugs and then goes running to the hospital at the first contraction to get an epidural, and ends up with a c-section because she never progressed past 2 centimeters. I look down on her and pity her at the same time, because she is a victim of our messed up birth culture. But, she facilitated her own victimhood.

Anyway - to get back to the OP, I wouldn't split hairs with her over whether her birth was "natural" or not. It wasn't 100% drug free but she had a lot less intervention than most people. Besides, what if she had needed forceps or something, but had no drugs? Would she be allowed to call her birth "natural" then? Some people would argue that anything less than an unassisted childbirth is not natural, that just having a midwife attend the birth is an intervention.


I do agree though that a lot of people use the term "natural" interchangeably with "vaginal", and that does kind of irk me.
 

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Yeah, the hero thing is misguided, IMO. When people act all impressed with my DD's birth (no pain meds, on pitocin) I tell them who knows what would've happened if the labor went on longer? Mine was 8 hrs door to door. But could I have done 13? Or as a friend of mine did, 48 hrs on pitocin? I was okay at 10 PM, but at 3 AM would I have still been going strong? I don't know. I kind of doubt it.

And I completely credit the tub, and a hand massage from my MW for helping me through. That tub may be natural, and not a pain med, per se, but man o man it took tons of pain away, and I am thankful for it. I've only just started hearing about these mysterious TENS machines and water gobules under the skin (?), too.

I get more upset with people over early, planned inductions for no real medical reason, actually....then they are just circumventing the whole natural process, not just working with it, ykwim?

And then there's cord cutting, vit k shots, nursing, cosleeping, vaxes, organic, working or SAHM...that "natural" tag keeps messing with a lot of moms after birth as well.
 

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Natural to 'me' = vaginal with no meds. I can't really say one way or the other how I feel pitocin fits into that definition. Don't even want to imagine a med free birth on pitocin though (from what I hear). YIKES!

On that note... I've heard from c-section moms who get very defensive when the term 'natural' is used in association with vaginal birth. Some feel that their birth is just as natural as jill down the hall who had an unmedicated vaginal birth.

Where IS the line drawn for natural birth? Having had one very UNnatural birth in hospital and then one completely natural birth at home, the difference is obvious but I guess not to everyone. And now I'm wondering, I had some homeopathics during labor the 2nd time, would that be considered unnatural by some?

Thanks for the philosophical Q leosmama.
 

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The short answer I give when asked is that I had a natural, vaginal birth. If asked further, I normally say I had a 'pain-med free birth', but technically speaking it wasn't entirely 'natural' - I had Pitocin in the last half hour when my contractions fell away after 2.5 hours of pushing. (This, by the way, is an example of APPROPRIATE use of Pitocin - it was only used when really necessary and probably saved me from a c-section. And no, it didn't increase my pain levels at that stage.)

To me this is still 'natural', although I don't get hung up on these terms. If I had been induced from the start I would NOT have considered it natural. And yes, I felt incredibly proud after my birth. Not so much because I did it 'almost naturally' but because I coped so much better than I expected. More than anything, I was proud of my body, which in many ways has let me down in the past (needed help getting pg, for one).

On the other hand, if I had been induced and got through it WITHOUT an epidural, I suspect I would probably have been even prouder than I was after my 'almost-natural' birth! Because I don't know many people who can take pitocin-induced contractions without calling for some major pain relief!

ETA I am talking about me PERSONALLY here. For me going pain-med free was a BIG DEAL because I have always had major issues with pain - or rather the fear of pain. To overcome that during child birth was a huge experience in my life. It is by no means a judgement of women who do have epidurals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It is kind of along the same lines as being "induced". I tell everyone I was induced with my first, because I was. But, I was dialated 7 cm and well past my due date and they induced me by breaking my water. LOL So, it was kind of a more "natural" induction.

BTW: I just really want to add, I wasn't judging anyone being proud or not in my OP. I was just using that as a starting example. I would be thrilled to have the labor and birth this gal did and it doesn't bother me or upset me in any way that she used the term "all natural". It just got me thinking what all natural was. Plus, she told me while we were chatting early last week that she WAS having that baby on Thursday and her water broke Wednesday. I wish I had that kind of perception. LOL

I am still proud of my first birth and I had an epidural. I didn't just march in and demand one, but my labor was a mess. I like Dr. Sears views on medication during labor. I rely on LOTS of medication to get me through pregnancy alone, so I probably have a slightly different perspective on it. My reasons for not wanting an epi for example are based more on the complications/problems that epis bring, not so much that I personally feel I want a bunch of pain or anything.

But, this was mostly meant to be a discussion on semantics. That's why I said in the OP I didn't really care what the "answer" was. There isn't really a right or wrong answer for the most part. Just a bunch of different views.

I have been reflective lately.... lol.

Emily
 

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I consider both of my birth experiences natural, even though they were both very different. Ds was born in a hospital. I had pre-e, and was induced at 38 weeks. I had a gazillion medical interventions (external/internal fetal monitoring, pitocin, cytotec, catheter, mag sulfate, IV antibiotics) but no pain meds. There were many aspects of ds's birth that I found unpleasant. And scary.

I did lots of reading between pregnancies, and chose a different route for dd's birth. She was born at home. She even beat the midwife by about 10 minutes. Her birth was everything I had hoped for.

Two births, both natural. But one that was troubling, and another that brought me peace.
 
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