Sunday, July 08, 2007

As some of you may know Brian and I are planning a natural (yes unmedicated) birth in August. Last week was the final class in a series that teaches the Bradley Method of natural childbirth. We loved it so much that I am planning to get certified to teach the courses in our area this fall. They offered lots of knowledge, tips and rehearsals for labor. Brian and I feel as though the classes and our awesome teacher Tracey have done a great job preparing us.
Why would you not want drugs? So many have asked us this question. The reason started out that I had learned a lot about childbirth in one of my child development classes and received encouragement from professors that it was the healthiest way to give birth for the mother and the baby. After a lot of reading and research new reasons have been added. Natural childbirth has prepared Brian and I for being parents better than the mentality of most soon to be moms. I hear often that "Well I don't need to know because my doctor has it under control." But, what if your doctor does not have your baby's best interests in mind, what if money, time and scheduling all play a role in your birth as well?
A girl in one of my college classes who had planned on having an unmedicated birth was talked into having an epidural when the doctor told her she was "too small" and was going to have a "hard time." The girl ended up having her baby pulled out with forceps because she could not felt ANY contractions or her muscles to push. This and other birth stories brought me to the realization that doctors would like to plan your birth, set a date and have it over with on their schedule using epidurals to drug you up and pitocin to speed your labor. Because of all of these medical interventions many women end up having C-sections to give birth to their babies. So in a short answer: we believe that a woman's body was designed to give birth naturally and medications should only be used in instances where there are unusual complications with the mother or birth. Here is some information about a book called Pushed, by Jennifer Block concerning childbirth in the US. (I'm currently reading it!)

Fact: The United States has the highest Cesarean rate of any country and the worst infant mortality rate in the industrialized world.

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