Advanced search not give a flying **** about having a 'natural' birth

(278 Posts)
somewherewest Tue 13-Sep-11 12:30:42

OK I can understand the desire to avoid intervention if possible but I really really don't get the ideological fervour which some people seem to invest in 'natural' birth. I've been just been going through the handouts from the NCT antenatal course the DH and I are doing and the message basically seems to be "Your choices are important...but if you don't chose to have a 'natural' homebirth sustained only by breathing exercises and whale music and to breastfeed the DS until he's old enough to be bringing girlfriends home then YOUR CHOICES ARE BAD". I really, really do not get this horror of 'intervention'. Is it just that decades of organic yoghurt adverts have conditioned us to think that 'natural' must equal 'better' in every bloody situation, or am I being totally unreasonable?

nethunsreject Tue 13-Sep-11 12:34:52

Well, intervention CAN SOMETIMES do more harm than good and during the 60s, 70s and 80s, many feel childbirth was over-medicalised.

NCT are often accused of being very biased against intervention, but I think that is in response to the medicalisation.

SO you are being a tad unreasonable. Why not just see how it goes?

TheProvincialLady Tue 13-Sep-11 12:35:42

You don't get the horror of intervention? The fact that one intervention often leads to another until you are flat on your back, legs akimbo with three doctors staring at your nether regions waiting for a sleepy baby who might not ever breast feed to arrive slowly and damagingly?

People should have whatever interventions or lack of interventions they want, but a wise person would find out about the implications beforehand.

nethunsreject Tue 13-Sep-11 12:35:50

Oh, and there are many women who suffer birth trauma whether through too much or too little intervention. Having a healthy baby at the end is the most important BUT NOT THE ONLY IMPORTANT thing.

nethunsreject Tue 13-Sep-11 12:36:38

Ah. TPL puts it rather better. smile

Meteorite Tue 13-Sep-11 12:37:30

YANBU. Of course everyone wants the simplest, easiest birth possible. For some people this happens, for others it doesn't. Same goes for breastfeeding. NCT guilt-tripping is really not helpful for those who despite doing their best still find things haven't gone according to plan. Keep an open mind and find other sources of information apart from the NCT... local NHS antenatal classes?

Psammead Tue 13-Sep-11 12:39:30

Well, I think most pieces of literature will display bias in some small (or large) way. Such is the nature of the beast.

You just need to inform yourself from several sources and make up your own mind.

somewherewest Tue 13-Sep-11 12:40:58

But we aren't in the 60s, 70s or 80s any more are we? There is a difference between wanting to avoid unncesessary intervention if possible and having an ideological obsession with 'intervention bad, hospitals bad, doctors bad' blah de blah. Personally I'm completely pragmatic about the whole thing...I realise that intervention might be necessary and am also willing to accept that health care professionals have more of a clue about lots of things than I do. I just don't like the implication that this pragmatism is somehow inferior to fifty page birthpans.

Quenelle Tue 13-Sep-11 12:43:26

Why do the NCT antenatal course? Can't you just do the free, less biased NHS one?

Minus273 Tue 13-Sep-11 12:44:44

YANBU, a minimal intervention, calm birth is to me the ideal. However sometimes intervention will be needed. In many cases today these women are made to feel in some way that they have not done it properly or even worse are in some way not proper mothers. That is wrong on so many levels.

somewherewest Tue 13-Sep-11 12:44:44

PS Just to add, the barely concealed distrust of any HCP other than a midwife in some of the 'natural birth' stuff really irritates/worries me.

Mitmoo Tue 13-Sep-11 12:46:40

Have whatever intervention you feel that you need. The only thing I'd say is write your birth plan but prepare to be totally flexible as you can never know, what could be head. There's no right or wrong way, it's your baby, your choice. Without intervention my son and I would be dead. Didn't plan it, never mind I woudn't have coped, I wouldn't have even lived through it.

I thought I'd have some kind of flashbacks but was fortunate just to never think about it in any traumatic way, just a story to tell, eclampsia, induced, "failed" natural labour 25% natural - 75% epidural, kidney failure, emergency c-section, blind spots, general anasthetic, haeomarrage, blood transfusion, morphine.

Thank heavens for intervention!!!!!!! (especially the morphine after the birth).

Gas and air was pants. grin

Whatmeworry Tue 13-Sep-11 12:46:48

I found the NCT were too OTT (probably they are a pendulum swing too far from earlier hospital practices), but I found the NHS was far more pragmatic and reasonable.

Panzee Tue 13-Sep-11 12:47:09

Depends on your definition of intervention, too. I've seen some people describe a birth as "natural, only gas and air". But to others that's seen as intervention.

Surely the ultimate interpretation of intervention-free is somewhere under a tree on your own? grin

doublestandard Tue 13-Sep-11 12:47:49

We might not be in the 60s, 70s, or 80s but very little has changed. Natural birth has proven advantages when it comes to recovery and clinical outcomes so that's why organisations like the NCT champion it. They also champion it because there is a tendency to medicalise birth in this country and sometimes that is unnecessary, sometimes it isn't and you need to know the difference.

My attitude to birth is very much hope for the best but expect the worst. I thought my antenatal classes covered that very well. If you don't think your classes are then talk to the teacher or complain to NCT.

hmm to 50 page birth plans. From memory the NCT birthplan is a 3 page tick box that asks you put things like whether you want to deliver the placenta naturally or have a jab to help it along and what your attitude to pain relief is.

Whatmeworry Tue 13-Sep-11 12:48:11

Surely the ultimate interpretation of intervention-free is somewhere under a tree on your own

Ditch the tree...... grin

Gilberte Tue 13-Sep-11 12:48:14

It's not so black and white anyway. You can go for a hospital birth and still try to avoid intervention. You can opt for a home birth and end up being transferred.

My first was a HB and I was transferred due to lack of progress and ended up with an epidural.

My second was a waterbirth in hospital- no internals, no drugs.

The first was long, tiring and I was too unwell to hold my baby afterwards, the second the best high of my life.

I started out wanting a natural experience and accepted help when required but enjoyed both births for what they were- 2nd one was phenomenal though.

NotFromConcentrate Tue 13-Sep-11 12:51:43

YANBU. I'm the type of person who gets irritated by anything which is repeatedly shoved down my throat. I think pragmatism definitely has its place, and know from my own experience that having this blinkered approach to "intervention" can actually have its own concequences. (I'm not suggesting that opting for a natural birth is somehow neglectful or dangerous - I'm having a planned home birth with DC3 - but I think a balanced view of all possible events can't be a bad thing)

I went to an antenatal appointment recently, where I counted no fewer than 17 breastfeeding posters on the wall of the waiting room. Even as someone planning to BF, I found it to be a little bit OTT and irritatingly pushy.

WidowWadman Tue 13-Sep-11 12:58:22

TheProvincialLady - scare stories like yours were the reason why I refused pain relief way too long first time round and put myself through way too much pain for no good reason.

I dreamt of that whalesong treehugging intervention-free birth the first time I was pregnant. Meconium in waters were a sign that that wasn't to be, even if I was in denial. It all ended in CS, which probably is the ultimate intervention and was for me actually the best part of the whole birth.

And nope, no drowsiness or breastfeeding problems at all. Neither with the ELCS-born second one.

It's ok if someone wants to try to go without intervention, and great if you manage, but with those scarestories of drowsy babies who won't bond, you're not doing anyone any favours.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 13-Sep-11 13:00:34

YANBU but probably best to avoid the NCT if you don't fully subscribe to their mantra.

meravigliosa Tue 13-Sep-11 13:05:51

Read from a variety of sources, work out what your preferences are, and then be prepared to be flexible on the day, as you never know what will happen. YANBU if your concern is that pressure may sometimes be put on women that "natural is best".

Whatmeworry Tue 13-Sep-11 13:09:33

I also get cross that no-one really lays it on the line for new mums that the first birth is likely to be hard going, IMO its the worst one to go au naturel with.

michelleseashell Tue 13-Sep-11 13:12:16

Totally agree. As long as mother and baby are ok, what difference does it make if you had a CS or an epidural or gave birth in a candle shop?

substantiallycompromised Tue 13-Sep-11 13:13:51

Agree with others who say "thank heavens for intervention" and 21st century medicine

I (out of necessity) had a highly medicalised birth (cs/breach/wierdly shaped womb) and it couldn't have been a more calm, personal, "bonding" experience ... all those adjectives you associate with natural birth.

acatcalledbob Tue 13-Sep-11 13:14:58

YANBU. I had one induced and one CS due to breech. Not fantastic experiences but realised early on that there are no medals for suffering pain and that you wouldn't tell everyone that you were going to have surgery without anaesthetic, so why try to give birth without the best that medical research and pharmacology can offer?

I don't understand the "my body failed me" line from mums who intended to go natural and ended up with a CS or other assistance. If your body produced a baby, however it was delivered, it's nothing short of miraculous.

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