The allure of epidural avoidance

Filed under: Your Pregnancy, Health & Safety: Babies

I am learning a lot from my pregnant girlfriends. One of them is due in August, and has decided that she would like to try for a drug-free, natural birth.

I'm all for it, and think she's intelligent for educating herself on such a life-altering experience, and admirable for believing in her own strength. I remember women telling me "Oh, god, sister, take the epidural" and "You cannot fathom the degree of pain you will be in" and I am trying so hard not to say such things to her. Influence is a mighty force, and words can inflict a lot of negative.

But when my friend told me that her natural childbirth instructor told her that 94 percent of women in her course gave birth without pain relief, I was a little astonished. 94 percent? That is an astronomical number. Could the power of education and willingness be that strong?

I was recently told that 79 percent of Mothers who gave birth at the hospital where I had Nolan were given epidurals. That is a huge discrepancy, and I found myself wanting to know more about the kind of education that could negate such an enormous number.

The course that my friend is taking is called the Bradley Method. The premise is that childbirth is a natural process and that woman can be taught to give birth naturally.

I understand that giving birth naturally could be an enormously wonderful experience. I also remember the intense relief I felt once I had an epidural.

For those of you that gave birth naturally, would you do it again? What is it about the experience that is so fulfilling? I have never spoken with a woman who gave birth naturally who regretted not having drugs. And I wonder: is it selective amnesia or are we missing something in our predisposition to medicate our childbirth pain?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.