Posted by: brambledoula | November 3, 2007

Prepared Childbirth

I think all women should prepare for the idea at least of a natural birth. I’ve seen show after show lately of women who are all distraught and sceaming because it’s time to push and they didn’t get their epidural for ‘x’ reason. Unfortunately this scenario happens all too often in real life. Or worse, they get the epidural and the thing doesn’t even work, which happens VERY frequently. I’ve noticed a huge difference between these women and the ones who go in prepared. And by prepared I don’t even necessarily mean bradley or lamaze, which certainly have their merits, but just preparing that birth may be uncomfortable or even hurt and that, god forbid, they may have to feel something! I’ve found women who go in knowing that they are going to have a natural birth and that they may not necessarily be one of those lucky women who get that mythical painless birth (they do happen though…) handle their contractions much more calmly, rationally, and with far more success and less intervention than the women you see freaking out on tv shows. I admit with my first delivery I was one of those women screaming with every contraction. Sure they hurt, but worse I was pissed because at that time I was unprepared, thinking I’d be able to get that epidural. Sure enough once I did get it, I was also one of the many many women it didn’t work for. Interestingly with my second birth, I still had the same horrid back labor, but I went in expecting it, handled it much better knowing that the only relief would be to just do it and push the kid out, and felt much more satisfied in the long run. I’ve had a few clients here and there that were scared about the pain, their last birth hurt, their epidurals didn’t work either, etc, and I’ve found every last one of them did fine when it got down to it because they were prepared. I think doctors should stop hanging miracle anesthesia options over women’s heads and women should take control and prepare themselves. Do you really want to be one of those people who freak out and lose control? Who does it help? Not you, not your baby, and all it does is impress a stereotype upon those same doctors waving the magic drugs they may not be able to produce or make work. I had one occasion where they called the mother in question a “real woman” because she was in control the whole time. Really I think any woman who’s giving birth in any manner is a real woman, and it’s even ok to scream out if it helps you. But do it because you need to or it really does help you to do so, don’t be the one freaking out because you weren’t prepared to have to feel something. Chalk it up as the first step to being a mother- nothing will ever go the way you think it will again; why should birth be any different?



  1. I’ve had a (failed) spinal and an epidural – and 5 “natural” births. (Natural is such a poor word. What is more natural than wanting relief from pain?) I had the epidural with my 4th, and it worked great – but I hated it and have refused for my other ones. You are so right that a big part of the problem is being unprepared – not knowing what will happen, how it will happen, how long it will take. The unknown factor amplifies all of the pain and stress.

  2. You’re very right (about the unknown factor). I think that’s one of the reasons I like staying home- it’s something you have some control over, and it’s familiar. When you head in you don’t know what room you’ll get, if the bed will be comfy, if the nurse on at that time had a bad morning, or even if the doctor you like in your practice will be there. I think even preparing for the fact you can’t prepare is more preparation than a lot of women take!
    I do agree that it’s natural to want relief from pain, but I think at least knowing it’s coming helps us work through it.

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