Ten lies my natural childbirth educator told me

Several people have expressed reluctance to join a Facebook group entitled Fed up with natural childbirth on the grounds that they have no objection to choosing unmedicated birth, or more generally, no objection to women making whatever choices they prefer. But natural childbirth is not simply a specific set of choices; it’s a philosophy that idealizes a specific set of choices and makes value judgments about women who choose differently. Moreover, it is a philosophy that rests on specific empirical claims; claims that are disingenuous, untrue, or occasionally outright lies.

Below is a list of the most popular NCB falsehoods and lies, the ones that are promulgated by natural childbirth celebrities and organizations, and faithfully transmitted even by purportedly neutral childbirth educators:

#1. Childbirth is inherently safe.

This is an outright lie. Childbirth is inherently dangerous. Childbirth is and has always been, in every time, place and culture, a leading cause of death of young women. For babies, the day of birth is the single most dangerous day of the entire 18 years of childhood.

This lie is a bedrock assumption of natural childbirth philosophy. On this false belief that childbirth in nature is inherently safe rests the claim anything that modifies childbirth must be dangerous or not as good as childbirth in nature.

#2. Fear causes the pain of childbirth.

This stems from a spectacularly racist lie. Grantly Dick-Read, the father of the NCB movement, was a eugenicist whose primary goal was to prevent “race suicide” by encouraging white women of the better classes to have more children. He claimed that primitive (i.e. Black) did not have pain in labor, in keeping with the pervasive racist beliefs of the age that Black women were hypersexualized, and gave birth without pain because they did not fear their natural role. Grantly Dick-Read based his entire philosophy on this lie, hence the title of his book, Childbirth Without Fear.

Contemporary natural childbirth advocates no longer make the absurd racist claims, but they are stuck on the notion that the pain of childbirth is inherently controllable by the mind, and that the mind can therefore be trained to minimize and manage the pain.

#3. Labor is not inherently painful.

This bizarre claim rests on a false assumption that labor pain is qualitatively different than other forms of pain. It’s not. It is exactly like any other form of pain, is initially received by the same types of neurons, passes exactly the same way up the spinal cord to the brain, and is perceived by the brain in exactly the same way as any other form of pain.

#4. Epidurals are dangerous and unnecessary

NCB advocates insist that epidurals are unnecessary because the pain of labor should be managed in other ways, or better yet, should be endured. The claim is both philosophical and empirical. The philosophical claim rests on the naturalistic fallacy and belief in essentialism. The naturalistic fallacy is the claim that because something is a certain way in nature, it ought to be that way all the time. Essentialism is the belief that women share an essential nature and are “empowered” by expressing that nature.

NCB also insist that epidurals are “dangerous” to both baby and mother. That’s nothing more than a lie, created by grossly inflating the purported risks of epidurals.

#5. Interventions are “bad.”

Obviously, if you operate under the mistaken belief that childbirth is inherently safe, it is impossible to recognize the benefits of interventions. However, if you recognize reality, that childbirth is inherently dangerous, interventions represent nothing more than preventive medicine. Knowing that complications are common and often preventable, it follows quite logically that pregnant women should be monitored for a variety of complications so they can be prevented, or treated early when there is the greatest chance of successful treatment.

Since NCB advocates insist that interventions are generally worthless, they are forced into the bizarre position of arguing that medical professionals deliberately offer worthless practices and technology because they are benefiting financially.

#6. Inductions are dangerous and unnecessary.

This lie was adopted by NCB advocates only recently. It flows inevitably from two other mistaken beliefs, the belief that childbirth is inherently safe and the belief that since there are no inductions in nature, there must be no need for inductions.

NCB advocates bemoan the rising induction rate while conveniently ignoring the fact that the stillbirth rate has dropped as a result.

#7 Cesareans are almost always unnecessary.

Again, this is nothing more than an empirical lie. It is well known that in countries where the C-section rate is under 5%, mortality rates are appalling. Indeed, in countries that have C-section rates less than 10%, mortality rates are still extraordinarily high. At a minimum, then 1 in 10 women derive major benefit from a C-section. That is hardly a procedure that is unnecessary.

#9. Vaginal birth is inherently superior

This is a philosophical claim that rests on the naturalistic fallacy. Since everything that is natural is “better” and vaginal birth is natural, it must be “better.” Most women consider that a birth that results in a live baby and live mother is inherently superior, and for a significant proportion of women, that birth is a C-section.

#10. Women who love their babies choose NCB

This is the most hateful claim, but a claim that flows inevitably from all the other lies. When you erroneously believe that natural is inherently safe and that everything else is inherently dangerous, interventions wrongly take on the specter of unnecessary risks. When you wrongly believe that epidurals are dangerous, opting to treat your own pain implies that you value your feelings over the risks to your baby.


Natural childbirth advocates will be the first to tell you that NCB is not merely a vaginal birth without pain medication. It is a belief system that necessitates choosing vaginal birth without pain medication and without interventions of any kind. As we have seen, it is based on a variety of philosophical and empirical claims that range from false to outright lies. Natural childbirth explicitly idealizes certain childbirth choices and derides others. More importantly, it asserts that women who make those idealized choices are better women and better mothers than everyone else. And that’s why I’m fed up with natural childbirth.

  • mama455

    monetizing? I would say that by selling a book and getting paid by a hospital/insurance company, you have a lot to gain in opposing the natural childbirth movement. Making people feel guilty? It looks to me that you are making this out to be way more than it is to sell a book.

    • Who?

      Oh yay alexan’s friends are here!! More traffic for Dr T.


      • mama455


        • mama455

          I had a CNM with a ton of training and experience in and out of the hospital setting. I agree that it is concerning to have midwives with little experience… but there are a ton of midwife with lots of it. We have had midwives for longer than anything else…

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            We have had midwives for longer than anything else…

            True. But the problem was that, even with those midwives, childbirth was extremely dangerous for both the mother and the baby.

            And then we “medicalized” birth and it became precipitously safer. As the hospital birth rate grew, the death rate plummeted, mother and child.

            Yeah, there have been midwives forever. But we moved on because they were not cutting it.

            I don’t know why you think that is a redeeming feature.

          • LibrarianSarah
        • Who?

          My bad-sorry! I hadn’t seen your other posts when I put up this one.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD

        No, it’s just alexan’s sock puppet.

        • LibrarianSarah

          So how many socks does he/she have?

          • Idiotsmustdie

            He does have one foot in his mouth.

    • Nick Sanders

      Right, she wrote this article 5 years ago to sell a book that hit the market last month.

  • alexan o’brien

    This is this article and everyone who agrees with it:

  • alexan o’brien

    In trolling this page, I have proven my point that most of the echo chamber of the internet is simply a magnet for others who share their distorted view of reality. Now, back in reality… women still give birth without drugs, or doctors, to healthy babies that come out of their bodies. Good luck to the believers in modern medicine. It has a great track record for sure! And by that, I mean, it doesn’t. At all.

    • Who?

      Would you reject your own child, if its mother needed a cs to save its life or hers? Or would you prefer they were both dead?

      • alexan o’brien

        No. See… you are completely missing my point. This is NOT about believing in c-sections and saving the life of the mother or the baby… this is about people completely turning their backs on the way things have been for millennia and thinking that the “new way” (read: the accepted way) is the best way.

        I would not be trolling if this bitch didn’t write some smug article about how a form a birth developed less than 100 years ago is superior to the way birth has existed for millennia. That’s the point. If you believe that, then you are a fool.

        Evolution has proven one thing — the new way is NOT the best way… the time tested way is the best way. If you can’t give birth without medicine, in a cave… then you shouldn’t give birth. Sorry. Deal with it. We will always disagree.

        • Nick Sanders

          Evolution has proven one thing — the new way is NOT the best way.

          Pffffff… HAHAHAHA! Thanks, I needed that laugh.

        • Who?

          Can you give birth? Thought not. Life’s good in the cheap seats.

          Lovely of you to equate women’s value with their ability to give birth ‘naturally’. And to value babies based on their mother’s ability to expel them out of the birth canal, without assistance.

          If you’re an example of a naturally delivered, breast fed person, you’re not doing the brand any good.

        • LibrarianSarah
    • LibrarianSarah

      Have you ever heard of the naturalistic fallacy? You might want to look it up? While you are at it look up “appeal to tradition” as well. It might clear a lot of things up for you.

  • alexan o’brien


    • Who?

      Well, not everyone.

    • Idiotsmustdie

      FACTS FACTS FACTS…….blah blah blah can’t handle it …..BS BS BS …

      • alexan o’brien

        I especially like your single use name “idiots must die.” Please know that the feeling is more than mutual.

        • Idiotsmustdie

          You have no credibility and even less class.
          Here is my suggestion for you to elevate youself out of the idiot class – take each of the points raised by the author and challenge them one by one with proper evidence based research.
          Talk soon.

          • Who?

            Oh now, asking for a thoughtful explanation of why he disagrees is so unfair! He’ll be holding his breath to prove how wrong we all are if you keep talking to him like that.

  • alexan o’brien

    I love how the internet just proves time and time again that people looking for comfort within their own echo chamber can find anything they want, while people who disagree stumble upon their ranting insanity in utter disgust — disgust met with “ugh, you are so wrong.” Ah, yes. Indeed. Millennia of natural childbirth and now it is somehow wrong. You people would all die in nature with your c-sections and inability to endure the pain of labor. Humans didn’t get to 2016 with pain medication, we got here being delivered in caves. You are all fools. Now, please, enlighten me with your intellect and knowledge of modern drugs. They have done so much good, haven’t they?

    • rosewater1

      I love how the internet just proves time and time again that people looking for comfort within their own echo chamber can find anything they want, while people who disagree stumble upon their ranting insanity in utter disgust — disgust met with “ugh, you are so wrong.”
      Read what you post. Read what I quote. Pot meet kettle?
      You aren’t even an original troll.
      What you are is a representative for the worst of NCB. The blaming and shaming and utter viciousness. It’s not bad enough that you shame C-section mothers. You call them…FAT. Like THAT is the worst thing a person could be!
      What do you hope to accomplish by spewing this bile? Truly?

      • alexan o’brien

        I’m not calling the women fat, you idiot. I hope to accomplish nothing, just like what was achieved by the writing of this “article.” Maybe if you read the articles I posted, you would see that I was not calling mothers fat, but pointing out that research is clearly pointing out that without a vaginal birth, the child is not able to get the massive-dose of its microbiome at birth, and thus has a higher rate of obesity. You would just like to ignore that, though, woudln’t you? It’s easier to just call me a troll. F you.

        • rosewater1

          Gee, that’s original. Wait till I catch you by the monkey bars at recess. I’ll pull your hair and steal your lunch money.
          And you hope to accomplish nothing by posting? Got it. You’ll be happy to know you’re succeeding admirably.
          Oh, and for the record? My sister in law had 3 vaginal births and one C/S. The C/s boy is the tallest and skinniest of all of them. He’s 6’5″ and a beanpole.
          Guess he’s the exception that proves the rule.

        • AnnaPDE

          Oh wow. You sure know a lot of grown up words. Would you like a sticker for that? Though you probably wouldn’t like one from this skinny but carb-eating C-section kid…

        • LibrarianSarah

          The study of the human microbiome is in it’s infancy (no pun intended). We have no idea what the “ideal” microbiome is and the affect that mode of birth has on the microbiome or whether c-sections are good, bad or neutral. So everything you are saying is just conjecture.

    • Nick Sanders

      You people would all die in nature

      That’s exactly the point. Given the choice between dying “naturally” and living “unnaturally”, we’ve decided we’d rather live.

    • LibrarianSarah

      Also intellect, knowledge and modern drugs have done a shit ton of good. We have eradicated smallpox and made significant strides in eradicating many other deadly and debilitating diseases. We have antibiotics that practically cure diseases that would have been deadly 100 years ago. We have drugs that allow people to live for decades with HIV. We can pretty much cure many different types of cancer.

      In fact, the reason so many people are dying of diabetes, cancer, and heart diseased today is because they are NOT dying of smallpox, famine, cholera, dysentery, tuberculosis, polio, and a whole host of “normal” childhood illness. Never mind being killed by predators (and prey.)

      So yeah, odds are a lot of us would not be able to survive in nature but neither would you.

  • alexan o’brien

    Zero references. Zero credibility. No further comment. Good luck having an obese child because you thought a cesarean was ok. Yeah. No mention of that in this article.

    • momofone

      I had a c-section because it beat the hell out of letting my baby die before he was born. Good luck sticking the flounce.

      • alexan o’brien

        Good for you. You would have otherwise died in nature without modern medicine to save you. Good for you. I bet god is on your side.

    • Who?

      Oh my God! Thanks so much for posting! I’m going to change my mind about everything I know about health and medicine based on your trenchant, thoughtful, thorough and learned exposition on the risks of cs.


      • alexan o’brien

        I strive to be someone who never says nor writes the word Bazinga, so let’s call it even, ok?

        • Who?


    • LibrarianSarah

      Where is your references for having a c-section causes you to have an obese child? Oh wait you don’t have any. Where is your medical credibility? Can’t find any of that in your comment either. All I see is “ewwww fatties!” Which while might be an impressive argument to to your six grade classmates, is not really all that impressive here.

      So yeah sit down and keep your “further comments” to yourself because the adults are talking here.

    • rosewater1

      Her child is alive. I’m pretty sure dead children don’t gain weight. I guess to you that is better?

    • MaineJen

      Oh wow. This one is really special.

  • Akasaka

    I’m a Taiwanese physician(not a OB/GYN practitioner) interested in natural birth vs medicine-intervened childbirth conflict. And some natural birth promoter cited some reference (listed below) to validate the benefits of the natrual way over the “conventional” one. Would Dr.Tuteur please enlight me?

    • Akasaka
      • Nick Sanders

        I don’t know enough about medicine, let alone this sub-field, to directly evaluate the paper, but looking up the journal it was published in, it looks like a bad source:

        Impact Factor: 1.024

        ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 47/108 (Nursing (Social Science)); 50/110 (Nursing (Science)); 67/79 (Obstetrics & Gynecology)

        Skimming the article itself I’m seeing a lot of loaded language:
        “Nature’s simple plan for birth has been replaced by a maternity care system that routinely interferes with the normal physiological process”
        “In this article, we go back to basics. We describe the physiology of normal natural birth and the ways in which maternity care practices affect this exquisitely orchestrated process.”
        “Nature’s carefully orchestrated plan”

        From the looks of it, the authors set out to prove a point, then gathered data to support that point, rather than looking at all available information and drawing conclusions based on what it reflected, then took their ideological piece to a low ranked journal that wouldn’t look to closely at it so they use “it’s peer-reviewed” to give it undue weight.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Skimming the article, I found nothing in it that provided evidence that a “natural” birth was in any way “better” than one with interventions. It was mostly about how to deny pain relief to women in labor and get away with it. Nothing about better outcomes unless you count not getting an epidural as a “better” outcome.

    • mojasowa
  • Julie Wimberley

    What a misguided person is Amy. I have read “Childbirth Without Fear,” sure there are some areas that we now view as out of date because it was written in the 1940’s. But its message is clear. Educated women can birth their babies themselves when they are not contaminated by fear, which can be picked up so easily in the hospital system. I delivered myself at home with my fifth child and a homebirth midwife. I was well educated in natural childbirth techniques of which I am sure Amy appears to know nothing.

    • Fallow

      You people sure have a knack for finding years-old posts on this blog, and then masturbating in the comments.

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  • Fawn Hacker

    It is obvious this woman took statements completely out of context to give a jaded rebuttal. It is evident she is pushing a technocratic birth model that most (8-9 out of 10 women) do not fit into.

    Please people don’t read this and let it push you away from a natural childbirth. Sure there are some judgmental, nasty, and ignorant people who submit to the purely natural childbirth claims but there are those extremists in every end of…well everything.

    Read and do your own research. But please let me correct this woman…as a mother, a future midwife, doula and natural childbirth educator in training, and RN………

    1. Childbirth in our society IS inherently safe with good prenatal care, mother health, and an environment to give birth in(which is a majority of us if we are pregnant in America)….yes, actual childbirth has always been inherently safe BUT disease, malnutrition, and poor birth conditions led to a high maternal/fetal mortality rate after delivery.

    2. Fear intensifies any pain that plagues us. There is a mind body connection…fear causes our muscles to tense and a myriad of other physiological symptoms that can intensify pain, and labor is no exception.

    3. Labor pain is inherently painful and anyone that tells you different is lying or one of those rare women who have completely painless labor. But seriously, its painful having been through it but it is absolutely different than a broken bone or a collapsed lung, for example. If you have had the opportunity to have natural childbirth and also a broken bone or other painful medical condition, you will understand. Labor/birth pain feels purposeful, it ebbs and flows(assuming there is no pitocin involved) and gives you relief as it builds and builds. Sure it travels the same pathways but it is pain women have been built to endure. So no…it does not feel the same. But again this is a perception statement.

    4. Epidurals offer a host of complications that are not present with women who do not get an epidural. People would consider crossing the street, driving in a car, riding a bike as dangerous. The word danger and unnecessary are both true. The degree of danger is debatable but as a mother it is your choice and we hope you just weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. Unnecessary, absolutely. But again so are many things we consider “normal and necessary” in everyday life. An epidural is not necessary to give birth, therefore, it would be considered unnecessary, right?…An epidural is not safe, so then it must be on a spectrum of dangerous…right?

    5. Interventions are not always bad or always good. It is very situation specific. However, there is the infamous cascade of interventions in which increase your risk of c-section and poor birth outcome. These include movement restriction, continuous fetal monitoring, induction, and epidural. If you have one of these you are more likely to have another and another and another and ultimately a c-section.

    6. Again the need for induction is much less than is given in our society. Doctors are beginning to induce mothers on mother-chosen birthdays , on actual due dates(regardless of the fact that not all women carry for 40 weeks and hate to say it but not all doctors/midwives are correct in their date estimations and may be off by +/- 2 weeks. Many doctors will not go beyond 1 week of due date and virtually none will go past 2.

    7. C-sections are almost always unnecessary?? What is the specific percentage of the wording “almost always”? The World Health Organizations have a statement that c-section rates should not exceed 10-15 % as higher rates are associated with higher maternal and neonatal complications. So yes, if 1 in 10 NEEDS a c-section I would say that for 9 out of 10 women c-sections are “almost always” unnecessary.

    8. You missed the number 8.

    9. Vaginal birth is superior in maternal and fetal health versus c-section. . Not in a morally superior way like this woman is suggesting but from merely a physiological standpoint. For you 1-1 1/2 in 10, when it is absolutely necessary for fetal/maternal health then honestly who cares about the other lesser complications because of course, delivering a live baby is the priority in that situation. However, we need to rethink as a culture the impact women who are choosing c-sections and scheduling them ahead of time are having on our human processes and health.

    10. If I was in a natural childbirth course and someone uttered, “Women who love their babies choose NCB”….I would get up and walk out because that is ridiculous and extremely judgmental. More so that this woman is throwing all natural childbirthers in the fire because she had a poor one, that is even worse.

    I hope you had a few minutes to read this, I have done intense reading and research on this topic and my goal is to help empower women to have the birth they want. I had to set the record straight with this and I hope you, Amy Tuteur, rethink what you are sending out for women to read, as a doctor nonetheless. Thank you.

    My own disclaimer: The basis of this article is written in inferiority to other “natural childbirthers” and it is a justification to that bias. If anyone makes you feel bad for your choices in your pregnancy, natural childbirth, interventions, or even a c-section that is their problem NOT yours. My belief is that MOST pregnant women can have a natural, non-medicated vaginal childbirth but that doesn’t mean I would ever judge someone for not. As a mother and a currently pregnant woman, I can say do your research and figure out what is best for you and your family. And do not read ignorant peoples sensationalized banter or at least read it and take it with a grain of salt.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Bad news, Fawn. You can’t do research on the internet by reading books, websites and message boards for lay people and you certainly can’t be “educated” by reading the crap written by other laypeople. Thank you for demonstrating that natural childbirth advocates are both profoundly ignorant and clueless of their own ignorance.

      • Binky

        No offense meant by this what-so-ever — you’re a retired professional and clearly still interested and invested in the research — but can I just say that I’m glad, for the sake of the laity, that you don’t practice anymore? If you were my OB, I’d be terrified, no matter how well-researched you are. I understand having not gladly suffering fools or pseudoscience, but you seem to have as much sympathy for pregnant women as a bug collector for anesthetized butterflies. At least, that’s how your rhetorical choices come across. Maybe you get this way because you care so much. It’s just hard to tell. Sincerely, no offense.

        • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

          Saying “no offense” does not make an insult not offensive.

          Then again, I really don’t know what you are talking about. You think Fawn is pregnant and needs sympathy? Come on, this is the idiot who claimed (below) to have done “graduate research on home birth.” The concept is a joke, and anyone who suggest it is a joke. They don’t deserve to be treated with sympathy, they deserve derision.

      • mojasowa

        Fawn’s points are common knowledge, but not exclusively to laypeople. Many doctors and researchers will validate her points. Interventions do often lead to more interventions. There are some risks to epidurals along with advantages (pain relief). It’s good to get informed and have choices. You see only one way, and seem to be very bothered that women have choices at all.

        • fiftyfifty1

          “Many doctors and researchers will validate her points.”

          If research backs your claims and doctors are in agreement, then providing us some references should be easy, shouldn’t it? So go ahead and give us some proof.

          • mojasowa

            americanpregnancy.org states the pros and cons of epidurals for example. This is not made – up information http://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/epidural/

          • Who?

            It isn’t made up, but it also isn’t medical advice directed to the needs of an individual.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Your American Pregnancy link about epidurals actually does contain “made-up” information. Epidurals do NOT cause increase in CS or lower breastfeeding rates. The link also fails to put the real risks in context. Women are deliberately not told how very rare their listed “downsides” are.

          • mojasowa

            objective information from webmd : (with links to studies). It’s not a black and white issue. It’s GOOD to have choices. NCB is not for everyone, but it’s not a foolish choice either for healthy women…

            “Some research suggests that midwives lower the risk of infant mortality and reduce the need for C-sections and other interventions. One study showed that births attended by a midwife had a 19% lower infant death rate and a 31% lower risk of delivering a low-birth-weight baby. Another study showed that nurse-midwives had 4.8% fewer C-section rate than obstetricians and used fewer resources, such as forceps and vacuums for delivery. (The reductions in mortality and complications, however, may be because midwives generally handle very few high-risk deliveries.)

            Are There Any Risks to Using a Midwife?

            Some states do not allow midwives to administer pain medications or to provide certain medical interventions such as electronic fetal monitoring.

            And if there is a problem with the newborn, the midwife can only administer basic life support. At a hospital, obstetricians, pediatricians, and neonatologists can step in to handle these issues if they arise.

            Most midwife-assisted births take place in hospitals, but some women prefer to give birth at home. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists does not endorse home births, because complications can occur even in otherwise normal pregnancies, and women who give birth at home don’t have access to doctors or specialized medical equipment.”

          • fiftyfifty1

            So this study says that women who seek out midwives are less likely to use epidurals. No surprise as women who want good access to pain meds are likely to choose an OB, while women who believe pain meds are evil are more likely to choose a provider who can’t easily offer them. Higher risk women are also more likely to choose an OB. But despite all that, the study says that OBs do NOT have a higher rate of CS when corrected for risk. Sounds like your assertion that one intervention leads to another *isn’t* actually true.

          • mojasowa
          • mojasowa

            If you want to read a specific study, this is just one example of many out there.. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23963739

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Actually, that’s not a study, it’s a Cochran review. Cochran reviews are reviews of studies, so effectively meta-analyses. Meta-analysis as a technique has its pros and cons, but that’s probably more statistics than most people want to get into. On to the results.

            On second thought, one other word of caution with respect to the methods: of the blinded studies included, only a few were judged to be low risk with respect to bias introduced by the blinding method. So clearly, the data available are of uncertain quality at best. Okay, now on to the results.

            Despite the fact that the review appears to have included studies where women were randomized to midwife versus OB care, the women in the midwife group were less sick, probably due to some risking out: they had fewer miscarriages and premature births. These are not indicators of quality of care in this setting, but rather of risk of the pregnancy. Despite this, women in the midwife group did not have lower rates of neonatal mortality. This suggests some increased risk, though not a high risk, probably because the studies in the review are of hospital births led by well trained midwives.

            Women who had midwife led care had longer labor and were less likely to receive analgesia. They were slightly more likely to have spontaneous vaginal birth, but no more or less likely to have a c-section. The difference was all in probability of instrumental delivery. Again, remember that these are lower risk pregnancies. Also note that the relative risk was 1.05. In other words, for every 100 spontaneous vaginal deliveries in the OB group, there were 105 in the midwife group. Hardly an overwhelming difference.

            No differences were observed for initiation of breast feeding. No differences were observed for augmentation of labor, perineal tears, or induction of labor, which supports the idea that the midwife care was for the most part good, but highlights the fact that these are not all “natural” births in any category.

            In short, midwife care led to a small increase in the rate of spontaneous vaginal delivery at the expense of longer labors and more pain. The rate of the favorite “evil” of the NCB movement, c-sections, was unchanged. It highlights the possibility that well trained midwives working in a hospital system can provide very good care, but fails to prove any great advantage to midwife care and demonstrates some significant downsides.

            It certainly does not support Fawn’s claims.

  • Dani

    No matter how you birth there is danger and risk. All of you should just shut up really. There are dangers with natural birth, cesareans, inductions, etc. Just like anything else there are pros and cons and It is up to each person to research and educate themselves. Do what is best for you and your situation.

    • Stacy48918

      So it’s best for me to have my 1 year old unrestrained in the front seat of my car. I drive safe and those car seat straps are so restrictive and such a nuisance to buckle every time. I’ve researched it and I feel pretty safe. To each their own, right?

      You have NO idea about relative risk. It’s risky to walk down my 1 lane country dirt road and it’s riskier to walk down the center of a 6 lane highway. The relative risk of death is quite different.

      Home birth is 2-8x more likely to kill a healthy baby than hospital birth. Sure it’s everyone’s “choice” but some choices are bad.

      • Fawn Hacker

        Again, would love to see where you have gotten this information…. yes I agree some choices are bad but don’t put down home births when you clearly do not have all the facts. I have done plenty of graduate research on home birth and hospital birth and came to find that the risk of home birth is NO riskier than hospital birth for low-risk pregnant women. Please research before you put skewed statistics out there.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Graduate research on homebirth? You have no idea what you are talking about. You are simply repeating nonsense written by other homebirth advocates.

        • anion

          So what do you think of the MANA stats, then, Fawn? What research did you do that showed you the opposite of what MANA’s own statistics showed?

          Where did you do this “graduate research?”

        • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

          I have done plenty of graduate research on home birth

          You need to tell me more about this. I just want to warn you, I have a) done graduate research myself, and b) advise students who are doing graduate research, so I know what “graduate research” means. I’d like to hear about your version of it.

      • mojasowa

        Where is the source of your 2-8x more dangerous statistic? Just a wild guess?

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          The CDC wonder site provides information on infant and neonatal mortality. When high risk groups are eliminated, home birth attended by a non-CNM midwife ends up with consistently 3-4 x higher neonatal mortality. Plus various studies which demonstrate higher rates, hence 2-8x.

          • mojasowa

            Can you provide the links to the studies please? It’s hard to take someone’s word for it as there are many “words” circulating the internet. Btw most “natural birth advocates” that the author is stereotyping and villainizing choose a natural birth in the hospital and are 100% open to interventions when NECESSARY (vs. pre-emptive interventions). Midwives carefully monitor and screen women collaboratively with an OB and anyone other than low-risk candidates are directed to conventional birth methods. I am a believer in natural birth whenever possible but I would not choose a home birth. I don’t judge any women as I would get an epidural too if I could not manage the pain on my own. Projecting irrational extremism (competitive, judgemental, would rather die than have a c-section, home birth only) on so many women like myself is absurd. This is what i feel is happening in the article and in the comments. This “them vs. us” attitude and a whole lot of stereotyping, projecting, and jumping to conclusions. I have not met a single woman who fits this stereotype, not to deny that they exist. However if you are curious call a sample of midwives and doulas in your city and ask them if they are strictly against epidurals and other interventions. You may get a better idea of the attitudes out there vs. reading a sensationalist article by an angry retired OB speaking on behalf those that she is against.

    • Young CC Prof

      Actually, driving around with a 1 year old unrestrained in the front of your car is a lot safer than having a home birth. Never putting a seatbelt on your child at all is safer than having a home birth.

      • Fawn Hacker

        Would be very interested to see where you got this information from…

        • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

          Crash and fatality rates for seatbelt vs non-seatbelt crashes are available from the DOT.

        • Young CC Prof

          Look at the annual auto death fatality rates among children age 10-15 from, say, 1960. No child seats, no seat belts, no airbags, no crumple zones, no tempered glass.

          • Um…

            Um, above you said driving around with a 1 year old but now you stated to look at auto death rates for 10 to 15 yr olds…

    • Who?

      I have a question about pros and cons.

      Why would a home birth mother transferred to hospital due to a problem with the foetus agree to life-saving or health saving treatment for herself if the foetus is already hopelessly damaged or dead? Surely by homebirth logic, the outcome for mum is part of the experience-some new mums aren’t meant to be alive, or continent, or able to have another child-and that’s just birth doing its thing.

      Or am I missing something?

    • KarenJJ

      So it’s OK for people in healthcare roles, such as childbirth educators and midwives, to lie to women?

      • mojasowa

        I am currently pregnant and have never been told any of these things by doctors, midwives, or any of the doulas I interviewed. No one says childbirth isn’t painful. Most women I know who chose to attempt natural birth were open to interventions if necessary. Some needed them. Some had one child naturally and the other medicated, depending on how their labor was going. The author paints this picture of judgmental mothers and it’s just not the norm among women interested in natural birth. She’s spinning information and projecting to villainize a birth choice.

  • Alex

    Natural childbirth is the future. For if childbirth is something which is inherently dangerous and painful (as this MD opines), then it also stands to reason that it is undesireable. Even if the first generation overcomes this fear, the constant indoctrination from the parents will prompt the second and subsequent generations to reconsider the wisdom in giving birth at all. This leads to lower birth rates for the women who believe childbirth is dangerous. On the other hand, women who love birth – yes, there are women who actually enjoy the whole process despite the pains – will have a tendency to not only have more children themselves, but also tell their sons and daughters of the awesome beauty of childbirth, thus leading to a far far higher birth rate for those who believe in the power of love during birth (and the host of synergistically beneficial hormones released thereby – love hormones which are NOT released in the presence of artificial medications).

    Natural, unmediated childbirth is the future by definition. If that we’re not so, we would still be in the “knock ‘em out, drag ‘em out” barbaric era.

    The who would rob women of their innate power of life creation through ignorance and fear are a dying breed. Good riddance.

    Look up Ina May Gaskins “The Farm” birth center in Tennessee. Over 2,500 births initiated out-of-hospital. Csection rate there is 1.7 percent. Maternal deaths – ZERO.

    Csections do save some women’s lives, and other intervention are necessary at times too. But understand the NATURAL process before turning to the UNNATURAL.

    • Durango

      Holy poor reasoning! Your opening paragraph is hilarious…and, needless to say, entirely made-up.

    • Young CC Prof

      So you claim that “The Farm” delivered 2,500 babies with no maternal deaths. That’s nice. The overall maternal death rate of the USA is 1 in 10,000, and nearly all the women who went to The Farm were unusually healthy. Many had given birth before. Even one or two maternal deaths would have been outrageous compared to hospital outcomes.

      What was the intrapartum and neonatal death rate of babies at The Farm? What is the Apgar distribution and the incidence of permanent disability? And how do you know your numbers are accurate?

      And you know, most people’s decisions on whether or not to have children are motivated by whether they want to raise children, which is a decision that will shape the next few decades of their lives, not on the one-day experience of their births.

    • Trixie

      Lolz forever. Oh, this is so special.
      I would hope that most women make rational decisions about the number of children they should have based on the number they feel they can care and provide for until they reach adulthood. It seems rather selfish to bring a child into the world purely for a few hours of pleasure on the mother’s part.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      For if childbirth is something which is inherently dangerous and painful (as this MD opines), then it also stands to reason that it is undesireable.

      My wife had absolutely no interest in going through childbirth, and was more than happy to have a (non-threatening) justification for a c-section, with a breech baby.

      So, according to my wife, childbirth is absolutely undesirable.

      Having kids, on the other hand, was something we did want to do, and therefore we were willing to go through what it takes to do that.

    • Fawn Hacker

      Love Ina and thank you for mentioning her statistics. I hope this is the case that more women are empowered by their natural processes and share the beautiful experiences with their children.

      • anion

        Ina shared a “beautiful experience” with her baby as she let it die. Oh, it was lovely…

    • anion

      That’s…really not how people or emotions work. At all.

  • Sarah

    Damn right. Thank you. It’s just typical competition among women on who is a better mother.

    • Fawn Hacker

      I don’t know why mothers feel like there is this competition. Why do you give them even a second thought or look. It is because women play into this competition that it even exists and then get jaded about not living up to some perfect mom standard.
      No one is a perfect mom…end of story.
      There are enough wonderful women who struggle in being the best mom they can, who are willing to share their insecurities in a healthful manner with other mamas. Find these women and forget the others.

    • mojasowa

      I find the author just as judgmental. She is implying women who choose natural labor are idiots. And hateful, competitive, judgmental people. That’s quite a load of negative stereotypes projected on a HUGE population of mothers. I have never heard any woman say or even imply that women who get epidurals or c-sections don’t love their babies. What a joke.

      • Who?

        She says people who claim that natural birth is safe, easy and a good choice for everyone are dangerous liars who should be called out for it.

        Dr T can speak for herself, but my understanding of her position is that she supports informed consent. That is, understanding the risks and benefits attendant on each decision made.

        Many natural birth advocates do not share the parts of the story that don’t suit them, for instance that birth is not inherently safe; that there is a date past which a woman has been pregnant too long; that how you choose to feed a baby matters not a jot, so long as the child is fed.

        • mojasowa

          Except that what midwife says natural birth is safe, easy and a good choice for EVERYONE?? You may not have experience with midwives but they are VERY clear that natural birth may not work out for everyone. They are aware of the difficulties and their motive is to help you through them with their expertise, and ease your fears with information and more choices. They believe in a woman being able to move around, walk around during labor, change positions, soak in a tub, labor in the shower, whatever works. And they spend more time with you in general. Benefits you don’t get in a conventional setting. They carefully screen you for risk and redirect you to the OB and more conventional methods should any red flags arise during pregnancy or any complications develop during labor. You are moved out of the alternative birthing center down the hall to the standard labor room for any intervention if anything is going wrong or should you opt for an epidural. They have OB’s that they are affiliated with, who step in ONLY when something is going wrong, not by default. This is clear from the beginning, on paper, in orientation meetings, etc.. The difference is that they don’t treat you like “something is wrong, or will go wrong” from the get-go by loading you up with interventions pre-emptively (if that’s what you want you don’t go with midwives– some women don’t want that– in my case it increased my anxiety). Similarly, doulas assist women with natural birth, at home and in the hospital, with and without epidurals, etc… The philosophy is “one size does not fit all” which is great compared to how I was being treated, rushed in and out of the OB’s office like a number. I imagined similarly being rushed in the hospital, my OB rarely present and some fresh-out-of-school nurses attending to me. I’d trust my OB with a c-section if I needed it but I’m much more comfortable with the midwives. Let women have a choice. Don’t fight it so much. If we all have choices it empowers you to have yours as well. One size does not fit all… Natural births are not for everyone. I think we agree there! Being hooked up to stuff while giving birth is not for everyone either.. Sometimes we don’t have a choice, but when we do, it’s good to have..

  • Lee

    I’m looking into this and other issues from an objective standpoint. I only care about statistics, not emotional arguments or personal anecdotes. The most recent study I have found is one from the Netherlands, where about 20% of births are home births. The study was reported in the British Medical Journal, June 2013. It found “the risk of severe complications to be one in 1,000 for home births and 2.3 in 1,000 for hospital births” according to the BBC report on this topic. I continue to look for other reliable statistics. I’m suspicious of listening to anyone who may have a financial stake in this.

    • Box of Salt

      That study is discussed on this blog here:


      and here:


      “I’m suspicious of listening to anyone who may have a financial stake in this. ” You mean like midwives whose income depends on attending home births?

      • Fawn Hacker

        You mean the home birth midwives that make maybe $30,000 per year because they believe in the process and what it can do for us as a society….
        What financial stake? Big business? If you are worried about financial stake maybe take a look at those websites and studies funded by corporations like hospitals. More interventions=more money to hospitals and insurance companies. There is your financial stake.
        Midwives get so much backlash, it is unreal there are still amazing women who have so much passion to continue their careers in natural childbirth.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      If you only care about statistics, it should have been a red flag to you that the authors never mentioned DEATHS. There was a reason for that; homebirth doesn’t look nearly so safe when deaths are included, and not merely complications.

      • Fawn Hacker

        You are ignorant.

        • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

          You have evidence to the contrary?

    • Wren

      You would expect more complications to be reported for hospital births though, wouldn’t you?
      a) Women who know they are likely to have a complication would be in the hospital already. It wasn’t randomised or anything.
      b) Complications are harder to ignore at the hospital due to more people being involved. This isn’t saying anyone deliberately lied, but blood loss could well have been estimated on the lower side (and it’s always estimated).
      c) Greater monitoring is more likely to show potential problems developing sooner, leading to speeding up delivery or C-sections. This could well lead to more complications but fewer deaths.
      Also, wouldn’t practicing midwives have a much higher financial stake in this than a retired OB? In fact, given the numbers who choose home birth versus the number who choose hospital birth, and how large most OB’s case loads are, I find it hard to believe OBs have a greater financial stake than midwives in this. A few women here or there won’t make a huge difference to an OB but could be a home birth midwife’s whole case load.

      • mojasowa

        Midwives would go out of business with lawsuits if natural births were in fact as dangerous (compared with births with medical interventions) as this author tries to convince us of.

        • Who?

          No point suing them, they have no money to start with, and no insurance.

          Their ‘professional’ (ahem) bodies do not criticise them in any way for errors, let alone remove any accreditation they may hold.

        • Wren

          Midwives are rarely sued, for a variety of reasons including both financial and emotional reasons.
          This author has no issue with natural births, if that means a birth with no interventions, as long as there is monitoring showing no reason to intervene and medical intervention is available if needed. Neither of those conditions are met with non-CNM midwives practising outside the hospital environment in the US, or most other countries.

  • b

    I want a natural child birth, but I have nothing against women who chose otherwise, in fact i am glad interventions and csections exist. and most of the things in this post i dont even believe or agree with, so i guess i’m not the average ncb advocate. i’m not saying anything other than natural child birth is wrong, i’m just saying its not for me.

    • Wren

      You may find yourself proven wrong.

      I was certain that a natural child birth was all I would need and what I would have. My son, on the other hand, thought coming feet first was an excellent plan. The risks for the baby are very high for a vaginal footling breech delivery, so c-section it was.

      That was the first lesson my son gave me on the topic of “Parenting is a totally different thing when you are actually a parent”.

    • Fawn Hacker

      You may find yourself proven wrong…you are stronger than you ever thought. Would love to know how your birth went.

    • mojasowa

      Agree. I am like you, and I would not assume the “average ncb advocate” feels the way the author describes. I firmly believe the average ncb “advocate” feels the way you or I do about it. The competitive extremism a stereotype the author of the article is projecting on women like you and me. Anyone I’ve ever known to have a natural birth is super understanding of those who choose not to (or couldn’t). Some had a great first birth and opted for an epidural the 2nd time around because the experience was different (my sister for example). The only judgement here is the author and the commentors out to shame women who choose natural birth.

  • Faredae Audrey Miller

    I see now how my words have been hurtful. When I started commenting on here I did not stop to realize that many of the women on here have lost babies as a result of natural childbirth. You are correct I am ignorant. As I type this with tears in my eyes I am sorry. I am so sorry to have been such an idiot and asshole. Wow, every day we are given lessons, today’s lesson was a tough one to learn.

    I am so sorry.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      When I started commenting on here I did not stop to realize that many of the women on here have lost babies as a result of natural childbirth.


      Your attitude is what it shameful, not the fact that you said it in public, nor that there were loss mothers here. I have not lost a child, nor am I even a mother, but I find your attitude extremely disgusting. Admittedly, I attribute it to just pure cluelessness, but now that you have been made aware and hopefully understand, it will make a difference. And I don’t just mean “you’ll be careful about who you say it, too.”

      One last thing: you should look up the internet meme known as Pablo’s First Law of Internet Discussion. There are links out there that talk about it. It states, “In any internet discussion, assume that someone participating knows more about the topic than you do.” That includes things like knowing what it is like to lose a baby. You are the poster child for it. Sadly, in this case, it’s not even close. You are way out of your league. Pretty much EVERYONE here knows more about almost every topic you have mentioned (ID? Really? You don’t think we know darn well what ID is, and how it completely fails as science? That is even without referring to the Dover trial, that exposed the creationists trying to pass of creationism as ID, where Dembski wouldn’t even show his face to defend it)

      • Faredae Audrey Miller

        I have lost a baby so I know exactly what it is like!

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Yes, I know you had a miscarriage. Again, assume that someone here knows more about it than you. You have read the stories. They go far and beyond a miscarriage.

          • MaineJen

            Whoa. Let’s not assume that her pain about her miscarriage isn’t real, or just as valid as anyone else’s. No one wins at the “my pain is better than your pain” game. Faredae, I’m sorry for your loss…And Jenny, I’m heartbroken over yours.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Nope, a miscarriage is a terrible event. It is not the same as losing a child during childbirth, however.

          • Michele

            I would like to know since when is miscarriage not childbirth. As a labor delivery nurse for well over 20 years, I have attended many “BIRTHS” that were miscarriages. After several hours of labor, (both natural and induced,) I have delivered tiny babies with no signs of life and laid them in their parents hands. I helped parents say hello to their tiny child so they could say goodbye. I have baptized this so called “miscarriage” at the parents request, have dressed this child and taken footprints and pictures.Technically a miscarriage is when a baby dies before the 20th week of pregnancy.Technically, a stillbirth is the death of a baby after the 20th week of pregnancy but before delivery. Whenever parents deal with the death of their child, whether it is early or late in pregnancy, or sometimes after birth, there can be a great sense of disappointment, loss and suffering. Stillbirth and miscarriage are separately defined not because one or the other is an easier or more difficult loss with which to deal, but because they have different causes, need different evaluations and differ medically and in the ways parents and families can best be helped.

          • Young CC Prof

            I believe he’s referring to the difference between a spontaneous stillbirth due to some sort of pregnancy complication vs going into labor at full term with a live healthy baby and losing the child to a birth accident.

            Both are tragic. But many stillbirths are unpreventable, while most losses DURING birth can be prevented with proper care.

          • mojasowa

            funny because the person who seems to know most about pain and loss of a child, enough to chime in and judge, is someone who admitted is not even mother. May not even be a woman?

          • jenny

            Yes, I believe her pain over her miscarriage is real and valid. I would never tell her to be glad that she “just” had a miscarriage. Or, you know, “Babies die during birth, too. Just because you complete a pregnancy doesn’t mean you will bring home a baby.” Or, “At least you didn’t lose an infant.”

            However, the fact that she has experienced loss does not make her qualified to tell me this

            ” But I hope all of you can recognize there are tragedies in hospitals too. Even with all the medical intervention available.”

            Yes, babies do die in hospitals too. That doesn’t make my daughter’s death any less painful.

          • Burgundy

            My heartache when I read your story.

        • jenny

          Since we are talking about experiences, let me tell you about my daughter. She did not die during childbirth. She had a heartbeat, so she was rushed to the hospital, resuscitated, and treated for her injuries. She lived four days. She was very fat and cute, and because of the long period of oxygen deprivation, her kidneys were destroyed. As the days went by, she got fatter, cuter, and sicker from all the fluid and waste her body could not expel. On her first two days in the hospital, she sometimes tried to cry but because of the breathing tube she could not. I am sure that if she was able to sense anything on those days, she was in great discomfort, despite the careful use of pain relieving medication. As her brain damage worsened, she slept more and more. By the time we made the decision to switch to comfort care, she was no longer able to perceive sensation at all, which was a blessing. Her death was a mercy.

          You might know what it’s like to lose a wanted pregnancy, and I am very sorry for your loss, nor do I want to diminish that pain, but you do not know what it is like to look at the baby you carried for nine months, gave birth to in great pain, and longed for with all your heart…. to look at the little sister of your older child, to look at the much loved child….and then make the decision to remove all life support interventions because to do anything else would be a horror. You do not know what that is like.

    • moto_librarian

      Faeredae, take this as an opportunity to learn. Ignorance can be remedied by taking the time to evaluate your prior beliefs in the light of actual evidence. Look, the people who frequently post here have been approached by many well-meaning NCB advocates. Some really aren’t trying to be condescending assholes; others are. If you really want to help women (and yourself), read what the experts have to say. Rikki Lake, MDC, Baby Center, Lamaze – these are not reputable sources. Many people dislike Dr. Amy’s tone, but she is honest. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

      If birth is safe, why does homebirth have a mortality rate for infants that is 3 times higher than that of the hospital?

      If birth is safe, why does it continue to kill so many women and babies in the developing world? (Hint: it’s not because of malnutrition and sanitation)

      If birth is safe, why does MANA refuse to release the death rates for homebirth?

      If you can come up with answers supported by fact rather than anecdote, you will have come a long way.

      • Faredae Audrey Miller

        Thank you for your kindness. I appreciate it. Sadly I am realizing that so many women assume “natural childbirth” means home birth. Women can have natural birth (meaning no intervention) in a hospital or birthing center. With doctors present. That is what I advocate for. That way IF intervention is needed it can be easily accessed. Thank you again.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Why do you advocate for that? And please try to respond without being insulting to those who do otherwise, for a change.

        • moto_librarian

          I know that not all NCB advocates are promoting homebirth. I am encouraging you to dig a little bit deeper. Many women welcome interventions like pain relief once they discover just how painful birth is. I am against the misinformation that is spread about interventions. For example, a lot of NCB advocates tell you not to get a heplock, because that is an intervention. I am living proof of why a heplock is a very good thing to have even if you are having a “natural” birth. If I had I.V. access established in this way, I could have received fentanyl almost immediately and avoided the agonizing pain of manual examination of my uterus. Instead, I had to suffer through it until they could run an I.V. This took time, as priority was given to trying to diagnose the source of my hemorrhage and administering cytotec and pitocin via injection.

      • mojasowa

        WHO is saying childbirth is safe, painless, or that everyone should do a home birth and no one will need interventions?? This is being projected onto women like myself who are interested in NCB. No midwife or doula says this. Most women I know who opted for a natural birth did so at a hospital where they could get a cesarian if an emergency occurs. This is the average reality or NCB “advocates”. Most aren’t even “advocates”. It’s just their choice for themselves… They don’t project onto others or judge. Sometimes NCB is just something to aim for, and it either works out or it doesn’t.

        • Who?

          Maybe none say all of it all the time. Many say some of it most or some of the time.

          And what is the value of ‘aiming’ for anything other than a healthy mother and baby? No one knows how their body will work during pregnancy and in labour, and beyond being young but not too young, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight, there’s little you can do to change that. Being young helps, but that isn’t under control.

          • mojasowa

            Right. If a woman is healthy, there are many ways to have a healthy baby. The idea is that women not be treated like an item on an assembly line. Giving birth is such major life event we SHOULD have options. whether it’s an epidural or a natural birth or an OB or a midwife, and not be judged because it’s not how someone else would do it. I personally switched from my OB to midwife b/c I liked the customization and options the midwives offered that my OB did not. (OB rushed through our visits, informed me nothing more than the obvious, etc.). In the alternative birthing center I have a queen size bed my husband can fit on, I can move around freely, change positions, soak in a tub, labor in the shower, try their various birthing tools, and the midwife will spend more time with me than an OB would. I will have a doula to take some pressure of my husband and to be a reassuring, compassionate coach. I have these choices now. Should I need or CHOOSE interventions, i have this option too. I will be moved down the hall to a standard labor room and The OB on staff will step in. The image this author presented of the NB “advocates” is totally skewed and sets us all up for a “them against us” attitude.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Can your midwife diagnose a placental abruption in time to save your uterus and your baby’s life? Will she call the OB, stat, if there is a shoulder dystocia that isn’t resolved within 1 minute? Will you have an IV/heplock in already just in case, fetal monitoring, and other things to tell you if your baby is having distress? Will you have access to an epidural if you decide that pain sucks and you’re done with it?

            Hospitals actually let you go in the shower or tub, change positions, etc. You can even have a doula if you want one. Giving birth anywhere but a hospital is much less safe than giving birth in a hospital. It’s not a good or smart decision. You have the right to make stupid choices, of course, but we have the right to tell you they’re stupid choices. You will get no validation here.

          • mojasowa

            “You have the right to make stupid choices, of course, but we have the right to tell you they’re stupid choices. You will get no validation here.”. Yes, i can tell.. I’ll have a really disrespectful person judging me and indulging in calling me stupid. Read the words rather reading between the lines so much. You just validated my point about projecting extremist stereotypes.. You assumed I’m having a home birth EVEN though it was clear I’ll be in a hospital.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            No, I presumed you’d be in a birthing center unattached to a hospital, which was my mistake. It was clear you weren’t choosing a homebirth.

            You’re not making stupid choices. That is good. I still don’t see why you’re dissing hospital births, then?

          • mojasowa

            “Should I need or CHOOSE interventions, i have this option too. I will be moved down the hall to a standard labor room and The OB on staff will step in.” Catch and pay attention to your confirmation bias? That includes, putting words into mouths. I have not dissed hospital births. I’m dissing the judgement and one-sidedness of stereotyping women who choose natural births and experienced midwives who assist them with it to be clueless, lying, judgmental, extremist idiots. The judgements seem to be coming from somewhere else…

          • mojasowa

            In my city, every midwife group performs births in alternative birthing centers IN A HOSPITAL. I did a lot of research before switching from my OB to a midwife group, and i’m happy with my “stupid” choice, thanks for letting me know it’s “stupid”. That was really valuable to the discussion.

          • mojasowa

            My sister had a natural, unmedicated birth with her experienced OB btw. He was not one bit against it. She was in active labor for 4 hours but felt she was doing well, with no stress on the baby, and wanted to continue. With my OB, she’d be sent for a cesarian after 3 hours, like a statistic (My OB stated that is their “policy”). Her OB however, treated her as an individual and let her influence the outcome b/c there were no complications and her feedback was that the pain was manageable for her. This is what I’m talking about. There are different ways to do things. It’s nice to have choices and be supported (unless you’re being truly irrational– like bleeding out and dying and refusing a cesarean– i imagine– an unusual request). My sister felt her own chemicals were kicking in as she was able to cope with the pain just fine. She had a healthy baby, and wanted to do a natural birth again. Next baby however, she just got over food poisoning, and chose an epidural b/c she did not feel she had the strength. That baby was in the hospital for 6 weeks with sepsis, not saying it had anything to do with the interventions… But you can have a healthy or unhealthy baby in any setting. There are no guarantees. Do what’s right for you… I’m glad I have choices.

        • moto_librarian

          Why don’t you pick a recent thread if you want to engage on this topic. Seriously, I’m not wading through comments on a two-year old thread to remember the context of what I said.

          • mojasowa

            then don’t.

  • Faredae Audrey Miller

    I wish you all pure happiness and joy. I can see very clearly that anyone who supports natural childbirth is going to be judged on here. I never intended to offend anyone. I simply wanted to share my opinions. I am sorry to anyone who had a “bad” birthing experience. No woman or baby deserves to be harmed in any way. It saddens me to know there are midwives and doctors out there that push their beliefs on parents. We should all support each other no matter what. I have many friends and family members that live a different life style than me and I do not love them any less. Same goes for parents who choose a birth plan that is not aligned with my belief. I still support them with all the love in my heart.

    ~Many blessings and love to you all.

    • Karen in SC

      Okay, thanks!

      We already know that it’s okay to have a natural birth, if desired. We just don’t want anyone coming here, saying it’s better or any other idealized view like “you can manage the pain” , “you have instincts”. etc.


      • Faredae Audrey Miller

        Again, I was just trying to have conversation because I assumed we were all mature women who could share with one another. You say “we” but maybe there is someone on here who did need/want to hear what I have to say. <3

        • FormerPhysicist

          Once again Preaching =/= conversation. Stop being insulted that this isn’t your choir.

        • anion

          If your first post here was your idea of a respectful, mature conversation starter, I shudder to think what you’re like at parties.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      I can see very clearly that anyone who supports natural childbirth is going to be judged on here.

      Is that what you are doing? Go figure.

      Actually, I’m not even sure what that means, to “support natural childbirth.” Because obviously, you can’t support NCB in all circumstances. There are obviously times when NCB is clearly improper, and no one should support it in those circumstances. But in those circumstances where NCB can be done safely, sure, I’ll support it, if that’s what the mother wants. I don’t know anyone here who would say any different.

      However, what I won’t do:
      1) Cajole women into choosing natural birth on the grounds of
      a) Inventing fantasies about how great NCB is, or by
      b) Poisoning the well about how evil interventions are, or
      c) Implying that they are weak or flawed if they don’t have an NCB
      2) Lie about risks and/or benefits
      2) Complain that there are too many women choosing intervention or not

      Actually, no one has called you out on 1c with your whole “we are designed to give birth” and “inner lionness” crap. If women are designed to give birth, does that mean that those who are not successfully able to give birth, such as those that have lost a child in childbirth, as broken? How else would you characterize something that does not do what it was designed to do? My car was designed to start up with the ignition. If it fails to do so, then it is because it is broken.

      So you talk about “we should support each other,” but your whole message is a complete insult to those who, for whatever reason, are unable to give birth successfully. Maybe they can’t conceive. Maybe they have anatomical issues that prevent carrying to term or delivering. Like the car with the bad ignition, they have something broken. That is the message you are giving.

      It’s not support at all. It’s total judgement. To that I say, thanks for nothing, asshole.

      • Faredae Audrey Miller

        You are obviously very bored, and need drama in your life. I have not insulted anyone intentionally, and I apologized if I did offend someone. Yet you call me asshole. I will no longer waste my time with you.

        • Dr Kitty

          You know the self righteous flounce only works if you actually stop posting, right?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Well, she had to return from her flounce to accuse me of needing drama in my life.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          As I tell my kids, the apology is only the first part. The second part, and the most important part, is to make sure you don’t do it again.

          I’ve seen no indication of such. Your apology don’t mean shit if you just continue doing what you did to offend in the first place.

          • kumquatwriter

            “Saying ‘I’m so-rry’ is the first step! Then, ‘how can I help!'”

            Wisdom from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Which my not-quite-three year old grasps just fine…

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            For some reason, the lessons from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood stick with my kids very well. They are singing those Daniel Tiger songs for days after just hearing it once.

          • kumquatwriter

            Its Mister Rogers. That man’s gentle and accepting soul and gift for communicating with children carried on beautifully with the new show. We use a lot of their little songs! My other two favorites are “STOP! And listen to stay safe!” and “when you FEEL so mad that you WANNA roar, take a deep breath (breathe) and count to four! 1…2…3…4″

            Granted, my boy replies, “I meed to count to TWENTY!” And then does it!

          • kumquatwriter

            Also – just look at ALL THE DRAMAS you clearly need, what with the little tiger songs and all.

          • Jocelyn

            I can hear that song playing in my head now. :)

    • jenny

      I didn’t have bad birthing experience. My baby died. Namaste!

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Yeah, jenny, what do you think about her claim that you are “designed to give birth”? I’m sure that makes you feel a lot better, right? Because hey, we should all support each other no matter what.

        • jenny

          Well, Bofa, I did have a successful vaginal birth, after all, so it’s not like my BODY failed. If only I had spent more time visualizing her cord moving away from her head, perhaps I could have done something to prevent the accident. I feel so supported.

          • Dr Kitty

            Jenny, how you deal with these idiots I don’t know.
            Much respect for your grace and patience.

          • jenny

            I don’t feel particularly graceful, but thank you, Dr. Kitty. Sometimes I want to leap through the screen and pour kale smoothies over the next person that says, “As long as you follow your instinct everything will be fine!” But I’ll settle for a resentfully flung namaste. Faredae has no idea what she is talking about, and if she’s lucky she will remain in ignorance. At this point, I don’t respond to people like this because I think I’m going to change their minds…. but like all of us I think we’re hoping that someone who is searching for information will come along and see this stuff doesn’t go unchallenged.

          • Faredae Audrey Miller

            I lost a baby too. And I am very sorry for your loss. Mine was not during childbirth, I had a miscarriage. Today is pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day and yet here we are “arguing”. I am so sad with all of this talk. People calling me names simply because I have a particular belief. And Jenny, I agree, we will never change each others minds. Like politics and religion. Some things should not be discussed. I guess I asked for all this when I commented on this article. I guess I just assumed it was more of a discussion where women could share their experiences either way. But it is not. It is for women who have had bad experiences with natural childbirth. My heart goes out to all of you. You can call me an asshole, ignorant, idiot, whatever you feel you need to. I am just a woman who loves pregnancy and childbirth. And I will not remain “ignorant” I know there will be times of tragedy in my line of work. But I hope all of you can recognize there are tragedies in hospitals too. Even with all the medical intervention available. ~Blessings~

          • Still Fed up

            (just go! And stay gone this time! No more blessings, please!) (Oh and your miscarriage does not give you any insight into loss during childbirth—they are different on many levels)

          • Dr Kitty

            You just DO NOT GET IT Faradae.
            You have said rude, hurtful, offensive things which you have neither acknowledged nor apologised for.

            And then you try the “today of all days, don’t be hating” card.

            Depending on circumstances a miscarriage can be a tragedy, or the best solution to a difficult situation, or a total non event with no feelings either way.

            The same cannot be said about losing a wanted child shortly before, during or after birth.

            You believe that if you believe everything will be fine and do everything right then nothing bad will happen at a birth. Or, worst case if it all goes tits up, then it was somehow meant to happen and couldn’t have been avoided.

            I’m sure it is a comforting, pleasant belief to have. I’m sure it’ll help you deal with the “inevitable tragedies” you’ll face as whatever kind of lay birth worker you are.
            That doesn’t make it a true, or kind or helpful belief system.

    • Guest

      And I hope that you will take this parachuting event as a learning experience and really reflect on the perspectives here.

      I did feel very sad and guilty after my daughter’s birth. Do you know why? Because I was surrounded with too many people like you, people who push an agenda that women are “designed” to give birth, and that if you just trust your instincts and prepare in the right ways you will have a beautiful and empowering natural experience. And I bought it. And because I couldn’t have that experience, despite “doing everything right,” I felt broken, betrayed by my body, denied an empowering and meaningful experience that I was convinced I was supposed to have. There I was, with a beautiful, healthy child in my life, ruminating endlessly about something in the past and beyond my control.

      Then I started talking to mothers who were not attached to natural child birth, who did not attach so much intrinsic value to a particular birth experience, and who did not have expectations about their experience going in. And guess what? If they hit bumps in the road, they were not as effected by it. THEY WERE HAPPIER.

      Please reflect on how many women you are hurting through your well-intentioned but deeply insulting philosophy.

      • Faredae Audrey Miller

        I will reflect on how every woman has different experiences. I will however not believe I am hurting women, because I know I am not. I am sorry you are not happy with your experience but I had nothing to do with it. You do not know me or how I work with parents. I teach my parents NOT to try to plan out their birth. Have an idea of what they want to happen but be prepared for it to all go out the window! Even if they are on their 3rd child. EVERY birth is different. And I stay open to ANYTHING happening, including interventions. So please, don’t try to pretend you know me because of your experience with whomever you worked with. I am not them.

        • Fed up with Faredae

          (god, don’t you just hate it when people say they’re going—and then they keep coming around? Particularly when they keep wishing us love and blessing. Just go and stay gone! This is NOT a conversation, this is you preaching and relating your supposed awesomeness)

          • moto_librarian

            I just wish that people could stick the flounce…

        • Burgundy

          My beef with you was “yes, you have all the good intentions of sharing your believes. It is not easy to do especially in a site that hold ideas so opposite from yours. However, instead addressing the questions or concerns that we had/asked, you simply repeated your believe over and over again”. I got it, you believed that labor pain should be manageable and pain med was not necessary. NCB should be the mainstream way of giving birth. However, this blog is addressing the safety issues that associated with NCB. Quiet honestly, if you look at the stat, it is not good. I would love to see you come back and address each so called “lies” with citations and actual studies and not based on your believes.
          BTW, sorry to use the word Beef, but it is lunch time here and I am hungry.

        • Guest

          It seems you are not understanding my point. I think it might be difficult if you are very absorbed in your own ideology.

          I did not say that you personally made me feel bad. I said the philosophy you promote, which you have openly shared here, hurts women. You have said women are “designed” to give birth. You have said we have it within us to do it instinctively, we just need the proper support. We are lionesses, after all, we don’t need medicine to do it for us! So what of those of us who were not able to have a natural birth? What of those who needed help? Were we designed wrong? Do we have bad instincts? Did we have crappy support? Are we not lionesses?

          It does not matter if you pay lip service to the idea that anything can happen. Your whole attitude is setting women up to fail. It took me a while to see that, so I can understand that you probably won’t get it right away. I hope it does sink in, though.

        • An Actual Attorney

          Faredae: Something hurtful
          Other women: That hurt me.
          Faredae: I don’t believe I hurt you.

          Got it.

  • Faredae Audrey Miller

    Wow, is really all I can say right now! I can’t get past the first statement, about childbirth being safe, “Outright lie” What?? Our bodies are designed to give birth. Otherwise we would not be here. It is safe if it is properly prepared for and supported. I keep seeing the word LIE over and over. Ask any woman who did birth naturally if any intervention was necessary. Her answer will be no. Which means drugs and interventions are not usually needed. Ask women who have used intervention with complication (I personally know many of them) if she is satisfied with her birth and you will most likely hear her say no. I hear many women say they never want to give birth again. Then once they are educated about how it could and should be, they are open to trying it the way nature intended. Childbirth is NOT a medical mystery! It is a natural process. We just have to unlearn what the medical field has been taught. Go back to the basics. Let our instincts guide us. A lion does not require a doctor to give her drugs and tell her how and when to push. We have it within us to do it instinctually, we just need the proper support. Why would we be any different from any other species on this planet! People wonder why I have such a deep anger towards our medical establishment! But I equally have a desire to educate women about their choices. And let them decide what they feel is right for them. <3

    • Karen in SC

      A lion doesn’t require a doctor???? Instinct???? Plenty of animals die in the wild, that is why litters are so large. Ask a sheep or cattle rancher about how they care for their females giving birth. What instinct tells you about uterine rupture, nuchal cords, macrosomic or IUGR babies?

      How ignorant you are. I had complications and my instincts told me NOTHING. Thankfully I was in a hospital and my baby was taken care of.

      PS. I had NO interventions, still I had complications….

      • Faredae Audrey Miller

        I said this in another reply but I will say it again to you. It is really sad that we cannot talk as woman to woman on here without lashing out at each other. I never judged you nor called you ignorant. I am simply stating my opinion on here based on my knowledge. You say your instincts told you nothing. That is the whole point to what I mean by women need to be supported and educated for months prior to labor. I am sorry you had complications. And I am grateful that you got the help you needed. But that again is my point. There are times when it is needed, but there are many times it is not needed. You say you had no interventions, I do not know your story, but did you have an i.v.? Were you allowed to walk around? Were you hooked up to electronic monitoring? These are interventions. Again, I am just asking, I do not know the answers. One of the worst things we can do to a mom in labor is keep her immobile. Labor goes more smoothly if mom can move around. Anyhow, I do seriously just want to support women. NO MATTER what their experience. It breaks my heart how many women seem to have anger or guilt around their birth. Those are the last emotions a mother should ever feel.

        • anion

          If women have anger or guilt around the births of their children, it’s likely because people like you insist they were “uneducated” and that if they’d just studied more they could have had magical pain-free natural births.

          Also, you say that labor “goes more smoothly if mom can move around.” Citation please?

        • jenny

          I had a baby die as a result of a cord prolapse during a precipitous second stage. It happened in my house, before I could get to the hospital. No “interference,” no monitors, and no immobility caused that. It just happened. Because bad shit just happens sometimes. And before you go googling how to fix a prolapse in your kitchen, all the BS people circulate on the internet about what to do in case of a cord prolapse only works if you have access to skilled, experienced personnel with appropriate equipment. A monitor could have given early warning and a c-section could have saved her life, but INSTINCT isn’t going to do shit.

          • Faredae Audrey Miller

            First off, I am sorry for your loss. Truly. Secondly I am even more sorry for offending you. I never intended to.

          • jenny

            Thank you. I believe you did not intend to say something hurtful, but you have. Do you understand why someone could be hurt by statements like

            “Our bodies are designed to give birth. Otherwise we would not be here. It is safe if it is properly prepared for and supported. I keep seeing the word LIE over and over. Ask any woman who did birth naturally if any intervention was necessary. Her answer will be no. Which means drugs and interventions are not usually needed.”

            And on and on. Not only is this hurtful, it’s not true that birth is safe if you are properly prepared and supported. Just because there are things we can do to mitigate birth emergencies does not mean that birth is safe.

        • Karen in SC

          I stand by my comment. Being ignorant is not a failing, you can always learn more.

          When I said I had no interventions, I mean NONE. I walked, I ate, I drank, I showered, no iv. Typical NCB birth just in a hospital. Again, I had NO INSTINCT that anything was wrong.

          Good news my doctor realized it and my son was born safely and resuscitated by a well trained team.

          Please read today’s post. You can learn a lot about your body and being pregnant, but you (and I ) will never be fully educated about OB/GYN.

        • EllenL

          If you want women not to feel anger or guilt, stop telling them there’s one right way to give birth – your way.

        • Dr Kitty

          Sorry, Faredae, YOU’RE the judgemental one here.
          You say “I’ve never heard of any natural mamas ever needing interventions or having bad outcomes”.

          Karen tells you how her natural birth nearly ended in her son’s death.

          Moto Librarian tells you how her natural birth ended up with a cervical tear and almost in HER death.

          Jenny tells you how her precipitous unintentional UC ended in her daughter’s DEATH.

          And your response is “Ah yes, but are you SURE it was REALLY natural? Did you move around enough? Well, you weren’t educated or supported enough to trust your instincts, if you had been it all would have been fine!”

          That is some judgemental, offensive rubbish.
          Lady, all the <3 and "blessings" doesn't make it less mean any horrible.

          • Burgundy

            I don’t think she gets it. I asked her about how she thinks about moms who lost babies due to nature birth, she gave me more BS (the good old hospital lost babies too bingo) but never address my question.

          • moto_librarian

            Well, to be fair Dr. Kitty, just being in a hospital probably qualifies as an “intervention” in her mind.

          • An Actual Attorney

            Or living in a house, with electricity.

          • Faredae Audrey Miller

            Where did I say I have NEVER heard of natural mamas ever needing interventions or having bad outcomes? That is the opposite of what I said! (unless I typed it wrong) Because I KNOW there are times when women need intervention. You are totally twisting my words! I was ASKING questions when I asked if she was able to move around. Your whole last paragraph has quotation marks yet I NEVER said any of it! I am trying to ask questions to learn about your experiences. Yet no one actually tells me anything! You all just say you were lied to “by people like you” YOU DO NOT KNOW ME or how I teach. You assume I tell women they are dumb if they choose drugs, or they are broken if they lose a baby, or whatever insane assumptions you are coming up with. I have tried to have conversation with you all but I can see it is completely pointless.

          • anion

            We’re not assuming anything. We’re taking your statements at face value and telling you how they read/sound to us. That’s not an assumption. Every statement you’ve made here can be logically interpreted the way we have done.

            If those things are not what you meant, then you ought to be more careful with your choices of words.

          • Dr Kitty

            Ok, you want a direct quote of your actual words, rather than my interpretation.
            No problem.

            “Ask any woman who did birth naturally if interventions were necessary. Her answer will be no”.

            Karen, Jenny, Moto (and Margarita, Liz P, Dhanya, Sara, Marlo, Nicole and all the other Hurt by Homebirth mothers) beg to disagree.

            Faredae, that statement pretty much pushed all of my buttons, implying as it does that interventions are never necessary if you do everything “naturally”, which is blatantly false.

            Anyway, I’m embarrassing myself with my condescending assholery, so I’m going to take a time out.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Actually, the statement to me was basically tautology. Anyone who has a birth without interventions will tell you that interventions weren’t necessary. Duh.

            Ask those who HAD interventions if their interventions were necessary. That’s a different question.

          • An Actual Attorney

            Faredae — Very slowly here. You said “Ask any woman who did birth naturally if interventions were necessary. Her answer will be no”

            There are many women (here and elsewhere) who desperately, with every fiber of their being, wish they could go back and have an intervention that was not given. They wish that because their baby is dead. Dead for lack of intervention. They had a natural birth, and their baby is therefore dead.

          • Burgundy

            “Ask any woman who did birth naturally if interventions were necessary. Her answer will be no”
            This is a rhetorical statement. I wonder if she ever ask that question to any woman who did birth “unnaturally”.

      • Burgundy

        So I guess a vet assisted birth for the dogs just a big fat lie made up by vets to make $$. As Faredae stated, an animal should have the instinct to give birth without fail ;P

    • Jocelyn

      Our bodies are designed to swallow food. People still choke. Our bodies are designed to pump blood with our hearts. People – even very healthy people – still have heart attacks. It doesn’t really matter what our bodies are “designed” to do – things can still go wrong, and people can be seriously injured or die.

      Hey, and guess what? I had complications during my first labor, and they used interventions because of them, and I am COMPLETELY satisfied with how that birth went. You know why? Because my daughter is healthy and safe.

      Go ahead and “unlearn what the medical field has been taught.” Personally, I’ll stick to science.

      • Faredae Audrey Miller

        Yes, there are times when our bodies do not function properly. But it is a small percentage. And in those times, yes, medicine is needed. It is my opinion that medicine is used too often and before it is even figured out whether it is necessary. I have a friend who opted for pain meds before the pain even began. They did not work and the doctors kept giving her more. 27 hours of painful labor, groggy and unable to function properly. When her baby was finally born she was unable to hold him because of the drugs. (this is her story as she told it to me) She said she never wants to have another baby again because it was so horrible. Luckily since then we have had many conversations and she as decided she will have more babies but do things very differently. I also personally witnessed an unassisted birth. Meaning no midwife, doctor etc. Just me, mom, dad and a friend. Baby was born in about 5.5 hours with no complications. Yes there was some pain but mom knew how to allow it to pass. My point in this story is NOT that women should birth unassisted. It is simply that every birth is different and women should not make decisions based on another woman’s birth story.

        • anion

          Right. And so you should not lecture others on how they ought to give birth based on a couple of friends of yours.

          • Faredae Audrey Miller

            I am not lecturing anyone on how they should give birth. I am simply sharing my opinions. Unfortunately it does not seem to be welcomed on here since it is different than the author’s. Again, sad that women cannot just have conversation and share info. Which is why so many women do not know all their options. <3

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I believe educating women on how strong they are, we are all lionesses at heart. If we are supported and taught how to manage the pain then we learn to move through it.

            If you are not lecturing anyone on how to give birth, why are you “educating” them on how they don’t have to have pain medications?

            I won’t dig up a quote, but have you complained that the c-section rate is too high? If so, you are suggesting that there are those who are getting c-sections who should not. IOW, lecturing about HOW they should give birth.

          • Karen in SC

            You are shared your beliefs only. Not any factual information.

            Women should make decisions based on factual information presented by a OB (in the case of pregnancy). If still decided on natural childbirth, as I did, fine. If deciding on homebirth, at least doing so knowing all the risks. Not some idealized belief system.

          • Dr Kitty

            Faredae, I educated myself.
            I discovered that it is unsafe for 5foot 45kg woman with spina bifida and an abnormal pelvis and spine whose baby has an estimated weight of 7lbs and where the head is still very high (no engagement, totally free) at 38 to attempt a vaginal birth.
            To me the risk of a long, painful obstructed labour, cord prolapse and pelvic floor damage meant that a planned, pre labour CS was a no brainer.

            I’m very happy with my choice and have no interest in attempting a VBAC.

            Your friend lucked out and had an easy UC. Happy for her. But it simply isn’t a safe, advisable option for most women.
            How do you not get that?

        • moto_librarian

          Have you even had a baby? If not, you really don’t have any right to be lecturing anyone here about your “opinion.”

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          Really? A small percentage of women’s bodies are broken? Any woman’s body is broken? How do you think that sounds to one of those “broken” women?

          Before modern medicine, every pregnancy carried a 1% chance of killing the woman. 1%. 1/100. That doesn’t count the neonatal deaths (9%) or birth injuries to both mother and baby. Even today, it’s not safe. I personally know (in real life) a woman who nearly hemorrhaged to death, a woman who nearly died of a massive infection, and a woman whose stalled back labor only started progressing again after an epidural. I’m an introvert, so I do not have a large circle of friends, and I know three women who are alive and healthy today because of hospital interventions. If things go wrong, I want to be someplace where someone can fix it.

          So I’m glad the UC you went to went well. I really am. I am shocked and appalled your friends thought rolling the dice and hoping for the best was a good idea with something so important, though. It’s a choice they have a right to make, but it is, frankly, a stupid choice.

          • mojasowa

            She’s not against interventions when necessary…

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            And who decides when it’s necessary, and will you be in a location that has those necessary interventions available?

            You’re setting yourself up for failure if you put yourself out of reach of modern medicine and just hope for the best.

    • Young CC Prof

      Back in the day, people had 8 kids. If one or two died at birth, the family went on. In fact, throughout all of human history up until just a few generations ago, childbirth was the leading cause of death among younger women, except during times of great disaster.

      Animals die at birth all the time, including animals that usually bear much more easily than humans. Ask a dog breeder how many litters include at least one stillborn puppy.

      Dr. Amy is educating women about their choices. Unlike you, she’s also educating them about the consequences of those choices, including an increased risk of death to babies born without medical supervision.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Our bodies were not designed at all. They have evolved to give birth often enough and well enough for the species to continue. Women throughout history (and prehistory) have died giving birth. More will die if they “trust their instincts” and don’t receive proper medical care.

    • Burgundy

      Why don’t you tell that to all the moms who lost kids because they bought into your “believe”? They trusted their lay MF and trusted body/birth/whatever you parroting over and over. So what did they do wrong? Didn’t they do their homework and research? They all interviewed and build a relationship with their MF. They all believed that what ever OB said was a big LIE, they all thought what they choice was the best for their babies. Their children pay the ultimate price and yet you are still here yapping. Really, when are you (yes, the NCBers/MF/CPM) are going to admin the wrongs and take responsibilities like a true human being.

      • Faredae Audrey Miller

        Do you say this to the many doctors who have had moms and babies die? You can find many stories about death in hospitals too. Yes, babies die, yes mothers die. And my heart breaks for all of them. I will never tell anyone their OB is lying, unless I know they are. A good OB will support natural childbirth unless intervention is necessary. Thankfully there are many OBs out there like this. Unfortunately there are many that go straight for drugs, cutting and c-sec if baby does not come in the time they think it should. With all that said, it truly saddens me to say there are many midwives who are so against medical intervention that they risk a mom and baby based on their belief that it is never needed. So it goes both ways. Thankfully we now have more and more birthing centers that have NCBers and doctors working together to make sure babies and moms are safe. I sense your anger, and I am sorry for whatever it is that you are hurting from. ~In love and light~

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Are you familiar with the concept of rate? Most people learn it in the 4th grade.


        • Burgundy

          At least with a hospital, someone is hold ACCOUNTABLE. That’s why the hospital carry insurance and have review board. What do you get if a homebirth go wrong? NOTHING. Most of the time a MW just hide behind her “chain of sisterhood” and keep on killing babies.

        • moto_librarian

          Yeah, just what we need, more substandard care for women. Has it occurred to you that many of us prefer giving birth with the aid of pain medication? I’ve done it both with and without drugs, and let me tell you, my second birth with the epidural was absolutely blissful compared to my first “natural” delivery.

        • Burgundy

          so Faredae, you still have not addressed my question yet. What are you going to tell the mom who “fail” the birth and lost her baby in HB? Is their body broken? Or some babies just don’t meant to be lived?

    • moto_librarian

      “Ask any woman who did birth naturally if any intervention was necessary. Her answer will be no.”

      You must not have talked to very many women. You certainly haven’t talked to me. I had a “textbook” natural delivery – pushed in every position imaginable, no heplock/I.V., drank during labor, no pitocin, etc. Despite all of that, my son was apparently malpositioned and tore my cervix on his way out. I started hemorrhaging, and got to experience manual examination of my uterus and removal of clots without any pain medication. They were able to run an I.V. and take me back to surgery within about 15 minutes, but I still narrowly avoided a blood transfusion. My recovery was long and painful. I would not be alive had it not been for interventions provided by a well-trained CNM, L&D nurses, and the attending OB. Get a clue, sweetheart.

    • Dr Kitty

      A tiger recently gave birth at London Zoo.
      The labour was six minutes long and the newborn cub was the size of her paw.
      I’d TOTALLY be up for NCB if I could have a six minute labour and deliver a baby smaller than my hand.

  • Aunatural

    We are a different type of mom! Throw all the bullshit you want in air, but NATURAL is the best way to go in all aspect of life. If you feel bad for your choices, I empathize, but don’t for a second bash the way birthing is to be done!!

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Throw all the bullshit you want in air, but NATURAL is the best way to go in all aspect of life

      I trust you typed this using smoke signals? And go to work on a sled or a log or wheel-shaped rock?

      Or does the “Natural is the best way to go” not apply to communication or transportation?

      • Faredae Audrey Miller

        really? you are going to compare having a baby to transportation? Giving birth is a natural process that I will agree at times does require medical intervention. However, medicine is used when it is not needed and that is really sad to me. And back to your transportation…..if you CAN walk then you SHOULD walk. Obviously there are times when it is better to not walk. So, I guess you can compare the 2. ;)

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          you are going to compare having a baby to transportation?

          So you’re saying I should take less care with my kid’s birth than I would with deciding what mode of transportation I wish to use?

          • Faredae Audrey Miller

            No, you should take MORE care! People do more research on which car to buy than they do where and how to give birth. That is my whole point. Do LOTS of research. And the most important research to do is talk to other women. Find mom groups and ask them where they gave birth, what dr or midwife they used, what their experience was. That’s what we do when buying a car! So why not for giving birth!

          • I don’t have a creative name

            What you have described above is not research.

          • FormerPhysicist

            And one can get away with that type of “research” for a car because the government sets minimum safety standards for automobiles. Which many states do NOT do for ‘midwives’.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Besides, I don’t accept the claim that people do more “research” into what car to buy.

          • Kerlysa

            What. I didn’t go around asking my neighbors what car I should buy. I bloody well went online and found third party, reputable sources as to the efficacy of the features I was interested in, and read the fine print on various loan options. Perhaps your next advice would be to find a car salesman who I enjoyed chatting with- clearly, he would have the highest quality cars for the best possible price.

        • anion

          What medicine, exactly, is used when it’s not needed? And who is the arbiter of whether or not it’s needed?

          • Faredae Audrey Miller

            I have a friend who just gave birth 3 months ago. The doctor gave her pain meds before the pain even began. But they did not work. She was still in pain, they continued to give her more pain meds. 27 hours of painful groggy labor. She could not even hold her baby once he was born, she was too drugged. SHE is the arbiter that drugs should not have been used. She has a lot of anger and guilt about her labor. Right after he was born she said she would never have another baby again. Thankfully after learning it can be different she has said she will have more babies, but only if I am by her side. this time.

          • anion

            You stated above that your friend OPTED for pain meds before the pain even began. Now you’re implying she was given them against her will? Why did she continue with narcotics when she could have had an epidural?

            Yes, your friend is the arbiter of whether or not she receives medication, and she CHOSE pain meds. That she didn’t enjoy those meds (as in them not working) isn’t someone’s fault and it doesn’t mean no other mothers should have pain meds. I did, and they worked wonderfully.

            I frankly have a hard time believing she was kept on a narcotic drip for 27 hours, and I suspect that being awake and in labor for that long contributed greatly to her grogginess, but I’ll take you at your word there (I’ll also take you at your word that she was offered pain meds when she denied pain, though it sounds strange to me.)

          • LibrarianSarah

            That’s the funny thing about anecdotes. They can be completely made up and if true only tell one side of the story.

          • Dr Kitty

            Or, perhaps she needs to use a DIFFERENT type of pain medication that would work better?

            If she had IV remifentanyl last time maybe she ould try pethidine this time.

            If she had Entonox last time, maybe she should have an epidural this time.

            If she had an epidural last time, maybe they could switch up the mix from last time.

            The choice isn’t meds bad/no meds good. She should probably see an anaesthetist to discuss WHY the meds she got weren’t effective, and what would be better options for her next time.

            Just a thought.
            Speaking as someone who has idiosyncratic drug reactions, but has now worked out what works really well.

          • Faredae Audrey Miller

            It is totally up to her. They used several different drugs. Epi first then I.V.Nothing worked for her. She just felt drugged and tired. She has chosen to opt for natural next time around. If she changes her mind, that is her choice. I will be by her side no matter what!

        • GuestB

          People who have no education in obstetrics telling other women how they can and should give birth? Now THAT is really sad to me.
          ps – forgive me if you do have medical training. But I’m guessing you don’t.

    • castyourshadow

      You said it ..”the way birthing is to be done”. Implying there is only one acceptable way. Can’t you understand how immature this statement is and how it demeans/judges other women who don’t choose an all-natural birth? Congratulations! You just exemplified exactly one of Dr. Amy’s fundamental issues with NCB’ers. That it sets a standard to which all women should try to adhere regardless of how meaningless or risky that standard is. One problem I have with this movement is how this self-aggrandizing agenda reflects on women who can’t have babies or who choose to adopt. If they adopt a child are they not ever going to experience love and bonding like the birth mother would (since the birth mother in a lot of cases bonded so well with her baby that she decided to give it up for adoption)? I think women who choose to adopt a child should be held in equal or even higher esteem than women who chose to have their own babies for two reasons….1- They are selflessly choosing to care for, love, and raise a child who otherwise would not have a home or family. 2- NCB /breastfeeding plays zero role in their lives as a devoted and loving mother and clearly shows it is NOT a prerequisite to being a good mother or parent to a healthy and well cared for child as the movement advocates would have us all believe.

      • Lizzie Dee

        I can’t see that having a child whether in the usual way or by adoption is in any way selfless – quite the opposite. However I do think the love for that child can become selfless. But what is it that we love? The image of ourselves as mothers, a reflection through family genes, or the child as an individual? The idea of that love being less than or defective because some bonding ritual wasn’t perfect seems to me either a delusion caused by anxiety or a very sad reflection on the capacity to love.

    • MamaNaturesWrath

      Tell that to my friend who died giving birth, naturally. Or to my intelligent, athletic, healthy younger brother who is only alive because of an emergency C-section when, after 36 hours of labor and countless hours of pushing, they realized his head was literally too big to fit through my Mom’s birth canal, and he was a couple of minutes away from irreparable brain damage or death. Or to my friend with whom I spent the whole day today (and her BEAUTIFUL little baby girl who is alive and healthy), who, in spite of wanting to go natural and had a midwife on hand the whole time, also ended up needing an emergency C-section because her little girl was breach and had the cord wrapped around her neck 3 times. As Dr. Tuteur notes, childbirth is not inherently safe. Historically (and currently, in less medically developed parts of the world), it has claimed countless lives of mothers and babies alike. I’m all for trying to go natural, if that is your choice, but it is naive to outright deny the advancements in medicine, and women should always keep the option of interventions open, for the safety of both mothers and babies!

      • Faredae Audrey Miller

        you are so right, it is HORRIBLE to DENY medicine if it is needed. And yes, there are times when it is needed. But in some cases what was really needed was proper education PRIOR to labor. Educate women on what to REALLY expect. How to handle situations that may arise and when to let medicine step in if needed. It is truly sad that women and babies suffer because natural childbirth and medicine cannot seem to work TOGETHER. Most women can birth naturally if educated and supported properly. But there are times when medicine is a must. It amazes me how we educate ourselves on buying cars and houses and work, yet when it comes to having a baby we go to the nearest hospital and use whatever dr there is. Parents need to understand they do have choices. I am very sorry to you for your loss of your friend. ~Blessings

        • Karen in SC

          wow, you would deny pain relief? Educate all you want, labor hurts most women in HORRIBLY.

          • Faredae Audrey Miller

            I never said I would DENY any woman of anything SHE chooses. I believe it is a woman’s decision on her own. I simply believe women are taught too often that it is painful beyond what they are capable of handling. I do not believe that to be true. Our bodies are designed to give birth to babies. Period. I believe educating women on how strong they are, we are all lionesses at heart. If we are supported and taught how to manage the pain then we learn to move through it. I do personally feel that many women who are so strongly against natural childbirth are speaking out from a place of guilt or anger. I am not the type of natural childbirth educator that I tell women they were wrong or bad for doing it any other way. I believe as long as a baby is born into this world with the intent of love, then it is exactly as it was meant to be. I only hope to inspire women to know all of their options, all of the possible side effects of interventions, and prepare them for months prior to labor. It is really sad to read all of these comments and how many of them are angry or judgmental. Can’t we all just share experience and opinion without lashing out at each other. ~In love and light~

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            It is really sad to read all of these comments and how many of them are angry or judgmental.

            I’d say that it is entirely right and appropriate to be angry with people who give out life threatening advice. Go read “Hurt by homebirth” before you spout off about how “natural” and “safe” birth is again. Or even better read some of the posts here on women who didn’t make it through childbirth because they had a homebirth. The experiences of these women and their loved ones is not one I’d like anyone to share.

          • Faredae Audrey Miller

            Nor would I. You can read stories about women who have had horrible experiences in hospitals too. And my heart goes out to all of them. This is my point! No matter how or where you give birth there can be horrible outcomes. Which is why we all need to quit fighting against each other and learn to work together to provide supported, safe, calm birth for all moms.

          • http://housefulofchaos.com/ Christy

            But supporting safe, calm birth for all mothers involves helping them have correct information about the risks and benefits of different choices, and that’s what it sounds like you’re against. You write as though you want only the happy nonsense promoted that says mothers choices can cause them to suffer interventions but that deaths and bad results are inevitable and would happen no matter what.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Do you realize that you are parrotting the racist, sexist fabrications of Grantly Dick-Read? He wanted to convince women that childbirth pain was all in their heads, so he insisted that they were socialized to believe childbirth was agonizing and excruciating.

            But childbirth pain is not in women’s heads, and the whole theory is inane. Who teaches anyone that childbirth pain is beyond what they are capable of? You’d have to be an idiot to believe that women are unaware that most of the mothers who have ever lived have given birth without pain relief and most of the women around the world who give birth everyday do so without pain relief. The issue is not whether women CAN do it. Anyone can do it. The issue is whether women want to do it and most women don’t want to experience excruciating pain if they can avoid it.

            The irony is that you are the one who has been taught to believe something that is not true. You are the one who gulllibly believe that crap fabricated by natural childbirth and you don’t even have a clue. Why should anyone be inspired by someone like you who has been utterly duped?

          • Faredae Audrey Miller

            Once again I am being called names. Really, aren’t we adult women here. Can we have a true discussion. I am not an idiot. And I do not believe the pain is in a woman’s head. I do not know where you think you read that I said that. I have and will continue to inspire women. Just because you would choose not to handle the pain does not mean other women should be denied the right. I allow WOMEN to decide what they want. I do not tell them they can’t or should not be able to handle the pain. But I also do not tell them they are not allowed to have something for it. Obviously homebirth is different because it is not available. But it is still the choice of the parents to decide if they are going to birth at home or not. No one has the right to make that decision for them. Call me an idiot or duped, your words do not effect me in the woman I am. I know who I am and what my Spiritual path is. One thing you cannot call me is closed minded. I am open to at least hear info on all options, then make decisions based on what my research has found. ~Blessings~

          • DaisyGrrl

            “But it is still the choice of the parents to decide if they are going to birth at home or not.”

            I agree. If they are given proper information prior to deciding on homebirth. If someone is informed of the increased risks and the nature of those risks and still wants a homebirth, go ahead. For me, a 3-8x increase in the child’s risk of death is too much of a risk, even if the absolute number of deaths is still small. I suspect that most women who chose homebirth are not properly informed of ALL the additional risks they take on when they opt out of the hospital. And that makes me sad and angry.

          • anion

            No one is advocating forcing women to have pain meds when/if they don’t want them. No one. I don’t know where you’re getting that impression. Nor are we insisting that women who don’t choose pain meds do so because they are “uneducated.”

            You, on the other hand, have said repeatedly that you think women get pain meds because they’re uneducated and don’t know what to expect, and that if they *were* educated they’d have no problems delivering safely without meds. That is, as I said in my first reply to you, rude, insulting, and derogatory. It implies–and I believe you pretty much outright said–that women show up at the hospital in labor with no idea what’s happening to their bodies, as if pregnant women and/or women trying to conceive don’t bother reading a word about pregnancy and birth through the entire time, as if they’re just silly little lambs allowing their OBs to pat them on the head and send them along without even speaking to them about anything pregnancy- or birth-related.

            Equating choosing medication with ignorance is insulting. You keep insisting you haven’t insulted anyone and never would, but you have done and continue to do so every time you tell us that choosing medication = uneducated.

          • Faredae Audrey Miller

            Maybe me using the word educated was a bad decision. I don’t mean women don’t know what is going on. What I mean when I use that word, is truly knowing what all the side effects are of each intervention, what percentage of c-sec that hospital has, what choices they have as far as what is done to the baby at birth, etc. These are questions that many women do not know to ask. (based on my experience) When I say women need to be educated I don’t mean they are dumb. I mean they need to be given all the information so they can make a decision based on ALL the information. This goes both for OBs and midwives. A good midwife or OB will provide this information. Unfortunately, many do not. I do not think women are dumb for choosing meds for pain. (or weak) It’s their choice. But in my experience I have found some doctors encourage the drugs. And I do not believe they should. Anymore than a midwife should discourage if a women wants them. That is all I meant by my term “educate”. All that word means is to give instruction or information. It does not mean I assume women are dumb. I just assume most are not experts in childbirth. So they need to be “educated” on what happens during labor. I hope you see what I mean by this and understand now that I did not mean to offend with that term.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            I have read the risk factors for all the common interventions. Unlike you, I’ve also read the risk factors for not having those common interventions.

            If I was truly interested in the safest possible experience with the least possible side-effects, I’d go for a maternal request C-section every time. Vaginal birth is full of hideous complications. I like my pelvic floor.

            EDIT: Note, I’m not pregnant nor have I been. I intend to in future times, though.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Male doctors used to tell women that menstrual cramps were all in their heads too, because obviously something natural couldn’t possibly hurt. There’s a long history there of undervaluing women’s pain :/

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            The pain of childbirth was recognized as being so severe 3000 years ago that it was attributed to a punishment from God – whoops, I mean, “The Intelligent Designer.”

          • Faredae Audrey Miller

            Sorry, but that is a Christian belief. NOT my Spiritual belief.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            But it shows that the pain of childbirth is not some fabrication and due to lack of “management.”

          • Karen in SC

            You are entitled to your beliefs. They are not the same as FACTS.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I only hope to inspire women to know all of their options,

            Who says they don’t? Poor, foolish, ignorant women, right? Too stupid to know what they are doing. Good thing you are there to save them.

          • Faredae Audrey Miller

            Wow, I give up on this conversation. I am only trying to be a good woman, helping and supporting other women. I NEVER call people stupid, ignorant, idiot, foolish etc. MANY women do not know all their options. This does not make anyone ignorant. None of us knows everything. I don’t know much about cars, so if I need something done with my car I go to a specialist to get educated on what my options are and I find someone I BELIEVE will provide the best service. So why should we not do the same when we are having a baby. Admit we do not know everything and do research to find what fits our needs. I don’t know what your deal is that you feel the need to twist what I say so you can prove the I am a bad person because I advocate for natural childbirth. Enjoy your day.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            If you don’t think women are ignorant, why do you need to educate them?

          • Faredae Audrey Miller

            We all need to be educated! You are going to tell me you know everything about everything?? When you make a big purchase don’t you educate yourself on your best options? I am not talking about going to school to get a degree, I am talking about learning about childbirth. We don’t learn about it (I mean ALL about it) in school. So when you get pregnant, you go to a Childbirth Education class. THAT IS EDUCATING!

          • moto_librarian

            In retrospect, my childbirth education class was a joke. It was filled with the typical NCB misinformation. I would have been far better off to simply stick to reading my copy of What To Expect When You’re Expecting.

          • Burgundy

            totally agreed!

          • Faredae Audrey Miller

            That makes me crazy too! I want to give parents all the information, (even the stuff I would not personally do) so they can make their decision with all the info. It’s not fair to parents to make choices when they only have half the info. That is why I really want to work with birthing centers. And I highly recommend them to expectant parents. They provide the best of both worlds. ~Gratitude~

          • Burgundy

            Faredae, you do realize that we have parents here lost babies (preventable causes) due to NCB in a birthing center right? A birthing center did not provide the best of both worlds because if shit hit the fan, there is no NICU available down the hall.

          • Jocelyn

            I thought that birthing centers sounded like a nice middle ground between hospitals and home birth, too, until I started reading this site and the site “Hurt by Homebirth.” My eyes were opened. Birthing centers, to quote “Hurt by Homebirth,” are not a middle ground. They’re simply like giving birth in someone else’s home. And statistics from the last couple years back that up – birthing centers have higher rates of death than hospitals.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            So wait, you are now a childbirth educator?

            I went to childbirth education. It was taught at the hospital by an L&D nurse.

            Afterward, I commented that I was surprised that we didn’t learn more about breathing etc. She said, 90% of the women just get an epidural anyway, so she doesn’t dwell on it. She never told us to get an epidural, nor to not. We actually saw videos showing each, and she told us what happened if you get an epidural or if you undergo c-section.

            For some reason, my childbirth class was NOTHING like the pretentious shit that you spew out.

          • Burgundy

            i wished that I had your childbirth class. Mine was a total joke.

          • Faredae Audrey Miller

            Because not all women know everything about childbirth. Do you know EVERYTHING about childbirth? Most likely no. So your DOCTOR will REQUIRE you to go to a childbirth education class. Ask anyone on here! So ALL pregnant women go to a class to get educated! That’s what I do! Are you seriously this bored with your life?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            So the answer is, yes, you think they are ignorant, and you to the rescue because you know so much more than they do, right?

          • Faredae Audrey Miller

            I’m done with you. Peace!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Promise? I mean, I think you’ve said that 4 times to me now. I mean, you keep saying you are going to leave. Others keep telling you to leave. Yet, you keep responding.

            And you accused me of needing drama (you think this is drama? It’s mild)

          • MaineJen

            Funny enough, I DID go to an expert when I was having my kids. Her title was “OB/GYN” and I believe she spent a number of years in medical school ‘getting educated’ on pregnancy and childbirth. She didn’t sway me one way or the other on my delivery options, she simply told me my options and asked me what my preferences were, where possible. And didn’t offer any value judgements on better/worse. And didn’t try to talk me out of pain management. And made sure I and my baby were healthy. I wonder why this model of care is so popular??

          • moto_librarian

            I learned all of those “coping” techniques for labor. They didn’t work AT ALL once I was in transition. You keep saying that women are lionesses. I guess I did feel like an animal while pushing without pain relief – a cornered animal, forced to whelp. And yes, I am speaking from a place of anger. I was LIED TO by the NCB movement, and I will not stand idly by and let you continue to lie to women. Safe, effective pain relief is available now, and I see no reason to actively discourage women from availing themselves of it.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Yep, women all have their inner lionness. And if you succomb to the pain, you have failed to let your inner lionness take over, and are just a weakling.

            It’s the old passive-aggressive nonsense. “I’m not criticizing anyone, I’m just saying that we all have the ability to overcome the pain, and if you don’t, it’s because you’re a failure and/or broken. Hugs all around, sisters!”

          • Faredae Audrey Miller

            You put words in my mouth. I have never said women who use meds to manage pain are weak. Any woman who carries and births a baby (no matter how she births) is a strong beautiful lioness! And I honor every single one of them. I don’t judge people based on their decisions and beliefs.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I have never said women who use meds to manage pain are weak.

            No, you just said that woman should be strong, use her inner lionness and not use meds.

            So if a woman decides that the pain is too much, it must mean that she is not strong nor using her inner lionness. I mean, why would anyone interpret that as meaning she is weak? Aside from the implication that she is not strong, I mean.

            This is what we are telling you. You don’t even realize what you are saying, but your message is clear. Strong women don’t need medication. Thus, if you get pain meds, you are not strong.

            Women are designed to give birth. You even insist on intelligent design. Thus, if they are not able to give birth, it must be because they are broken (it’s not the design’s fault; just like when my car doesn’t start, it’s not the design fault, it’s that the ignition switch is broken)

            Your language is completely loaded. You don’t have to come out and say it without your message being sent perfectly clear. And it is received, make no doubt.

          • Faredae Audrey Miller

            Some women choose to use meds and some choose not to. Does not make one better than the other. I don’t know what lies you were told, and I am truly sorry you were lied to. But not all NCB advocates are the same. Just like not all OBs are the same.

          • moto_librarian

            Are you really that dense? You are part of the problem, spouting off all of you bullshit about how “moving through labor” is effective pain management. Did you read my initial comment? I nearly died from a relatively rare complication after a “textbook” natural birth!

        • anion

          I find your assumption that women only choose pain relief because they don’t know any better insulting and rude.

          Here’s something you may not have thought of: Those of us who chose hospital births and pain medications did so *because* we are educated; because we know what can go wrong, and because we don’t feel the need to endure pain needlessly. Would you deny pain relief to someone with a broken, for instance, because their bodies are MADE to heal themselves? Or is it just women in labor whom you think should endure pain?

          I took the natural birthing class at the hospital where my first was born, which was offered free to all women planning to deliver there (whether they wanted interventions or not, and if they didn’t the hospital certainly wouldn’t force it on them). You know what they taught me? That none of that silliness was going to do me one bit of good, and that I wanted an epidural STAT. I knew “what to REALLY expect,” (I do silly things like read books and ask questions, because I’m not a fool) and frankly wanted no part of it. I wanted a baby, not a “birth experience.”

          I had two c-sections, the first unplanned. I have zero complaints about any of it. I don’t appreciate your assumption that I’m so dumb I chose hospitals, interventions, epidurals, and c-sections because I didn’t know any better, or that I must be unhappy because I didn’t push a baby out of my vagina, as if that is somehow superior to all else.

          Women don’t choose epidurals because they’re uneducated. They choose them because they want them, because labor and childbirth hurt.

          • Faredae Audrey Miller

            And you have the Divine right to all those choices. I have never said DENY anyone of anything. I have different opinions on this than you. That is my Divine right. I am so happy you are satisfied with your experiences. Many women are. Just like many women who opt for natural birth are satisfied. You can find happy and unhappy with either birthing options. I personally choose to have a birthing experience. That is my choice. But some women do not choose that. I do not tell them they are wrong, or call them names (as I have been called on here) I support their decision. I am truly sorry if I offended you, it was not my intent. I thought this was a discussion but I am quickly learning it is not. ~Blessings~

          • MaineJen

            “I personally choose to have a birthing experience…But some women do not choose that.” Wow. Passive aggressive much? I had 2 birthing experiences too, and they were lovely. I progressed into transition during each of them unmedicated, and then both times, I had a lovely epidural and experienced the delivery pain-free. That was the experience I wanted, and it’s no more/less valid than your experience. And if you’ll notice, none of your comments are being deleted, and your statements are being responded to. In my book, that’s a ‘discussion.’ In a discussion, not everyone has to agree with you.

  • Aunatural

    Not every mom can be strong willed as us natural mamas. Keep bashing, your guilt is showing..

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      My guilt? Why would I feel guilty?

      • LibrarianSarah

        Because you didn’t do things her way silly!

    • Amazed

      Get off the comp, you unnatural creature. Write us a letter and had couriers carry it around.

      • LibrarianSarah

        A letter are you mad? With paper and ink made out of CHEMICALS and OMG TOXINS!!!!1

        What she needs to do is assemble a pile of twigs, wait for lightning to strike the pile and make smoke signals with the resulting fire.

        • Amazed

          Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. I didn’t think of that. It never occurred to me. I am a danger to the natural world. I am clearly certifiable. Someone calls the psychos (although word has it that they are crazier than their patients).

    • Lizzie Dee

      Are you for real? Do you actually formulate a thought in your head that tells you that people feel guilty because they are not as strong willed/wonderful as you? Without any guilt of your own or self awareness? Amazing!

  • Guesteleh

    Also, where are all of these parachuting posters coming from? Who linked to Amy?

  • Guesteleh

    If “Anna” is a real PhD or a criminal psych, I will eat my placenta.

    • KarenJJ

      She could certainly cite her references for starters.

  • Anna

    Understand that I do not consider myself superior having gone through two natural labors. I do not think any less of women who has opted to go with an epidural, and especially not those who have had no choice but to have a C-section. I am only having a hard time understanding the adamant nature of this article. That is all.

    • Bombshellrisa

      “Understand that I do not consider myself superior having gone through two natural labors” Good, you and Dr Amy both.

    • Box of Salt

      Sorry, Anna: “Understand that I do not consider myself superior having gone through two natural labors.”

      You had already posted “We can’t all be that awesome…”

      Now you are trying to back peddle. It’s not working.

    • Wren

      You don’t think any less of them but you believe they ” will never have that bond with their children”.
      At least *try* to keep your story straight from one post to the next please.

    • KarenJJ

      ” I am only having a hard time understanding the adamant nature of this article. That is all.”

      Try reading the Hurt by Homebirth blog and some more of this blog and then think about what women are being told by some Childbirth Educators. Try doing this with an open mind to alternative viewpoints to your own and with empathy for the parents who felt misled and duped by convincing sounding “professionals”.

      Then you might be able to come to some understanding. Many people here have had natural childbirths and people here are of different sexual orientation. Try considering your insults and stick to the arguments and not the people.’

      And have fun. This is a great site if you like to discuss and debate. We can be a bit blunt but we do like a good argument if you’ve got one.

  • Anna

    You sound like a bitter person who couldn’t handle natural childbirth. It’s ok. We can’t all be that awesome…

    • Amy Tuteur, MD


      And you sound like a person who has so few accomplishments that you’d like to pretend that unmedicated vaginal birth is some sort of achievement. Sorry, but it isn’t.

      • Anna

        I have many accomplishments in life. I have my PhD in Psychology and actually use it in a lucrative aspect of the field. While I do not condone studies on animals, I understand they must be done, and one particular study that caught my interest was one done on mice and labor. It was shown that the mice that had given birth through a C-section, or with the assistance of an epidural, did not bond with their young as the ones who gave birth naturally did. I feel sorry for the women who will never have that bond with their children.

        Telling women that natural labor is not the route to go is like telling our youth that they should just text their friends on their iPhones instead of picking up the phone and calling them. Modern technology is ruining us, and you’re a fool for falling for it.

        I have read so many articles of various arguments people make that I have found to be a waste of time, but never have I seen somebody concluding that natural childbirth is not “good for you”. It’s absurd. I declare you bored and bitter.

        P.S. I still have two years until I reach 30, and I feel this gives me a reason to still act like somewhat of a child. That being said, have you ever even given birth, let alone have had a penis inside of you? Methinks you don’t swing that way…

        • Amazed

          I knew I had a reason to think that psychologists face far more psychological problems that those they supposedly counsel.

          My brother still has 3 years until he reaches 30 and believe me, he is a man. I would guess that a 28 year old would want to be a woman. Well, to each her own.

          • Anna

            I’m not a Psychologist. Not the type that you’re thinking, anyway. I don’t see patients. I’m in Criminal Psychology.

          • Amazed

            Good. I was already fearing for anyone being counseled by a grown-up woman who likes to be a child and lacks in reading and comprehension skills. Or do you suffer from selective blindness? Maybe that was the reason you were unable to read the little black lines in the left?

          • realityycheque

            I’m a similar age to the commenter (younger, in fact) and I have absolutely no desire to act like “somewhat of a child” and certainly wouldn’t try to use my age as an excuse to do so.

            I’m an adult. I’m a parent. My childhood and teenage years are over, period. I let my hair down from time to time just like everyone else, but there comes a point in time when you need to get your shit together and take responsibility for your actions.

          • Box of Salt

            “take responsibility for your actions”
            And your words.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          “one particular study that caught my interest was one done on mice and labor. It was shown that the mice that had given birth through a C-section, or with the assistance of an epidural, did not bond with their young as the ones who gave birth naturally did.”

          Really? What study would that be?

        • Box of Salt

          Anna, I feel sorry for someone who can’t tell the difference between a human woman and a mouse, and who thinks it’s clever to use sexuality as an insult.

          • Anna

            Mice are intelligent creatures. Hence why most studies to reflect human nature is done on them.

          • Squillo

            Why would one not conduct a retrospective study on humans to look at bonding?

          • Box of Salt

            Squillo, you mean like this one?
            Title: “The experience of labor, maternal perception of the infant, and the mother’s postpartum mood in a low-risk community cohort”

            And, no, I didn’t buy the article, so I am guilty of posting an abstract of something I haven’t read.

            I’d be interested in how many of the ceseareans were elective vs emergency, and how that affects the issue – especially as the assisted vaginal deliveries also reported higher depression rates than the vaginals (but not interested enough to spend $40).

          • Squillo

            Bingo. And I’ll bet it’s not the only human study. The abstract is a bit of a disaster, though, isn’t it?

          • Box of Salt

            Like the laundry list of confounders?

            I wish I still had easy access to a good library.

          • realityycheque

            Wow… you have a PhD and you actually believe “intelligence” is the reason why mice are so frequently used in studies. How embarrassing for you.

          • AmyM

            Yeah, I work with mice every day. They have yet to show me shining examples of their intellect. For example, they have failed to invent anything, like art, and they have several materials available in their cages with which to do so. And plenty of time, as they are fed, and do not need to expend energy on looking for food.

          • auntbea

            I had a pet rat who used to run all over the house picking up stray bits of things and collect them in a pile. I suppose it could have been a nest, but it might also have been sculpture!

        • Wren

          A teeny tiny bit of research would answer your question in the PS. Methinks you cannot be bothered to support a single opinion you hold.

          If you actually care about this topic, plenty of women, myself included, have had children in different ways and managed to bond with them all. Shocking as this may be to you, I am just as bonded to my C-section delivered first child as I am to my epidural-free VBAC delivered second child.
          Of course, I like texting and enjoy modern technology, like the internet, rather than believing it is ruining us.

        • Squillo

          Strawmen, ad homs, and irrelevancies, oh my!

          • realityycheque

            Don’t forget Appeal to Authority! This is Logical Fallacy Bingo! Wondering if it’s too early to do shots…

        • Ann

          This comment is so offensive that methinks you are a troll. What a horrible ad hominem attack implying that it is somehow shamefull to be childless or a lesbian. Your PhD clearly hasn’t taught you to refrain from homophobia or bigotry. And FYI: Dr Amy is a married heterosexual mother of 4. Not that it should have any bearing on the validity of her opinions. A womans worth is determined by her character, not by what goes in or out of her vagina, as you seem to believe.
          About that study you are citing: please do provide us with a reference and additional evidence to support your theory that it can be extrapolated to humans.

  • Emlemur

    These statements are lies. However, my natural childbirth instructor never said these things, so I feel this argument is a straw man. Here is what she said instead: 1) childbirth is natural, but sometimes things go wrong. This is where modern medicine shines. 2) You will probably experience both fear and pain in childbirth. Here are some techniques to help you cope. 3) see #2. 4) All forms of medical pain relief disturb the natural hormones of childbirth and all of them can have side effects. Here is information on common side effects. Here are situations where you might want/need to use them. 5) It’s best if labor can start on its own, but sometimes there is a situation that prompts an induction. Because of side effects, an induction solely for convenience’s sake should be avoided. 6) C-sections are needed in some situations. Interventions increase the likelihood that a c-section will be needed where it might not have been before. If you need a c-section, get one. Be aware that c-section increases the number of potential complications in future pregnancies and gives you a longer recovery period. 7) Vaginal birth is safer when everything is going well. Here are some exercises and meal plans that can make your pregnancy lower-risk so you have a better chance of everything going well. 8) Women who love their babies take care of themselves during pregnancy and gather all the information and help they can regarding both birth and child care.

    I’m doing a drug-free childbirth in a hospital with a family physician and a doula attending (as well as all the wonderful l&d nurses). If everything goes according to nature’s plan, I truly feel that I will have minimized my risks for unwanted side effects. If something goes wrong (because there is real danger in childbirth), I have medical professionals and an OR just yards away. I have no illusions that this will be painless. Nor do I think that any intervention might hurt my child. I am just doing all I can to minimize risks.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      “All forms of medical pain relief disturb the natural hormones of childbirth”

      But that’s a lie, too.

      ” Vaginal birth is safer when everything is going well.”

      That’s not true. C-section is almost always safer for the baby.

      “Women who love their babies take care of themselves during pregnancy and gather all the information and help they can regarding both birth and child care.”

      That’s BS. Gathering information has nothing to do with anything. And there are plenty of women who love their babies but can’t or don’t know how to take care of themselves.

      • Emlemur

        Is it not true that medications interfere with birth hormones/processes? All the studies I have read have said that they do to some extent.

        It is true that I have read that c-section is safer for the first baby than vaginal birth (provided it is performed when the baby is fully mature). However, it increases the risks for complications with subsequent pregnancies. I have also read that c-section increases the risk of maternal death over vaginal birth.

        Yes, women who don’t know how to take care of themselves love their babies. It would be best to say ‘women who love their babies do the best they can/know how to.’ But that’s not what my instructor said.