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Mommy Wars: Birth With Drugs or No Drugs? Why the Competition?

delivery_sm.jpg Mommy Wars: Birth With Drugs or No Drugs. Why the Competition?

There’s a never ending battle brewing between women who delivered a baby with and without drg medication. Some of those in the "natural" camp act as if you cheated childbirth by taking a little nip from the epidural tap. Here’s my rule: If a baby comes out of you, you’re the real deal. This mommy competition is going too far. Read more of my thoughts….

Labor Battles: Childbirth With Drugs Vs. No Drugs?  Is Everything a Competition?

When I was pregnant, I was amazed at the competitiveness
among moms. It starts in pregnancy and doesn’t seem to let up. Why is that, by
the way?

Recently I overheard a conversation about labor and I was
reminded of a commentary I wrote in my first book, The Mocha Manual to a
Fabulous Pregnancy, and I felt a little sad that five years later, we are still
in the same struggle.  

This is what I said then: As much as labor is the glue
the binds all of us mommies together. It is also a very sticky issue.  Every woman has a labor story and she
probably has no problem telling you about it. You may not even have to ask.
Just mention the word labor, or something that rhymes with labor (like
neighbor), and she is off to the races. You may also notice that the same ones
who are always yapping about their labor experience have the most harrowing
tales-complete with ear-cringing screaming, week-long labors and 72-hours of
straight pushing. When I was pregnant, I tried to avoid these people.

But what’s even more problematic, is that there’s an
unspoken rivalry brewing between the women who delivered without pain
medication and those who took a little nip from the epidural tap. How did we
get here?

Some women genuinely want the undiluted experience of
childbirth. Others (myself included) just want enough of the "pure" experience
to guilt-trip the husband and the children for years to come, and then they
want out. But those in the "no drugs" camp act as if someone stole the true meaning
of giving birth by taking away the pain. 
Here’s my rule: if a baby comes out of you, you’re the real deal. For
me, I wasn’t in the labor for the pain. I’m a writer and for me it’s all about
the story. Once there had been enough melodrama for me to weave an engaging
tale, then I was pretty much done.  Hook
me up to the epidural please.

Recently a few moms were talking, and of course, the
labor stories started to roll. When one woman spoke of her "natural" childbirth
and mentioned having some pain medication another mom butted in with, "Well,
that’s not natural."  Excuse me?? Who
changed the rules and why wasn’t I invited to the committee meeting? What’s
next, will we have to break our own waters, cut our own episiotomies and
deliver our own babies to make the "natural birth" cut? I don’t like where this
is headed.

More importantly, women shouldn’t feel like they are
going into labor with something to prove. There is no ticker tape parade,
flashing lights or special pudding waiting for you if don’t have any pain
medication. And there will be no scarlet "E" hanging on your door if you have
an epidural.  

Bottom line: make your own decisions. Keep in mind that
it’s pretty hard to predict how you will actually feel during labor. Don’t let
anyone scare you into thinking you cannot do it without drugs.  On the other hand,  don’t let anyone make you feel any less than
the phenomenal woman you know you are just because you took a numbing hit in
the back.  

This is what I’m also saying now: There’s a lot of competition
out there. Some of it is healthy. Most of it needs to stop.


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