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Effects of Medication in Birth

The vast majority of mothers in our culture feel that the only way that they can achieve a "normal" birth is by getting medicated for "pain" during labor. As doulas, this is one of our most profound areas where education makes a huge difference in the birth outcomes of our families. Many women believe they can simply rely on the medication options available to control their "pain" with no ill side effects for themselves or their babies. For some this is occassionally true, but for most medications complicate the normal process of birth. From the time that medication is introduced, our experience is that many families experience the following:
  • Numerous interventions including continuous fetal monitoring, IV, O2 administration, and quite commonly, a surgical birth
  • A baby who no longer responds as well during birthing (often requiring either a sugical birth, use of vacuum, episiotomy and/or forceps)
  • A labor that slows or stalls, often requiring Pitocin (thereby substantially increasing odds of a sugical birth)
  • A fever or sudden drop in blood pressure is common and can be dangerous
  • Hindered movement that may prevent normal descent of baby
  • A baby who is still drugged/floppy at birth and has lower APGAR scores
  • Significantly higher incidence of postpartum depression
  • Mom feeling less "connected" to her baby
  • Significantly higher incidence of breastfeeding issues
  • A mom who takes far longer to heal and feel well after birth
It is important to remember the following:
  • Sometimes what the mother feels is best for herself is not always in the best interests of the baby- The baby deserves to receive full consideration
  • Every baby benefits from the most natural birth possible
  • Discomfort in birth is usually managed well with good support from your doula and/or birthing partner
  • A relaxed mom who avoids intervention almost always reports that her birth felt very empowering and her surges were very manageable
  • Learning to trust your body and relax easily prior to birthing makes the process even easier- Your doula can help
  • One intervention or medical procedure almost always leads to more intervention- Numerous studies have proven this
    • Continuous fetal monitoring increases your odds of cesarean by 3 times or more
    • Twenty percent of pregnant women in U.S. get medication to induce labor [often needlessly for reasons like a "big baby," post dates, or treatable blood pressure issues].
    • Oytocin/Pitocin use increases odds of having a cesarean, fetal distress, uterine rupture, and is even thought to possibly be linked to autism.
    • Cesareans are unecessary more than 90% of the time
    • 95% of mothers are capable of having a normal healthy birth without any intervention
  • Major abdominal surgery [cesarean] includes the same risks of any major surgery, such as:
    • Life-threatening drug reaction
    • Unstoppable bleeding
    • Massive infection
  • It is almost always intervention that causes issues in labor- NOT a flaw in the mother's body!
  • Mothers and babies deserve more than the average American birth which generally includes five or more interventions- Our bodies were not designed to fail us!
  • A mother who has been well-supported and had a gentle, natural, normal birth will almost always tell you that it was the single greatest event of her life and she would do it again in a heartbeat!
  • Being a conscientious parent begins in pregnancy and birth- If you wouldn't drug your newborn after birth, then why would you drug your newborn during birth?
No matter what you decision at the time of birth, we will respect your choices and we will continue to help you have the most natural experience possible. It is our hope that every mom we meet will educate herself and feel strong in making great decisions for herself and her baby. Each baby gets only one birth, so make it a spectacular one!

Did You Know?
Relaxation learned in HypnoBirthing substantially improves your comfort during an unmedicated birth
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We have a secret in our culture, and it's not that birth is painful... it's that women are strong.
- Laura Stavoe Harm

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or 508-668-4247