Thursday, June 21, 2007

why i chose unmedicated births

i had unmedicated births with both my kids. in fact i insisted on homebirths to lessen the chances of any medical interventions. i can't take all the credit for the decision. my mother gave birth to her kids (me and my sister) without medications so i always assumed that that was how it was done. it never really occured to me to do it any other way.

another factor was my husband. being from south america, he has a much more natural opinion of childbirth and also didn't think that medications or drugs should be a part of the process.

to be honest, before i became pregnant i knew very little about birthing. but once i knew that i was going to go through it, i began to research. i read books and medical journals, i surfed the net, i talked to everyone i could find.

and my personal opinion was formed using both scientific and anecdotal evidence. my conclusion?

an unmedicated birth reduces risks for both the mother and baby. in turn, epidurals increase the risk for

i have too many friends who had complications with epidurals (one friend's epi went "up" instead of "down" and so she started to suffocate; another friend still has pain in her spine 2 years later). I believe that women absolutely have the right to birth is the way that they are most comfortable. what i take issue with is the manner in which pain relief options are presented. far too many health professionals gloss over the risks or worse, deny that there are any at all. this is not "good medicine". good medicine includes communicating with the patient about the benefits and
risks of their chosen pain relief.

my births were wonderful. in large part because i was not afraid. i felt confident that my body was going to do what it needed to in order to birth my children. i also had the comfort of being in my own home, with only my midwives and my husband in attendance. i felt cared for, loved and unhurried.

those factors allowed me to have an unmedicated birth. it was the memories of my own births that led me to become a doula myself. i hope other women will feel empowered and informed about their birthing options and make use of their inner strength to make their own wonderful memories.

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