Is natural childbirth down to luck?

This topic came up on one of the mumsnet.com forums recently, and I thought it worthy of a short discussion, feel free to add your comments at the end. 

I’m not a big believer in the concept of ‘luck’, things happen for a reason. Well I’m not going to have a philosophical debate about that now. But I am going to add, before I climb onto my soap box, that I’m not really qualified to make the best judgement on this topic because my experience is somewhat limited as I’ve only done the childbirth thing once (speak to the woman with ten kids for perhaps a more informed view). But I’m not going to let that stop me now. 

Babe an hour old

Yes to luck
There are some medical factors that you can’t foresee, particularly if its your first child. So you could call that luck. 

Kinda luck
Getting a good midwife. I was lucky enough to get one of the best midwives at the hospital, who was pro-natural birth. There is no doubt that without her, medical intervention would have been required. It was a close call though, she had nearly given up on me and was getting ready to ship me off to theatre. One last threaten at 4.30pm (a day after it all started) that if I didn’t get this baby out now, then the natural plans were gonna get thrown at the window. That was enough for me to pull out all the stops. 

No to luck
But surely a certain amount comes down to preparation? More the mental preparation if I’m honest. I went to natural birthing classes for about four months (not just to do yoga, meditate and enjoy the end of session massages and herbal tea n biscuits),  I also went to aqua natal classes (again not just to catch up and giggle with my new-found friends) – these helped me prepare a lot mentally. But all this was important from a physical side too, the fitness and learning all those natural birthing positions and breathing stuff. They also say physical fitness is very important for having a natural birth. I really do think this is true, if you have a very long labor (like me) you need a certain amount of ‘staying power’. In fact I think I might have been more fit when I was pregnant than I am now..lol. 

As you can tell I am pro-natural birth, yes it was hard work, painful and all the rest – but it was an amazing achievement at the end of it all. Yes, I admit it didn’t all go to plan, I didn’t get to actually give birth in the birthing pool, but I had a good try. But I came out the other end at 5.04pm on Monday 15th December 2008 with it all over. Able to get straight on with nursing my new-born baby…I like to forget about the hour of stitches that I had to endure after that. 

What’s your opinion, and how was this shaped by your childbirth experience/s?

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One thought on “Is natural childbirth down to luck?

  1. Sarah says:

    I have two children. Both born naturally. One with every drug going and one with two paracetemol. The difference was that my first child went back-to-back and my second was in the right position. This was not left to chance, having had one birth that nearly ended very badly, I saw a chiropractor and made sure my second was in right position. That made the labour 23hrs (yes that’s active) as opposed to the 50 hrs that left me exhausted and led to an epidural first time round. Epidurals often lead to c-sections but I too was fit (yoga, pilates, hypnobirthing) etc. However the whole experience made us both ill and I’m not sure I might have been better off with a c-section. My second labour was a joyous water birth & no stitches. I had a doula as I knew I would be in for another long labour. Yes I think you can prepare yourself & the vast majority of c-sections could be avoided.

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