Thursday, September 28, 2006

A case for natural birth - it's NATURAL!

Of all the frivolous reasons I could think of when I hear about first-time mothers opting to give birth by caesarean section, the one that takes the cake is the doctor playing up to the fears of the pregnant lady by suggesting the option of going under the knife to bypass the so-called "risks" and pain of natural birth.

This is more common than you'd think.

I have come across many healthy expectant first-time moms who, because of ignorance and undue pressure from their doctors, have been persuaded to go for a C-section so that they do not have to deal with the unexpected arrival of their baby at odd hours, the pain of labour and yes, the horrifying thought of a stretched and loose vagina. We need not go further to discuss the real motives behind such unscrupulous doctors.

I am all for C-sections if there are VALID medical reasons whereby natural birth would be a great risk to the lives of the unborn child and mother.

But other than that, consider the fact that for thousands of years, women have given birth naturally, they have survived the process and that is how it is meant to be.

And please, do not fall for the stupid rumour that your husband will notice how "loose" you have become once the baby has pushed through the birth canal. Nature has a wonderful way of healing and there are in fact Kegel exercises that a new mom can do, not just to tighten up but also to maintain the muscles that will prevent problems like incontinence when you start to age.

Giving birth naturally is really not as scary as some people make it out to be. Yes, it is painful but bear in mind that pain is not going to last forever and ever. It'll be over soon enough and when you hold your baby in your arms, all the pain will be erased from your mind. If you don't believe me, ask the majority of women who continue to go through the same process again and again. If it was THAT bad, would they have willingly gone through it again?

Most people are just crippled by the thought of it, instead of thinking that well, it's all in a day's work, isn't it? That would have made things easier - at least, that was how I overcome my own fears by adopting a rational approach to dealing with the unknown. I went into the labour room thinking I have a job to do and I'd just get on with it, sweat it out if I have to and try not to cause too much fuss if I can help it. Half the battle was already won before I even step into the labour room because I figured it would be pointless and ridiculous to allow myself to be reduced to a total wreck out of fear for something which is part of the natural process of evolution.

I feel that women are sometimes bullied into a magnified state of fear whereby they are already defeated and gave up the whole idea before even giving it a chance. They probably did not factor in the likelihood that once they have a C-section birth, all future pregnancies would most likely end up the same way.

And in this matter, I think private doctors could play a more proactive part in encouraging natural births in first-time mothers and thereby reducing unnecessary c-sections than the numbers we are seeing today, especially in urban areas.


Because there are inherent risks with caesarean section births that a lot of doctors are not telling you.

One of them is as reported in theSUN's frontpage today.

Madam S. Amutha Devi, 28, was expecting her third child and because of placenta complications, she was admitted for one and a half months to Bukit Mertajam Hospital before being sent to Penang Hospital on Sept 11 for close observation.

On Sept 14, Madam Amutha was wheeled into the operating theatre of Penang Maternity Hospital for a caesarean section.

When the doctors brought her son out after the operation, her husband M. Muthukumar saw to his horror a deep cut measuring almost 7cm running down the right side of the baby's face. The doctors told him that the cut would be stitched up and the baby was sent to the plastics surgeon.

A gynaecologist, who did not want to be named, said such cases happen but doctors need to be careful and must know when to stop.

"The doctor usually has to cut through the outer, middle and then inner layer before going through the uterus wall. Sometimes the amniotic fluid is still around the baby, so there is some space. However, when there is no fluid left, and the baby's head is pressed against the inner uterine wall, and if the cut is too deep, the scalpel may nick the baby," he added.

It is most unfortunate and certainly traumatic for the parents and the baby that such a thing had happened. But we have to also bear in mind that this is just ONE of the risks of caesarian births that many may not be aware of.

Whether it was accidental or due to negligence, there was nothing much that Madam Amutha and her husband could do now as they could not have avoided the caesarian section birth nor could they have foreseen such a thing happening to them.

But, what IF Madam Amutha could have given birth naturally but CHOSE to go for the c-section due to non-medical reasons?

Would it be something she and her husband will regret for a long time?



Blogger Fashionasia said...

you know what makes us afraid of giving birth?! those movies that shows women sweat and moan and scream like they're going to die when they are giving birth....especially bollywood scary.

28/9/06 13:53  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Heh - consider this Ms Fashion. When you are in the labour room, you can get in the act too and play the part of moaning & screaming till the roof falls down and no one will accuse you of being a drama queen!!

Seriously, as in a lot of other things in life, you'd be amazed at how courageous you can be if you approach such scary notions with a pinch of salt and a huge dose of humour.

I'd like to be able to convince you to go natural when your lucky day comes! :-)

28/9/06 15:05  
Blogger PabloPabla said...

God really blessed my wife during both her deliveries. She is thin by nature and most expected her to deliver C-sec. By the grace of God, she delivered both girls naturally...without the aid of any painkillers. Yep, no painkillers. The other beautiful thing was that whilst going through labour, I was by her side and we were singing songs of praises to God and you can imagine our joy when our girls were delivered.

28/9/06 17:10  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Pablo, your touching recall put a smile on my face b'coz your joy just comes leaping through your words! :-)

Btw, I'm amazed you didn't feel even a tiny little bit woozy during the birthing process?? Most men turn green & putty when the going gets tough in the labour room (heheh!).

28/9/06 18:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plenty of (s)experience, eh? ;)

28/9/06 18:55  
Blogger Maverick SM said...

AM, what's kegel exercise? My wife wants to workout.....

28/9/06 19:17  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Howsy, you notty boi! But remember my words when you find yourself in the labour room someday in the future, okay? (esp. at the point of breaking out in cold sweat & passing out cold, heheh!)

Mave: Seriously, it'll be good for your wife to know how to do this. Just google "kegel exercise" and you'd get plenty of information.

And, since we're frens, a nice little notty tip: You can help your wife by taking part & pointing out whether she is doing it right or not. (No, no, don't ask me how because I don't want to go into the explicit ...!!)

28/9/06 19:49  
Blogger PabloPabla said...

During the birth of our first daughter, I was more concentrated looking at my wife, praying with her and singing praises to God. So, I wasn't really paying attention to the "gory stuff" until when baby's head could be seen.

For the second birth, since I have experienced it before, I paid more attention to the "whole process" to catch up on what I "missed" the last round. LOL!

Indeed, the sight of our girls being delivered brings an amount of joy which no words could describe :) Brought tears to my eyes, really...seeing how God is blessing us with 2 healthy girls.

29/9/06 10:16  

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