Written by Missy David, the Honeybee Mama
Let me cut to the chase here and make a firm statement:
Birth is birth.
There, I said it. You heard me. Birth is birth. No one is left out. Every woman who has a baby gives birth to that baby and everyone on this planet had a mother who gave birth to him or her. Every birth is normal and natural.
What is "normal" birth anyway?
Every profession has a vocabulary. And we have a term in the childbirth profession called "Normal Birth." You know what? It drives me crazy. I try to talk around it and refer to it as physiological birth or natural birth (more on that later), but it still doesn't take away the sting that so many women who have had a childbirth experience that didn't go as planned feel when they read or hear that term. And calling it physiological or natural still doesn't even really work for the definition!
The World Health Organization says, "We define normal birth as: spontaneous in onset, low-risk at the start of labour and remaining so throughout labour and delivery. The infant is born spontaneously in the vertex position between 37 and 42 completed weeks of pregnancy. After birth mother and infant are in good condition."
That's it. Normal means baby is born head down without being induced, between 37-42 weeks and afterwards mother and baby are healthy, following a low-risk pregnancy. On the other hand, Merriam Webster defines normal as, "usual or ordinary : not strange," and "mentally and physically healthy." If you ask me, most births are normal according to that definition!
In fact, births in hospitals with epidurals are VERY normal in our country, and with one in three women bringing her child into the world via cesarean, c-sections are pretty normal too! So there you have it. Every birth is normal.
Which brings me to my second point.
What is natural childbirth, really?
Since I was a child, my mom has only bought Breyer's ice cream because it's "all natural." Many of us know that the term "all natural" is little more than a marketing ploy. The truth is, a bag of cheese puffs can say all natural on the label and no one will get in trouble for it! In fact, labels can say organic and not contain 100% organic ingredients. I mean, heck, petroleum is organic, but I for one ain't eating it!
Natural childbirth is such an elusive term. To some it means only that the baby was born vaginally; to others it means giving birth at home. Some feel natural childbirth means to labor and deliver without the use of pain medication, epidural or otherwise. Natural birth is like camping: for some it means sleeping on the dirt under the stars and to others it means staying overnight in a Holiday Inn. Natural birth is simply whatever it means to you!
Can you have a natural hospital birth? Can you have a natural cesarean? Absolutely! Every birth is natural.
We want you to have a GOOD birth.
In her book A Good Birth: Finding the Positive and Profound in Your Childbirth Experience, Anne Lyerly, MD says, "I have been around birth long enough to know that a birth's "naturalness" (or what some advocates call "normalcy") is as misleading a metric of the "good" as is medical outcome. Not everyone wants a "natural" birth. Some women find comfort in ready access to technology and reasonably desire things like pain medicine.
Further, the emphasis on low-tech births has the potential to contribute to unhappy and sometimes traumatic experiences with physiology and circumstance. The unknowns of birth that can arise in the most uncomplicated pregnancies, make medical intervention prudent, necessary, even lifesaving. And for women who do not have access to such "normal births" by virtue of their health needs, personal needs, or limited access to birthing options--this notion of the good birth alienates or confuses those who may already have drawn a short straw in the lottery of life, reproductive or otherwise."
There are so many aspects that can contribute to a normal, natural, safe, satisfying birth for you, and at Tulsa Family Doulas, we have been around the block long enough to know that! Every one of our Labor Doulas has training and experience in helping women discover what matters most to them and their partners in the birthing experience. We get past the vocabulary and focus on the people that matter: mothers and their families.
Birth Naturally and Normally in Tulsa
At Tulsa Family Doulas, we know every birth can be good. Your birth can be good. Every birth is normal and natural. If you tell us you want a natural birth or a normal birth, we will ask what that means to you, help you prepare for your vision of a "good birth," and support you every step of the way. Every birth doula client of ours receives a unique workbook with proprietary and proven tools that get to the heart of what a satisfying, good, normal or natural birth means to you.
If you want to birth naturally in Tulsa, or more importantly, if you want to give birth in Tulsa, contact the experienced childbirth professionals at Tulsa Family Doulas today. We serve women in Tulsa, Bixby, Jenks, Sand Springs, Broken Arrow, Owasso, Sapulpa and throughout Tulsa County. We have a variety of Tulsa Childbirth Classes to meet your needs and help you achieve your goals for birth, including Hypnobabies and Your Birth Experience. Call us today at 918-724-9276 or contact us online to schedule your complimentary consultation.