Pain of birth Vs epidural

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April 14, 2020

I’ve recently found out my wife is pregnant shortly after my fathers passing. It’s great but it’s a lot. One of the painful things my mother went through was my birth via C section, saying it was worse than my brothers natural, drug less, birth. My wife is pretty adamant about getting an epidural and attempts to pull the “I’m a woman so shut up” card on me (which doesn’t work, pregnant =/= right). But I’m nudging her to the natural birth side. I’m not some hippy but I see that the epidural increases chances of needing a C section, longer labor, blood dilation, and stifling hormones. And each “side effect” just includes, guess what, MORE drugs. Generally, it seems to me the drug business is a self licking ice cream cone model. I understand God gave woman the pain of childbirth, but I think it’s a gift, and I don’t subscribe to media implying God does anything to curse people “just because.” I’ve read about these “advantages” to a natural childbirth and I’d like to avoid the pitfalls that come about from a drugful one. What’s your experience with this? I’m open to hearing from either side. I’ve read unsubstantiated things like drug less birth/ sex after birth decreasing chances of postpartum depression and it’s easy to get off track with everything going on in life.

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Title Pain of birth Vs epidural
Author yagop1
Upvotes 8
Comments 14
Date 14 April 2020 10:12 PM UTC (1 year ago)
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[–]redwall922 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

We've had five kids. All at home. Went to the hospital after the birth for two - one for some stitching for a small tear (midwives can't legally stitch in my locale; we were in and out for that one) and one for retained placenta membranes that required a DNC on the third kid (we were overnight for that one; great night that was, really).

All in all, good experiences for us. Same midwife for all. Wonderful woman.

My wife decided homebirth. I let her know I was on board with homebirth. But I was fine either way. This wasn't a hill to die on as far as I was concerned. Honestly, my wife would have felt self-judgement if she would have chosen to transport to the hospital during labor. I had mentally set myself up for it, so it wouldn't have been a big deal.

Some of the most bonding moments we've had as a couple were those times during labor when she was leaning on me and her water broke. There wasn't anything nasty about it; there was definite beauty there. My favorite pictures are of our kids after the next one was born. Swaddled baby, rest of the kids smiling around the baby looking. The pictures were a couple hours after the birth - nothing planned; they just happened.

You're just going to get my opinion here... but ... the risk is small if everybody's healthy. Midwives know how to do their thing. But there's still risk. The commenter above is correct about that risk. If there's hemoraging ... there's a chance a drive to the ER won't happen in time; there's a chance the EMS doesn't get to the house in time. Midwife may make the call, and things may still go south. Risk is risk.

On another note ...

I understand God gave woman the pain of childbirth, but I think it’s a gift

Do you use a tiller on your garden to minimize the pain of your labor in the field? Do you use an air-nailer when you run trim to minimize your labor in the home? Do you use a power saw when you cut wood for a project to minimize your labor on the job?

If a woman wants to minimize her pain during labor ... I see that as a good thing.

[–]DoersOfTheWord1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Scientifically natural born babies have better outcomes specifically from immune response (celiac, allergies, etc.)

We used "The Bradley Method". My wife wanted to go unmediated water birth and there was a hospital nearby that's friendly. Bradley teaches you how to deal with pushy medical staff and stick with your birth plan. We delivered our second at home, unplanned, just me and her.

Be prepared, it's all very crunchy, but the people are generally nice.

[–]OsmiumZulu2 points3 points  (3 children) | Copy

Just went through this with my wife last year.

My wife worked in the medical field and several members of her family have medical backgrounds. Given this, my wife was initially set on going the typically hospital and epidural route. I, on the other hand, believed that there is a strong case for natural childbirth.

I told her I wasn't opposed to doing a hospital birth and wanted to do whatever made the most sense given the research. I explained to her that neither of us had looked into the options for ourselves and that it was only reasonable to do our homework before deciding.

She started listening to the Informed Pregnancy podcast, read Ina May's Guide to Natural Childbirth (buy this at Goodwill, you'll find plenty of used copies), and watched The Business Of Being Born. These were helpful resources and present a good case for natural childbirth.

One of my conditions before making a decision was to meet with the OB / Midwife at the hospital as well as meet with an independent midwife or one associated with a local birth center. This is ultimately what persuaded her. There was no comparison; the midwives were head and shoulders better informed, more personable, and more experienced than the hospital staff.

Bottom line is that the hospital treats childbirth as a medical procedure and uses a clinical approach to the "problem". This is effective, but it isn't necessary or optimal. If your wife is otherwise health and the pregnancy is progressing without major complication, there is generally no need for such heavy-handed intervention. The female human body was literally designed by God to accomplish childbirth and does so.

There is, in my opinion, such clear data to support natural childbirth as the less risky route that anyone who takes the time to look into it objectively will see for themselves that it is a superior route in most cases.

[–]yagop1[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

“Bottom line is that the hospital treats childbirth as a medical procedure and uses a clinical approach to the "problem". ^ this is so huge to me because I think that this shift in thinking, from natural birth being a family/community affair, to a clinical problem that must be solved by drugs and knives, has leaked into our culture and contributed to the devaluation of infants and even into the positive perception of infanticide (“abortion”). My mother had a serious complication with me and we both would’ve died without the c section. But that doesn’t mean my family’s case will be like that.

[–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

Read my reply above.

[–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

I dont agree that in the US midwifery centers are safe. However in the UK where there are more hospitals in proximity to midwifery centers, theres a better chance for emergency care. (Forgot where I read this). Well it takes 15 mins to respond to an emergency. My doctor said she's seem healthy extremely low risk patients hemorrhage out and that if they were at these midwife centers, would not be alive. My nurses (at a private Catholic hospital) kicked ass and were pro life af. They literally told every patient there "breast is best" for breastfeeding and worked with a whole breastfeeding support staff. Nurses have more hours than obs on breastfeeding and all of the aftercare that comes with labor. Yes, doctors best interest are to keep the patient and the baby alive. I am blessed that I found a doctor who was not drug pushy, but you will have to seek that out.

Edit: also Ina Mays guide to natural child birth is weird as shit and I had to put the book down half way through because some of the crzy sht she would say. Yes sure her natural midwife center had an extremely low C-section rate, with their 80 patients a year....also midwife centers tend to draw healthier patients who are more health conscious. Her data is totally screwed. And if you're about having a labor orgy why you're giving birth, go for it.

[–]Deep_Strength3 points4 points  (2 children) | Copy

My wife wanted to do a natural birth. Couldn't handle it, so we got the epidural.

This isn't a big issue. If you want her to have natural birth then just tell her to try and present you reasoning. If she can't handle it then get the epidural.

Perhaps the bigger issue is if your wife isn't acting respectful of you regardless of disagreement, but that may be reading too much into the situation.

[–]yagop1[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

You’re right, this isn’t a big issue. And you’re also right about your last point. It was probably easy to discern that. This is something I take ownership of after letting her behave a certain way during our marriage. During the events that can after my fathers passing, I realized her behavior was truly out of hand. I’m taking the reigns and working through, not much else to say.

[–]redwall92-1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

That's funny bro.

You want to take this "project" of pregnancy up and take the reigns.

Do you know how something like this comes across?

How much skin do you have in the game? How much pain can you share in this "project" you are taking the reigns on?! If you've effed it up all along, and if you're going to magically "take the reigns" on this project ... the project where you have the LEAST skin in the game of ALL the projects ... then you can expect some epic push back.

I'd love to have some popcorn for your discussions of this topic.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy

I knew I was going to get an epidural going into labor. I also did every possible thing to ensure that I would have a successful vaginal delivery. I started drinking red raspberry leaf tea halfway through my pregnancy till the end (tones the uterus). I also did a ton of stretching that was supportive of a natural delivery. Follow Dr. Aviva Romm, buy her book. She's a Yale certified m.d. herbalist and midwife. Also when it came close to my due date, we supported the natural labor by exchanging alot of oxytocin (sex, quality time, hand holding, hugging, kissing, hanging with people you love). The drug pitocin that they use to speed up labor, 'pitocin', is literally synthetic oxytocin. My husband and I went on a date the night before my due date, walked on the beach (walking good for inducing labor). Ate a healthy hearty meal. Went home had sex then watched a movie, as the credits started rolling I legit started going into labor. My body knew it was time.

13 hours of labor with an epidural. It probably would have been quicker without (I went from 0 to 6 cm dialated within 3 hours) then 6-10 for the rest. It def slowed it down, but labor continued to progress. If she's healthy and tries to support the pregnancy as best as possible she has great chances of not having a c-section. I may get downvoted for all of this but idc this was my experience and others who I know supported their pregnancies intentionally. I'm typing quick because I'm on mobile so not the most thought out.

[–]yagop1[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

If it counts for anything, I’ve upvoted you. I appreciate the response. The 13 hours of labor part of what you said isn’t exactly winning me over but I’ll be sure to check out those resources. I get tired of my wife telling me the accounts of strangers who want to please her but this has something I can sink my teeth into.

[–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

Ohhhh honestly 13 hours goes by like it's nothing. My husband will agree. 13 is pretty average too. Thanks,

[–]Willow-girl-1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

This is not my field of expertise, lol, but I'd say that since your wife is gonna be the one to endure the pain, she should be the one to call the shots here.

[–]bella_lucky7-1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

This isn’t your call. It’s your wife’s, with guidance from her physician. Not complicated.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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