I was pregnant for the second time in my life and nervous about everything. I had lost my first child to preterm labor and worried my second pregnancy would go wrong, too. I watched The Business Of Being Born, read about Hypnobirthing and the Bradley Method, and researched articles that discussed, at length, “natural birth.” An unmedicated birth seemed beautiful, ideal, and the "right way to go." However, and upon closer inspection, it’s not always the best option. In fact, there are more than a few reasons why people need to stop romanticizing “natural births," including but certainly not limited the need to be honest about childbirth in general.
Emphasizing the need for a natural birth can be problematic for many pregnant woman. While there certainly can be some benefits to avoiding interventions, like excessive monitoring and pain medication during labor, that doesn’t mean opting for said interventions is a terrible idea, or even harmful and unnecessary. Every pregnancy and every birth experience is different.
I wholly respect moms who want to try to a water birth or don’t want a hep-lock administered or want to be able to eat during labor. However, I also respect moms who decide that maybe an epidural is the way to go. Romanticizing one type of birth experience as special and beautiful and essentially "perfect," is in no way helpful to women who, like me, are terrified something in their pregnancy will go wrong and, as a result, just want to receive fact-based information that allows them to make the most informed decision. Here's why: