I was watching lovely day time TV and a segment came up on This Morning and it stated –“are Women being pressurised to give Birth without pain relief?”
It had two women on to discuss the issue but for the life of me, I could not tell you which women was for which side. They talked, ranted and mumbled over each other so neither of them were heard. It was a disaster!
The segment got me thinking though, are women being shamed for using drugs to give birth?
With both my pregnancies I had an epidural, I was offered the other drugs but I had read up on them and knew that they could make me sick and with a fear of throwing up I didn’t even want to try them, I just went for the big guns.
Saying this, it wasn’t planned that I would have pain relief. In fact I had made no plan at all as I didn’t want to set myself up for something I had no real control over. I had been my sisters birthing partner before having my own and knew that nothing goes to plan when it comes to birth, it’s a different journey each time.
I have never thought less of myself for taking the drugs during labour, I just listened to my body and my body screamed “GIVE ME THE F**KING DRUGS!!!”
Now I may be wrong but I think the pressure to not use pain relief comes from the pressure of having a “perfect birth” but what is that? I am sure it’s different for every person.
Not everyone wants a home birth or a water birth or a doula or hypnobirthing. Some people want to be in a hospital, want the drugs and the 2 day stay (away from the mayhem at home) or a C-section, does that make them wrong? No, it’s the person making the right choice for them.
Everyone is different and every birth experience is different, babies are little menaces and even during labour can “play up”. You just never know what is going to happen.
I’m all for talking about making birth a safer and happier experience for every mum out there. I also understand the need to share birth stories (I love a birth story). Its worrying though that it could be a case of “my birth’s better than your birth”. We’re creating a myth of “The Perfect Birth” that puts a lot of pressure on us women and really raises anxiety mums to be may have. They can end up feeling that if their birth was not “as expected”, then they are to blame for it all.
It is difficult in this society, as women are usually unprepared for the experience when they first fall pregnant.
It’s important to be flexible in your outlook. It’s fine to have a birth plan, but if you’re too rigid, chances are you’ll end up disappointed. I, for example, really thought I wanted my birth to be as natural as possible but when it came down to it I needed to be induced and the pain was too much for me to bear and I hadn’t really thought about the possibility of having anything other than a vaginal birth but with CC i ended up with forceps. After 26 hours of established labour, however, Cora just wouldn’t budge and with the help of forceps and a big old cut, she was born.
With Cassi, i was more prepared and I think relaxed about it all that he entered the world with little intervention.
I know women that can slip their babies out without so much as a moan or groan, but let’s all remember this is not than average birth.
The average baby’s head is about 13 inches around and the average vagina is smaller than that – doesn’t add up does it? The vagina has to stretch and at times it will tear (sorry, but it’s true).
Midwives and doctors are skilled to provide all we need for a successful vaginal delivery. Technics like controlled pushing will help you avoid shooting baby out of your vag like a cannonball and breathing can really help focus all that pain.
Truth is, tearing, bleeding, shitting, pissing and more are all part of giving birth and if taking the drugs makes it’s all a bit more bearable, then why not!
Big up to the ladies you did it without pain relief, but also to every other woman who carried a baby and had to push it through her foof or cut wide open to exit out the emergency exit. You are all amazing and don’t let anyone tell you that the way you had your baby determine how you are as a woman!