Say no to natural childbirth and take control of your birth


One of the central conceits of natural childbirth advocacy is that it involves taking control of your birth. The reality is precisely the opposite; natural childbirth involves ceding total control to others who have devised an arbitrary standard to which you must adhere.

Claiming that natural childbirth gives women control over their own bodies is like claiming that being a runway model gives women control over their own bodies. If you want to be a high fashion model, you must maintain a certain weight, be of a certain height, and have facial features that meet someone else’s definition of attractive. Similarly, being a natural childbirth advocates requires that you make every feature of your baby’s birth conform to a pre-approved script, regardless of whether that is right for you or your baby.


  • Want to determine your use of pain relief based on your preferences?Impossible. Your preferences, your experience and your needs are irrelevant. You must avoid pain relief of any kind because natural childbirth is about pleasing the arbiters of birth, not about pleasing yourself.
  • Want to control the way that you give birth by choosing a C-section?Impossible. There is one and only one approved mode of giving birth and that is unmedicated vaginal delivery.
  • Want to give birth on a day that’s convenient for you?Impossible. Induction is forbidden, especially for social reasons.
  • Want to reduce the risks of birth to your baby?Too bad. The particulars of your baby’s circumstances are irrelevant. Breech? Only a vaginal birth counts. Postdates? Only a vaginal birth counts. Twins? Only a vaginal birth counts.
  • Want to take joy and pride in your baby’s birth regardless of how it took place?You’re out of luck. How YOU feel about the birth is meaningless. All that matters is how the arbiters of natural childbirth feel about the birth.

It’s no wonder then that natural childbirth sets women up for disappointment with perfectly wonderful births, in the exact same way as trying to look like a high fashion model sets women up for disappointment in their bodies.

So the question pregnant women need to ask themselves is this: Do you want to be free to control your own birth, tailoring it to your needs and desires and your baby’s safety? Or do you want to cede control over your birth to others who don’t have your interests at heart and plan to hold you to an arbitrary standard that fulfills their needs and ignores yours?