A new meme in natural childbirth

The media is to blame for the pain of childbirth!

That’s the new meme in the world of natural childbirth and it is getting a great deal of play. Childbirth is not inherently painful; its depictions in popular media like TV shows and movies tricks women into believing that childbirth is painful. Hence the otherwise inexplicable preoccupation on NCB blogs with how childbirth is portrayed in specific TV shows and movies.

The meme has received positive attention from all the usual suspects: the Lamaze blogs, Rixa Freeze, Midwifery Today, and even RH Reality Check. Australian midwife Lisa Barrett has been doing an ongoing series called “Absurd Birth Scenes” exploring each TV show or movie in depth.

On the surface, it sounds intriguing, cutting edge and thought provoking. In reality, it is the same dreary sexism masquerading as midwifery theory. You know those silly women! They can’t be trusted to perceive their own pain. It’s all in their heads. They’re all hysterical … and we know that hysteria, a form of emotional reaction based on distorted thinking, starts in the uterus.

That must be it, since no one is exploring how any other form of severe pain is an illusion fostered by the media. I haven’t noticed any documentary movies (direct to DVD or otherwise) that investigate how it doesn’t really hurt to have an anvil dropped on your head and we only think it does because it appears to hurt Wile E. Coyote in Looney Tunes.

And no one suggests (or would dare suggest) that men’s pain is an illusion fostered by the media. I haven’t seen any theories that men getting kicked in the groin don’t really experience severe pain but only think they do because of the way that America’s Funniest Home Video’s portrays getting hit in the groin by a baseball.

This is just the modern iteration of Grantly Dick-Read’s profoundly racist and sexist claim that primitive (i.e. black) white have painless childbirth. Childbirth pain is an artifact of cultural indocrination. The new version is that primitive women (i.e. those who aren’t exposed to Western media) have painless childbirth. Childbirth pain is (you guessed it) an artifact of media indoctrination.

The concept received its ultimate exegesis in the direct to DVD film Laboring Under an Illusion. The title explicitly claims that childbirth pain is nothing more than an illusion. According to the movie website:

Anthropologist Vicki Elson explores media-generated myths about childbirth. As a childbirth educator for 25 years, she observes daily how our culture affects our birth experiences.

An anthropologist? Not really. Just a childbirth educator who studied “the anthropology of childbirth pain” at the University of Massachusetts.

There is an area of study known as the “anthropology of pain” but the anthropology of childbirth pain differs from it in one major respect. In all other areas of pain anthropology, it is the experience and meaning to the sufferer of pain that is studied. No anthropologist suggests that the pain itself does not exist.

For example, there are studies of the anthropology of the pain of female genital mutilation: how and why women and men in cultures that practice FGM believe that the pain is necessary. And there are studies about the anthropology of the pain associated with extreme sports: how and why women and men are willing to endure the extreme pain of marathon running, for example. However, there are no studies that I could find that argued that female genital mutilation is not inherently painful, or that the pain described by marathon runners does not really exist.

Childbirth pain is real. It’s meaning may be culturally mediated, but the pain itself is no more culturally mediated than the pain of being kicked in the testicles. The primary purpose of this ridiculous claim is to justify the existence and high fees of “childbirth educators” and the self-aggrandizing rhetoric of natural childbirth advocates. Many lie about the pain, lie about what works to ease the pain, and lie about the benefits and risks of pain relief in labor. It is ultimately nothing more than self-serving posturing. More lies = more money; more lies = more admiration (or at least self-admiration).

The original theory of “natural” childbirth espoused by Grantly Dick-Read was a racist and sexist lie. This updated theory of childbirth pain is the same sexist lie with the racism stripped out. Both are premised on the same claims: women’s perceptions of pain cannot be trusted; the pain is all in their heads; if only women were “educated,” they would not have pain in childbirth. It was a disgusting and demeaning theory then; it is a disgusting and demeaning theory now.

118 Responses to “A new meme in natural childbirth”

  1. Andrea
    April 5, 2014 at 12:42 am #

    I had two very traumatic and rough births In a hospital. Because of ignorance. Yes! Believe it! It’s true!
    For my third birth I got educated in natural childbirth.
    I most definitely had a different experience, both me and my baby, absolutely, life changing and wonderful natural birth!!! having and educated childbirth.
    So Don’t say, with your fancy words and contrary mindset that Natural Childbirth Education doesn’t make a difference. It does. It did for me. It’s done it again and again and again for laboring Moms out there. If it weren’t so, then natural childbirth classes would have died long ago. But it hasn’t now has it?

    • expat
      April 5, 2014 at 8:15 am #

      Luck plays a bigger role than any education. Plus, subsequent births are usually much easier than first births, especially if the baby is smaller. Natural childbirth classes are popular because women want to believe that they have control over something which is out of their control: pain, fetal position, pelvis. Natural childbirth educators also like to get paid and treated like experts when much of the “information” which they dispense is nonsense. There is no fear tension pain cycle that you can stop by eliminating fear or tension. Eliminate the pain and the tension and fear go away.

      • Andrea
        April 5, 2014 at 11:52 am #

        Hun, that’s ignorance speaking. I speak from experience. I know for a FACT that it was because I was educated. Just a few ings, I learned I didn’t need to be induced. Pitocen cause contractions to be more painful. Fact. I learned I didn’t need an episiotomy and wow, when you don’t get sliced up its a lot easier to heal. Fact. I learned I could eat and dink during labor so I had energy and wasn’t dehydrated. Fact. I learned its easier to get baby out if you are not laying on a hospital bed, and if you get an epidural in your spine, you don’t have the choice of walking around now do you? Fact. I learned I didn’t need an epidural, so I could actually FEEL to push baby out. Fact. Another thing I learned. During vaginal exams have you ever heard your OB tell you ‘don’t tense up?’ Or ‘relax’ because it’ll go easier and less painful. Same with childbirth, same muscles, tense up from fear and you will have a more painful birth. Fact! Interventions like Piticen or Ciotec make uterine contractions stronger not only for Mama but for baby too. Baby gets distressed and suffers. Or gets cut out. FACT!! I could go on and on. Don’t judge natural childbirth education unless you’ve been there.

        • MLE
          April 5, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

          FACT I could feel to push baby out too, and guess what, I had an epidural. Sounds like it doesn’t take much to shoot down your “facts.” Or, you’re throwing that term around far too loosely and equating your experience with evidence/data.

          • Andrea
            April 5, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

            I was able to feel to push my first baby out, but with my second baby I couldn’t.
            With natural childbirth it’s not a gamble. You can ALWAYS feel to push baby out.
            You didn’t shoot down anything. Sorry.

          • guest
            April 5, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

            Fact – first baby didn’t feel a thing coming out, second degree tear, pleasant experience. Fact – second baby, no epidural, blinding pain, same second degree tear, don’t remember any of it. See how that works? Your anecdotes are just as meaningless as mine. True for you and me does not mean it’s true for the general population. This is why science is so helpful. You can do studies and figure out if anecdotes are meaningful or not.

          • Andrea
            April 5, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

            Just out of curiosity. We are discussing natural childbirth education. Did you get educated on natural childbirth before having one?
            How were you birthing your ‘natural’ birth? Laying down? Coached pushing? Did you pick your positions for laboring? or did someone pick for you? I truly am asking in the most respectful way, I want to know.
            I have a friend who hated her natural birth. She was the only one of my friends who hated her natural birth. She was also the only one who did not get educated about it.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            April 5, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

            Here’s the problem for you, Andrea. I’ve read every single thing about NCB that you’ve read, but you’ve read none of the obstetrics literature that I’ve read. Hence, when I say that most natural childbirth literature is a bunch of lies, you have no way of disputing that.

          • Andrea
            April 5, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

            It works. For whatever reason you wanna call it, natural childbirth education works.
            Better educated.
            better process
            Better outcome
            And you have no way of disputing that.

          • Young CC Prof
            April 5, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

            Better outcomes with natural childbirth? Then why do outcomes get better the more money and technology a country pours into obstetrics? Fewer dead and injured babies. Faster recovery for mothers. Women dying in childbirth going from a simple fact of life to an anomaly in a single generation.

            Obstetrical interventions save lives. Natural childbirth education makes it slightly easier to endure pain.

          • Andrea
            April 5, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

            Necessary interventions save lives.
            Unnecessary interventions traumatize, complicate and harm both mother and child.
            Natural childbirth education helps distinguish the two. And prevent the first.

          • Young CC Prof
            April 5, 2014 at 5:04 pm #

            I hope you mean prevent the second?

            And no, natural childbirth education teaches women to fight and delay interventions until it clearly is an emergency, which makes the mother’s recovery much harder than it needs to be and puts the baby in unnecessary danger.

          • Andrea
            April 5, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

            Haha! Yes I meant the second.

            What NCE did you get? The one I got was not like that at all. We were taught how to do everything possible to not have the need for interventions, but to recognize when we actually do and to submit to them knowing that we did everything we could for the best possible outcome. It’s called informed decisions.

          • Young CC Prof
            April 5, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

            And how were you taught to recognize that an intervention was needed? Or how to avoid them? You don’t have to recap everything, just give me a couple examples.

          • Andrea
            April 5, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

            Just a couple of the most common ones overused are.

            Get induced for no reason at all but because you are four days (or so) over your estimated due date.

            Failure to progress alone is not a reason to have a c/s.

            Pushing while laying down on your back is convenient for doctor only, not yourself or baby in most cases, you are pushing against gravity and will cause distress to baby and more pain to the mother that could lead to a c/s, because it’ll take longer to get baby out that way. Which would lead to failure to progress and an unnecessary c/s.
            All drugs have possible risks and side effects. Look it up.

          • Young CC Prof
            April 5, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

            Getting induced due to postdates? A darned good idea, although you can wait until you are 7 days overdue rather than 4, if you really want to. Let me educate you on the matter.

            By 39-40 weeks, the baby is completely ripe and ready to be born. The lungs and other organs are as mature as they will ever be. After 40 weeks, one of two things can happen:

            1) The placenta starts to break down. This is much more common than many people realize. As the placenta breaks down, the baby will get sicker and more stressed. He might grow too weak to survive labor, which means you’d be more likely to need interventions to get him out faster, or he might be born skinny and have a harder time getting through his first few days of life. The baby can even be stillborn if the placenta breaks down too far.

            2) The placenta doesn’t break down. In this case, the baby gets bigger and bigger and bigger, increasing the risk and difficulty of the delivery.

            Inductions before the due date can increase your chances of c-section, but studies show that women who are routinely induced at 41 weeks were MORE likely to deliver vaginally than women allowed to “wait and see” longer.

            Failure to progress alone is not a reason to have a c-section?

            OK, how long would you like a woman’s labor to continue with no progress at all? Two days? Four? Do you know what happens when the baby simply cannot pass through the pelvis? Sometimes, the mother simply dies, of infection from long-ruptured membranes, from bleeding, or from simple exhaustion. Other times, this happens: http://hamlinfistulausa.org/.

            Interventions are done for a reason. Interventions save lives and prevent disasters.

          • birthbuddy
            April 6, 2014 at 12:57 am #

            Andrea has just taken a short break from all the facts.
            She needs to rejuvenate.

          • Box of Salt
            April 5, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

            Andrea, “Failure to progress alone is not a reason to have a c/s.”

            In your natural childbirth educated opinion, how long should one wait for progress?

            What other factors should influence the decision? (Note your answer to this second question does not need to be an exhaustive list, but try to come up with at least a few examples.)

          • Trixie
            April 5, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

            Guess what position felt the best to me to push in during my all natural childbirth? Just guess.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            April 5, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

            How would you know? Oh, right, you read it in a book written by ignorant lay people for other ignorant lay people. In other words, you don’t have a clue.

          • Andrea
            April 5, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

            When you can’t argue the point you attack the person making the point. What better way to win an argument than by lifting yourself up by knocking the other down.
            If I speak the truth why does it matter where I got it from?
            You’ve got rose colored eyes. You love your fame and respect you get. You aren’t humble are you? You love the fact you are educated and know how to write a blog. And everybody else that disagrees with you must be a redneck hick huh? You look so good in my eyes right now….
            Enough about us. That’s not the point. Stick to the point.

          • birthbuddy
            April 6, 2014 at 12:49 am #

            OK, the point is, you don’t speak the truth. Is that straightforward enough?

          • Box of Salt
            April 5, 2014 at 10:54 pm #

            How did I miss this one this on the first pass?

            Andrea: “Necessary interventions save lives.
            Unnecessary interventions traumatize, complicate and harm both mother and child.
            Natural childbirth education helps distinguish the two. And prevent the first.”

            You heard it here first, folks, from Andrea:

            “Natural childbirth education prevent[s the n]ecessary interventions [that] save lives.”

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            April 5, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

            By the rules of logic, I don’t have to dispute it; you have to PROVE it and you can’t.

          • Andrea
            April 5, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

            It’s been proven to me with first hand experience time and time again. The proof is what has me so animated and passionate about natural childbirth education!
            There is proof. Or I wouldn’t be here.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            April 5, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

            But I have a 1000 times more experience than you do, so that’s not particularly convincing to me.

          • Andrea
            April 5, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

            You do NOT HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH Mamas that have natural childbirth education. You know why I know this?
            Because they wouldn’t pick you as their provider if they did.
            That argument doesn’t work with me. Pick another card.

          • Life Tip
            April 5, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

            Ugh. Can you refer to them as “women”? You aren’t two years old and they aren’t your mother.

          • Bombshellrisa
            April 5, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

            Oh they might have, since Dr Amy chose “natural childbirth” a couple times herself. Which means she has twice as much experience as you do when it comes to what natural birth feels like. I didn’t choose the unmedicated births of my children, although as far as being “educated in natural childbirth I am very well informed (doula, midwifery apprentice and nurse).

          • Andrea
            April 5, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

            I’d like to read those two birth stories. I’m curious how she could be so against NCB education after having two natural births.
            I’m educated through natural childbirth. I would not choose a provider who is the number one NCB community basher in America.
            I am educated in NCB and I know fear makes pain worse. I’m not gonna choose a provider who doesn’t believe that.
            I’m educated in NCB and I wouldn’t choose dr Amy because she doesn’t want her patients to be educated in basic bodily functions of childbirth. She bashes NCB educators. She doesn’t care about the woman in labor, only that the baby comes out alive. I believe in both. Why can’t you have both? A good process and a good outcome.
            She may have had natural births. And seen natural births. But she hasn’t learned from them. I wouldn’t chose her.

          • Bombshellrisa
            April 5, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

            What did you expect her to learn from them? Having a natural birth yourself doesn’t mean it will be the right choice for anyone else. A good provider wouldn’t expect her patients to make the same choices or have the same outcomes.

          • Playing Possum
            April 5, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

            “I’d like to read those two birth stories.”

            Why? What is the obsession with stories?? Your entire existence appears to be centred on a few days of your life when your biological lottery numbers came up. Is that how you see women? As uteri, cervices and vaginas on legs? That’s the least feminist thing I can think of, at least most misogynists also acknowledge the skills of women in child rearing, cooking and housework.

            Congratulations for being lucky and getting your ‘birth story’. I feel really sorry for you if this is what you base your success on. And excuse me for choosing to listen to someone who cares for the unlucky women whose biological lottery tickets are never going to win them anything, and helping them beat the odds.

          • birthbuddy
            April 6, 2014 at 12:45 am #

            The difference is that she wants to educate people with facts not made up BS.
            She definitely cares that the baby comes out alive.
            Where exactly do you stand on this, would you offer up the live child for the good process?
            Unfortunately, sometimes this is the choice you have to face.

          • Siri
            April 6, 2014 at 5:28 am #

            Fear doesn’t make pain worse; pain makes fear worse. I had five natural births, one at home. If I could go back and relive my life, I’d choose epidurals for my labours. I am highly educated; in fact I used to be a midwife. Childbirth is painful and frightening; epidurals rock!

          • birthbuddy
            April 6, 2014 at 12:38 am #

            Many of your NCB believer friends’ children aren’t here.

          • birthbuddy
            April 6, 2014 at 12:35 am #

            The numbers dispute it completely.
            Your baby is 3X more likely to die during out of hospital birth.
            You baby is 18 X more likely to have an oxygen deprivation brain injury from an out of hospital birth.

          • Andrea
            April 5, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

            No disrespect intended but the devil knows the Bible inside and out….. Doesn’t do him any good. Nor anyone that listens to him.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            April 5, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

            In other words, you can’t dispute that I have command of all the literature and therefore I am in a much better position to know what’s true and what isn’t. I’m educated and your nothing but a lay dilettante and not a particularly knowledgeable one either.

            You’re a legend in your own mind, Andrea, but to the rest of us you’re an ignorant fool.

          • Andrea
            April 5, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

            You have a whole lot of education, Dr Amy. and fame, you could make a difference in this world. But you misuse that wonderful gift! What good does it do to you? Or your readers to be so knowledgable?
            I’m a nobody. But if I had your education I wouldn’t be doing what you do with it. It’s a shame. I’m only commenting here in hopes that somebody that’s on the fence of getting educated on getting a natural childbirth education or not will read my side of the story and get it.
            I know for a fact I won’t win you over. You wouldn’t admit to the truth if it slapped you in the face and knocked you over. After all according to you, you know it all. And look what you’ve done with all that knowledge.

          • Playing Possum
            April 5, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

            If you had Dr A’s education you would have seen babies born with complications directly due to NCB practices. You would have seen arbitrary complications, that occur even if you don’t have an epidural, eat lots of kale, choose a birthing position. You would have seen the utter devastation of caring for a family with a stillbirth. You would have told mothers waking up in recovery that they lost their uterus and their fertility. You would have told a desperate mother that her last chance IVF pregnancy had ended in the first trimester. And you would do everything in your power to prevent these from happening to every single one of your patients from that day forth.

            The success of NCB is based on luck.
            Modern NCB is cushioned from reality by modern obstetrics and saving women from the dangerous practice of magical thinking.

          • Bombshellrisa
            April 5, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

            The devil knows the bible? Lol
            Dr Amy-there is the Satan reference again : ) guess I should have been expecting it

          • Bombshellrisa
            April 5, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

            I did hate mine, but it’s not for lack of education. It wasn’t an ugly room or not being able to eat or laying bed (I didn’t feel like getting up). I was a doula and a student midwife before I ever gave birth, and I was passionate about what I felt were injustices to birthing women. I became a nurse so I could better serve women from different backgrounds, in both high and low risk pregnancies. I attended a lot of home and birth center births, as well as a few hospital ones as a doula. My experience being a patient with someone who was a NCB advocate was with dd’s birth, the nurse from hell, she wanted me to walk around, roll my hips on a birthing ball and lay on my side to give birth. Wouldn’t call so I could get an epidural, and those essential oils and counter pressure did little to soothe me.

          • guest
            April 5, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

            Yes and yes. I labored in many different positions – all fours, on a birthing ball, leaning on my husband, you name it – nothing helped. I was most “comfortable”, if you can call it that when I was moaning and screaming in pain, in the fetal position. I was not able to keep control of my breathing during transition, everything blacked out to tunnel vision during the actual birth and I only remember bits and pieces. Baby #2 had a true knot in his cord, so coached pushing went out the window once his heart rate dropped into the 40s. (That was only the last couple of minutes of labor, I pushed for about 5 minutes). I pushed on the bed because that’s where I was most comfortable – well, “comfortable” as it were. And I delivered with CNMs who were all about natural birth and delivering whatever and however. It was traumatic and I felt like I had been hit by a bus for at least 6 weeks after that.

            Also anecdotally, my mom had six un-pain medicated births (she did Lamaze) and several home births. She doesn’t recommend either for anyone. As I understand it, epidurals in the 80s were incredibly strong, but now they’re nothing like that. Labor is painful and exhausting for most women. If YOU want to labor without pain meds, go for it, no one here cares. And you shouldn’t care how we labor either.

          • birthbuddy
            April 6, 2014 at 12:28 am #

            But if you were educated the true knot would have been released spontaneously, don’t you understand?

          • Anj Fabian
            April 5, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

            What was the best part of your natural childbirth?

          • Trixie
            April 5, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

            My favorite part was the live, healthy baby. Which was pretty much the same favorite thing as my unnatural c-section birth.

          • Bombshellrisa
            April 5, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

            It’s supposed to be about YOU and your birth experience, not about the baby! But yeah, those healthy screaming babies were best part (although the chocolate cake and the mocha milk shake from room service were pretty awesome too). Ditto for the nurse at my son’s birth who reassured me that everything we would need was in the room or worst case scenario right outside the door, but “don’t worry, we won’t need them”.

          • Trixie
            April 5, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

            It’s weird, the hospital food at my natural birth was pretty terrible. Maybe I wasn’t educated enough?

          • Bombshellrisa
            April 5, 2014 at 10:15 pm #

            You probably didn’t trust taste buds!

          • Young CC Prof
            April 5, 2014 at 10:54 pm #

            The hospital food at my unnatural birth was pretty awful, too. Luckily my in-laws brought awesome takeout, including my favorite. And all I had to do was bake their grandson.

          • Gene
            April 6, 2014 at 7:35 am #

            The hospital food for my births was fabulous. It was bizarre. When I went in for #2, I was dreaming about having their french toast for breakfast every morning!

          • Trixie
            April 6, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

            The hospital food at my unnatural birth was actually much better. It involved Maryland blue crab cakes. Really!

          • realitycheque
            April 6, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

            No, that’s the fear – tension – taste cycle. The more you fear the hospital food will be bad, the more your brain accentuates the otherwise unnoticeable unpleasant underlying flavours and the worse it tastes. If you go in worrying that hospital food will taste bad – it will! You need to trust that the food will be good and don’t listen to people who claim that hospital food is gross – they’re just fear mongers, and non-hospital based chefs aren’t *real* chefs: they’re all about taste interventions like herbs and spices; wouldn’t know the first thing about normal, uncomplicated food preparation.

          • Trixie
            April 6, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

            Tell that to the rubbery chicken breast and unsalted boiled Lima beans.

          • S
            April 5, 2014 at 11:27 pm #

            What do you consider appropriate education for natural birth?

          • Busbus
            May 4, 2014 at 5:26 am #

            I was super educated – the books, several classes, the midwives – and had an all natural homebirth that hurt like fuck. I even did it again – more education and preparation – had another all natural homebirth that hurt like hell. that’s my anecdote.

            It’s mighty convenient to dismiss everyone who’s natural childbirth was hellish as having been “not educated enough”. Why do you even ask if you have already decided that you will not count the experiences of other women if they don’t fit into your picture?

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            April 5, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

            So? Why are you more interested in the process than the outcome?

          • Andrea
            April 5, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

            Because the better the process, the better chances are of an awesome outcome. I’m SHOCKED you don’t know this Dr Amy.

            I shouldn’t be, but I am.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            April 5, 2014 at 4:46 pm #


            You can have an uncomplicated, unmedicated vaginal birth with a dead baby. Excellent process. horrible outcome.

          • Andrea
            April 5, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

            Correct! You are right.
            And you can also have an overly medicated, a host of unnecessary interventions, unnecessary c/s and have a dead baby too!! Horrible process and a horrible outcome.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            April 5, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

            Exactly. So the process has NOTHING to do with the outcome, just as I said.

          • Andrea
            April 5, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

            You don’t get my last comment do you?

            If you were educated in natural childbirth you wouldn’t have had all those deadly interventions and you would have a live baby.

            It goes both ways. Why not be educated?

          • birthbuddy
            April 6, 2014 at 12:24 am #

            I’m confused. Are you saying that as long as the process is good the outcome will always be good?

          • MLE
            April 6, 2014 at 1:05 am #

            Um, no, you said that you learned you didn’t need the epidural and that way you could feel to push baby out. The implication is that you cannot feel to push with an epidural. I’m telling you that you can feel that with an epidural too. Not sure why I’m bothering, but please try to understand what you yourself wrote.

        • PrimaryCareDoc
          April 5, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

          “Fact.” You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

          Also, it’s “Pitocin.” And “Cytotec.” When bragging about how educated you are, you should probably use spell check.

          • Andrea
            April 5, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

            People always resort to technicalities when they can’t find a good argument for the actual subject being discussed.
            I am educated on natural childbirth. Not the best in spelling. Just like most OBs are educated in surgery and interventions and not educated on natural childbirth. We aren’t all experts in every field now are we?
            Good job! Congratulations! You are educated in spelling. Not what really matters. 🙂

          • Box of Salt
            April 5, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

            Technicalities , Andrea? You misspelled both words twice two different ways in the same paragraph.

            Your natural childbirth education did not provide you with the knowledge needed to judge anything other than exactly that. How do expect anyone to take your criticism seriously if you can’t even get the terms right?

          • Box of Salt
            April 5, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

            Never mind. I just re-read the rest of your post.

            So called smart technology is going to be the death of written communication.

            Posting in haste and ignorance rules.

          • Andrea
            April 5, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

            The only thing I was ignorant on was spelling. Not the actual subject being discussed.
            I am not taking a spelling bee, I’m not at a job interview, I’m not in an English class, I am not gonna double check spelling because its not that important to me. The fact that you pick on something as insignificant and stupid as spelling is that you have nothing better to pick on. I’m happy!

          • Box of Salt
            April 5, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

            Andrea: ” I am not gonna double check spelling because its not that important to me. . . I’m happy!”

            And I come back to the website a few hours later to find that you are actually taking more time to compose your posts correctly. You did learn something. I am happy, too.

          • Squillo
            April 5, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

            Also “experience.”

        • Bombshellrisa
          April 5, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

          You keep saying you are educated. What does that education consist of? Formal education that prepares one to attend pregnant and laboring women does not focus on just one method of pain control or one mode of delivery.

        • S
          April 5, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

          Personal anecdotes are powerful, aren’t they?

          I had a peaceful first labor in hospital with epidural. I couldn’t help much with the pushing (slightly crooked spine; uneven epidural), but i didn’t need to; my uterus had the baby out in less than twenty minutes. I had minimal pain and wasn’t afraid. My milk came in almost immediately.

          I know people who had natural births and did well. I know people including myself who had unnatural births =) and did well. I know people who had natural births and had terrible experiences. A friend of mine thought that if she did all the right things, she could avoid a C-section. She went to birthing from within classes, hired a doula, and was simply unable, after a long and exhausting labor, to give birth to her baby vaginally. She feels betrayed and lied to by the natural birth movement.

          My point is that while your experience obviously means a lot to you, it’s only your experience. Perhaps natural birth techniques did help you. That’s great! All women are different, and it’s really a stretch to think that what worked for you is best for everyone.

          Others have done a nice job of addressing the “facts” you listed, many of which are not actual facts or do not tell the whole story. I hope you will read and respond to their comments.

        • NoLongerCrunching
          April 7, 2014 at 8:35 am #

          My hypnobirthing instructor transferred from homebirth for an emergency c-section. She was so “educated,” she was teaching other moms. Yet all that education didn’t change the fact that her baby couldnt pass through her pelvis. My co leader in LLL had two failed VBAC attempts because she just couldn’t dilate. The theories are reasonable ideas, but they just don’t reflect reality. I had 3 unmedicated births, one OOH, but I now know it was luck rather than the amount of classes and books I did.


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