6 Steps to Ruining Your Birth Experience
*Please understand that this post is sarcastic. Do not take these suggestions seriously!*
1. Start with Fear.
Believe that pregnancy and birth are medical problems that you need to be rescued from. Remember that even though these are natural processes that our bodies were designed for, the medical community knows best. Work against your body at every turn, and you will be sure to have a negative experience.
2. Focus On Interventions.
Be sure to accept small unnecessary interventions at any opportunity. Small interventions will naturally lead to more serious interventions. Frequent and useless cervical checks will increase your chances of infection, so get as many as you can! Having your water broken is another great way to invite infection and further interventions. Continuous fetal monitoring will ensure that you are hooked up to a machine, placing all of the attention on that computer and limiting your ability to move for comfort. Your birth experience will be off to a terrifically unpleasant start!
3. Rush That Baby Out.
Choose an induction, as early as possible. Even though your body and baby knows when is the best time to be born, doctors know better. They have lives too, and your birth should accommodate their plans! More importantly, that ticking time bomb of 40 weeks is always there, and you absolutely must get the baby out before then OR ELSE. Even better, choose an induction well before your due date, because our bodies obviously make babies way too big for us to birth. Inductions are great for ruining a birth experience, because they attempt to force a mom’s body to birth and her baby to be born before they are truly ready. This adds extra stress to both mom and baby, often making birth longer and more difficult. Woohoo!
4. Just Say Yes to Pitocin.
Make sure to request pitocin, which causes contractions to be unnaturally long and strong. This is especially useful if your body is trying to rest, or move at its own pace for birthing. Don’t let it! Pitocin will do the trick, and before you know it, you’ll be more than ready for your epidural. As an added bonus, pitocin will require an IV, which will ensure you are unable to move around easily, thus increasing your discomfort.
5. Get Those Drugs ASAP.
Get an epidural as soon as you can. Even if you aren’t that uncomfortable, get the epidural, because the doctors know the future, and they know that you will be in agony before long. If you still aren’t convinced, then try tensing up and expecting your contractions to be very painful. That will do the trick! Request your epidural, and then you can watch as your contractions slow down or your birth even stalls as a result. This will lead to more pitocin, which will lead to an increase in the epidural medication. With any luck, the drugs will stress your baby out and result in fetal distress and an “emergency” cesarean. Just what you wanted, right?
6. Lay On Your Back to Push.
If you are able to birth your baby vaginally despite all efforts to ruin your birth experience, then be sure to do so on your back. Laying on your back and putting your feet in stirrups while doctors shine bright lights on your hoohah is a fantastic way to make sure you feel uncomfortable. Even better, pushing in this position keeps the pelvis more closed than other options, and pushing against gravity adds an extra challenge. Quite possibly you may end up pushing for hours, or need a vacuum or forceps extraction. Yowzah!
But On A Serious Note…
Alright, so in case you didn’t realize, this post has been highly sarcastic. I am a natural birth proponent, and I believe in the beauty and power of birth. Sadly, our culture has turned pregnancy and birth into a very medical process, which often leads to negative experiences for moms and babies. All of the medical care we receive does not improve our outcomes, it worsens them.
The truth is that pregnancy and birth are a natural and normal and healthy part of a woman’s life-cycle, if she so chooses. Women don’t need to be saved from this process. We need to be empowered, to remember that our bodies were created to do this!
It is unfortunate that doctors often encourage fear with negative language, and push for practices that they prefer even when they are not evidence-based. It is unfortunate that hospitals can be rigid places that treat patients impersonally and enforce unnecessary policies that end up causing unnecessary stress or harm on mothers, babies, and loved ones. It is unfortunate that there is a well-known cycle of intervention that occurs frequently with perfectly healthy moms and babies, leading to unnecessary c-sections.
There is no shame in having a medical birth, or choosing interventions, when that is truly what a mom wants. Ultimately, every woman must choose for herself what she wants to do during her baby’s birth. But that choice should be one that is well-informed and free from outside pressure. I want to encourage women to explore the possibilities of natural birth, to learn about the benefits, and to become empowered through their choices. We do not need to approach pregnancy and birth with fear or dread or helplessness. We can be confident, strong, and powerful when we trust our bodies. They were created so incredibly and beautifully!