Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pregnancy: Article for Epidurals (Not for the faint at heart)

I recently saw this article circulating its way around Facebook. The title of it "The Truth about Epidurals." It caught my eye, so I decided to take a read. To my surprise it was FOR epidurals. Okay not exactly for them, but that they actually don't cause as much harm as any other pain medication given during child birth. Before I continue I must say that this is MY viewpoint and as naive as I may be, I have researched much and also know that epidurals are essentially needed when pregnancy is induced because it causes contractions to be more intense and right on top of each other. Having said that, I do feel that we induce more labors in America than necessary. But your doctor I'm sure will disagree with me otherwise and convince, yes convince you that had you not been in the hospital, it could have been worse. Well thats all hypothetical. 
Okay back to the article and my beef with it. It convinces readers that when compared to women who didn't have an epidural, no real difference occurred, except those women said their birth was "very painful." Yeah no (insert expletive). Its not like a baby is the size of a pea popping out of a hole the size of a crater. Reality check! But the article did say:
'Epidurals may also have subtle effects on a woman’s physiology, lowering her blood pressure (which can be a benefit or a drawback depending on her blood pressure status in labor) and inducing a mild fever 10 to 15 percent of the time. Finally, epidurals do seem to lengthen the final stages of labor by about 15 minutes."

The essence of the article is to convince the reader that having a pain-free labor is better for the baby because it doesn't create stress related hormones that could affect the baby during delivery. But isn't a lot of that caused by the environment you are in. My favorite thing I have learned about home birth is that oxytocin (the hormone needed during delivery) is created in three ways, during intercourse, during delivery, and during breast-feeding. If you were to compare the environment that you have sex in and the environment that you give birth (hospital setting) I'm sure you'd see a difference. It would be hard to 'get it on' with people walking in and out of the room, pointing, telling you how to 'do it', and then taking over when its not going the way they (medical staff) like it. There is a reason why so many women have long first time deliveries. I can only imagine feeling stressed, overwhelmed, unfocused, and self conscience. That's why I at least have done my research to prepare myself. 

The writer of this article has wonderful credentials, so who am I to say that her opinion is wrong.  I don't it's just my thoughts. I sometimes get disappointed with our society and how eager we are to hang on other's words (hypocritical I know since I'm writing a blog). I can remember as a child feeling upset that a basketball player on a commercial was selling soda. This idealistic person embracing a product for money and totally affecting the younger population that looked up to him. I just wish we could have our own opinions and be confident enough to stand by them. Its the hippiness in me, as my husband refers to. Somewhere deep inside my ideas just don't blend with the world's, but I willing to take a stand if it means giving the world a bit of color :) 

I just hope that after all this. Whoever is reading this decides to do what is best for them because of what they want and not what they have been influenced by. On that note this is how the author to the article ended her writing:

"My unnatural childbirth left me with a memory that does not involve intolerable pain, and that’s exactly what I wanted."

I think the unnatural childbirth part says it all. Your missing out on something so pure (and painful, I get it!!! :))

( random cute photo)

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