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Natural Childbirth – No Medals Required

Sometimes when you talk about planning for a natural, drug-free labor, people will protest and tell you, “You don’t get a medal for having natural childbirth, you know.”  The underlying message is that going drug-free is some social power play, motivated by a need to feel superior.

While it is fun to wow people with what a badass I am for having had natural childbirth, the thought of one-upping other moms was the farthest thing from my mind when I was deciding where and how to give birth.  I did a lot of research and asked a lot of pointed questions (one midwife took me aside at a tour and asked if I was a nurse).  I decided on natural childbirth outside a hospital, not for a medal, but for:

My births were not exactly fun or easy.  I didn’t have any powerful spiritual experiences, and I don’t feel the pain was necessarily a rite of passage.  But I felt safe.  I felt my babies and I had the best chance for health and wellbeing, and I trusted that if an intervention was suggested, it would be truly necessary and prudent, not just procedure or an aid to the convenience of the medical staff.  I felt very secure that my care was both philosophically respectful of me as a person, and based on the best available evidence.

Who needs a medal when you’ve got that?

(Picture credit: Moms Deserve Medals, which produces medals for all mothers, regardless of birth circumstancs.)