This article is a part of the Carnival of Natural Mothering hosted by GrowingSlower, Every Breath I Take, I Thought I Knew Mama, African Babies Don't Cry, and Adventures of Captain Destructo. This month's topic is Natural Birth Choices. Be sure to check out all of the participants' posts through the links at the bottom of this page.
What does natural birth mean to me?To me, natural birth really just means... well, as few interventions as possible. You don't have to be at home to have a "natural birth." In its simplest form, a baby born via vagina is a "natural birth." There are so many interventions out there, though! We think that advancements in science are SO wonderful... why, then, is the US mortality rate so high for women giving birth?? That is a whole other tangent.
I knew, even when I was pregnant as a teenager, that I wanted a natural birth. (I guess I was always destined to be a hippie.) My stepmother was my Lamaze labor coach through my back labor. It was awful. During transition, it got very bad. They brought me Demerol. To this day, I still consider that birth to be a natural one. My first child was born within a few minutes of receiving that medicine. I like to think that none of it got to her, though I realize that may not be the case.
I was able to make natural choices, despite interventions.I've been very lucky to go on and have 3 more natural births, even though they were in hospitals. Yes, my cervix was checked. Yes, I've had my membranes "swept" and even water broken. Other than that first birth, though, I've had no drugs to assist (or enhance) labor. I consider all of my births to have been "natural" and I take great pride in that.
Lilith's Water Birth
Photo Credit: rabble
I still get sad when I think of the home water birth that I never got to have. By the time that I knew that was an option, it wasn't really an option for me. I was, of course, at my most-educated for my last birth. We chose a hospital with a higher level of NICU because we knew we might need it (and we did).
Home birth isn't for everyone. Neither is hospital birth. Birthing Centers don't even suit everyone. My best advice is to get educated about all of your choices. Still, I can't help but be against cesarean except when absolutely necessary. I feel that natural birth is the absolute best and risk-free choice for ALL mothers and babies. But the environment and support during labor and birth... all need to be chosen for whatever is right for each individual family.
What does a "natural birth" mean to you?
Why did (or do) you want a natural birth?
What "natural" choices were you able to have, even in a birth that required medical intervention?
Bloggers, visit GrowingSlower to sign up to be a part of next month's carnival.