Let me preface this first:
This is not meant to shame anyone. No matter what type of birth you had. No matter what you call your birth. This is an opinion piece. Something that personally irks me, but may not affect others. This blog is certainly meant to be all-inclusive. I am in no way bashing those that had an unmedicated birth or choose to call their births natural.
Okay, on to the post.
When you’re pregnant, it’s normal to do a lot of research. So many websites encourage you to make a birthing plan and detail all the types of birth you can choose from. In this day and age, there truly are so many options.
There are two main categories, in my mind: Cesarean section or vaginal. But within both of those categories lie even more subcategories.
With a c-section, you can have a planned c-section, an emergency c-section, or a medically necessary c-section. (Side Note: I had a c-section. It was medically necessary and I don’t regret it one bit.)
With a vaginal birth, you’ve got medicated or unmedicated. Inside each of those are even more options. You have numerous medication choices. If you’re going the non-medicated route, you’ve got hypnobirthing, a water birth, etc.
Now, unmedicated ladies, listen up. Please stop calling your birth “natural”. Here’s why.
You’re implying a medicated birth is not natural.
That’s just not true. Things get a bit hazy with c-sections, but at the very least, all vaginal births are natural. There is nothing unnatural about getting pain relief. I would even venture to say that wanting to avoid pain is natural. So hey, maybe a medicated vaginal birth is even more natural!
Many women are disappointed they couldn’t go unmedicated.
Just what we don’t need as moms is more guilt and shame. No matter how you gave birth, you created a life! That is so incredibly beautiful. That is something to be proud of, no matter how your baby came into the world. If you had a c-section (like me!) that doesn’t mean your body is broken or doesn’t work “the way it should”. And if you used medication, that doesn’t mean you’re weak, or “less than” those that chose not to.
It never hurts to be sensitive to others
You can never know someone else’s story. Maybe the woman you’re talking to absolutely does not care that you use the term “natural”, but then again, maybe she does. And while I’m certainly not saying we need to walk on eggshells around others, it can’t hurt to be a bit careful. Birth is so incredibly personal and as such, things people say can be that much more hurtful.
We all know what you mean
I know most of you are not trying to brag when you say your birth was “natural”, but I have met one or two women who seemed to be boasting. That’s fine that you’re proud of yourself. Hell, I’m proud of you, too! That shit hurts! I was ready to tap out as soon as my contractions got intense. You’re a badass. But, then again, so am I. So is your friend who got an epidural. So is the lady that got an emergency c-section. All moms are bad asses! Let’s embrace that!
I’ve got mad respect for unmedicated births. The lady in the room next to me SCREAMED her head off the entire delivery and my nurse informed me she was going without medication. I can only imagine the pain.
But I’ve also got respect for those who had C-sections. They’re scary. That cold operating room, the people crowded around you, feeling them tug your skin apart… It’s horrifying.
And I’ve got respect for those who had medicated vaginal births. You’re not weak because you didn’t want to feel that pain. Hell, I personally think you’re smart. Why suffer when you have a choice?!
I am definitely not saying I don’t want to hear about your unmedicated birth. Please, tell me! I love a good birth story! But using the word “natural” makes me feel like my c-section was unnatural and thus, bad.
Do you mind when people call their births natural? Did you have an unmedicated birth? And if so, do you agree or disagree? We are all entitled to our own opinions.