Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Natural Childbirth

There was a strong comment, about childbirth, on the episode of House Husbands I'm watching today. Young pregnant Phoebe complains about the pressure she's receiving from midwives to have a natural childbirth. She wants drugs. Her stepmother agrees with her and makes a statement about how people getting root canals aren't asked whether they're doing it without drugs.

I think she makes a good point, although the analogy isn't perfect. Childbirth has been happening since the beginning of mammal times, and in many of those times, medical assistance hasn't been needed. I don't think the same can be said for root canals. So it IS a bit different.

Differences aside, though. All childbirth is natural, even that which involves drugs, doctors, surgery, etc. The drugs, doctors, and surgery all came about from humanity. Humans are part of nature. We're animals. So anything we do is technically natural.

I think society sees artificial as being the opposite of natural. But I took a science class in graduate school that made me believe that artificial is an extension/version of natural.

If no intervention equals natural childbirth; then did I have unnatural childbirth? Artificial? Maybe I'll go with the unnatural. It sounds like a cool horror movie.

OR we could drop the term natural childbirth and just call it unassisted. Or childbirth with minimal medical assistance. Drug-free might work as well.

Thinking about this, though, I'm realizing I'm being a bit hypocritical. BECAUSE I've written pro-breastfeeding stuff and referred to infant formula as artificial milk.  If I'm going to use that term, maybe I should be okay with someone saying I had a partly artificial childbirth.

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