What is a natural birth to you?

Dana - posted on 02/04/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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After reading on the Welcome page today and for months. Threads pop up about Natural vs epidural, C-section etc...

People have all kinds of opinions which is best, what is what....blah, blah, blah.

I think having a baby natural is no meds, not even pectosin.

Also someone said that Dr's and Mid-wives consider it a natural birth if the baby is delivered through the birth canal, meds or not.
I assume then I would be talking natural *labor*

What are you thoughts?

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Mary - posted on 02/04/2010

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It's funny...those of us who work in Obstetrics generally use the term UNMEDICATED birth to indicate someone who prefers no pain meds(epidural or IV) or induction/ augmentation with cervidil/pitocin/cytotec.

As for delivery, your choices are vaginally, c/section, or vacuum/forceps delivery.

We really don't use the term "natural"...it's a bit unclear in meaning. Many people on this site use natural to indicate a vaginal delivery...which could, depending on your definition, mean that you were an induction, got an epidural, and they used a vacuum at the end to pull the kid out. Yes, the baby came from below, but that is a radically different scenario than your neighbor who used hypno-birthing, and delivered at home in a tub.

I agree that peopl use the term "natural" with a bit of a connotation to it...and the truth is, I don't get it. We ALL carried and delivered a baby, an by ANY method, this is a great accomplishment. There is no prize for "best laborer" or "best pusher" that I'm aware of (although I suppose that could eventually become a reality show...God help us all!)

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ME - posted on 02/06/2010

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I agree with Joy...the suggestion that any woman who CANNOT deliver vaginally has something UN-natural going on is a strange one to me...I was pregnant for 40 weeks and 2 days with Miles...The pregnancy was totally perfect with no complications, and Miles and I were perfectly healthy all the way through. I went into labor on my own at 1 am, I had contractions 3 minutes apart for 14 hours...I finally asked for an epidural. My uterus was contracting, but my cervix wasn't opening, and the pain was exhausting me...that was absolutely NATURAL for my body. There were no reasons other than natural/genetic ones for my cervix to remain closed. After another 8 hours of contractions with no result...a c-section was the only logical choice to make. I had a fever, Miles' heart rate was doing suspicious things...it WOULD have been un-natural for the docs and nurses to let something horrible happen to the two of us...I believe that birth is birth...no matter how the baby arrives, it happens exactly the way it was supposed to happen!

Ez - posted on 02/04/2010

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Natural = vaginal to me. It's just a figure of speech really. If someone says they had a natural birth, I just assume they pushed the baby out of their vagina (drugs or not). There's no judgement attached.
I personally did not have an epidural, had like two puffs on the gas (waste of time) and laboured 'naturally' for 19 hours. Then at the absolute last minute I had a forceps-assisted delivery, and they gave me a spinal block (which I HATED!!). So technically, there was nothing 'natural' about that last 20mins of my daughter's birth. If we were out in nature, or doing an unassisted homebirth, my daughter probably would have died.

But for the purposes of the casual "how was your labour/birth" conversation among people I know, natural just means vaginal. If it's drug-free, people will say they so.

Rosie - posted on 02/04/2010

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when i say natural birth i mean vaginally. i guess i should revise my wording a bit in the future. everybody who has had a child no matter what route has done something nature intended us to do, and without medical intervention sometimes the end result would not be something natural-a dead child is not natural to me. i had 3 epidurals, and the first time i gave birth i tried not to have an epidural only because i was scared of the needle. i labored for about 13 hours naturally, and i'm glad i did just so i could see what it was like, but i have no regrets on getting my epidurals. they actually sped up my labors, and i wasn't sitting there worrying about the MASSIVE pain i was feeling, but was instead able to enjoy the rest of my labor and focus on what i was doing-bringing my son into this world. i was sweaty, tired, and still accomplished the same thing as someone who didn't have medical intervention. i got my boys and that's all that matters to me!

Michelle - posted on 02/04/2010

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I just hate that women who had a "natural labor", so no medications, get so high and mighty about it. I had my epidural, and I'm glad I did!!!! I think it allowed me to enjoy my birthing experience, instead of focusing on the pain of it.

Plus, like Sara said, I still worked on giving birth to Caedyn, so I'm proud of myself. :-D

JL - posted on 02/04/2010

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When I hear the term "natural" birth...I think if it is natural then does that mean it is opposed to a "unnatural" birth and what about having a baby and using medical assistance to keep mom and baby alive and well is so unnatural.

Using the term natural makes it seem like their are unnatural things going on in some women's bodies. I mean what are those of us who did not have "natural" births spawning aliens meant to take over the world. I had two babies..they are both human, biologically mine, and came out of me, however way that was or wasn't it should not be referred to in any terms like "natural" or "unnatural."

I mean technically natural birth would then be a birth without ANY medical assistance, intervention or treatment, which would mean a woman would not even use things like electronic fetal monitoring, ultrasounds, or have their membranes ruptured.

Mary - posted on 02/04/2010

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Sarah, I'm liking the sun roof description for a C/S...may have to borrow that from you next time I work!

Amie - posted on 02/04/2010

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I'm like Sara and Laura. All of mine were born naturally but the only natural labor was Caitlin.

Of course she was my biggest too. *sigh* Figures.

Sara - posted on 02/04/2010

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When I think of natural delivery, I think vagina. Even if there's intervention with meds or if the birth requires forcepts or vacuum or whatever...if the baby comes out the regular way through the vagina, it's natural to me!



I do think that if you say "natural labor", I would be more inclined to think no drugs.



I was induced, had an epidural and I'd do it again. There was no shame in the epidural game for me. Why go through all that pain when you don't have to? I still worked to birth my daughter, so I'm proud of myself. It was an accomplishment!

Isobel - posted on 02/04/2010

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I always say I had Q "naturally"...but I suppose not, now that I think about it. I had the gas for a minute (and I do mean a minute). I guess I just compared that to Eve being born with the help of being induced AND every drug they would let me have AND an epidural.

:D

Sarah - posted on 02/04/2010

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Mary always knows the answers! lol
I used to say i'd given birth naturally until i started on COM's!
Now i say vaginally, (on here at least) which is a lovely way of putting it! haha!
I say that Shia came out through the sun roof! :)

Dana - posted on 02/04/2010

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Yay, Mary. I was waiting for your post! :) Thanks for clearing some stuff up!

La - posted on 02/04/2010

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When I say natural, I mean having a child vaginally. When I say drug free or med free I mean vaginally with no epidural. C-section is just that...kind of impossible to have a c/s without meds LOL-I know that I couldn't have had my abdomen cut open if I wasn't numb.

Dana - posted on 02/04/2010

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Esther,I don't really care much either. I just find it funny when someone says. I had my son naturally with just a little pain killers and then they act all high and mighty to those who had an epidural.

When I had Ethan I had been having contraction for a while. They were painful and I kept telling the nurses I was having them. They checked the monitors and said , no...you're not having any. They never checked me. I asked to be sent to a different hospital ,when I got there I found out I was 6 cm dilated and he was still breach so I had to have a C-section. At that point I was like uhhh.....since I'm having a C-section, where's that epidural! lol

Esther - posted on 02/04/2010

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I don't know. I've never really concerned myself with these types of questions. As I've stated before, I just wanted to get Lucas out safe and sound and leave myself in one piece as much as possible. I didn't squat in a bush. I was induced, had the epidural, they used forceps etc. but it still felt pretty natural to me. I understand what you're saying and technically I think you're right. I just don't quite get why people care so much.

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