Women choose spontaneous vaginal deliveries or what most refer to as “natural birth” for a variety of reasons. None of which include, because they love pain.
“Birth bonding” according to Dr. Sears, is the first of the 7 “B’s” of attachment parenting.
Bonding with your baby prenatally and throughout your labor, and then literally feeling your baby pass through your body is quite an incredible way to stay present and connected.
According to Dr. Sears, avoiding analgesia during labor is best as the medications used to relieve pain also impact the baby. Sears suggests that using these medications make bonding more difficult for the mother and baby.
I’ll have to disagree with the dude because of my own personal experience. While totally unplanned, medication did play a role in my first birth. After many hours of augmented labor, I was offered Stadol and accepted it. It put me right to sleep and eliminated a huge amount of the pain I was in. I felt groggy and a bit loopy for a while as the medication was wearing off.
Once the Stadol wore off, the pain had increased, as I was unknowingly much closer to delivery than I had been before it.
That’s when I asked for an epidural. The epidural was placed and I was able to gather my thoughts. I was able to regroup, refocus and come back to the exciting truth that I was birthing my baby! The baby that I desperately wanted and that I had bonded with long before my water broke and my labor began.
What I want you to know is that while I do believe that the actual birth experience can enhance bonding and that natural birth can be a strong contributor to it, the bond between a determined mother and her child can be an unbreakable one with meds or without.
Birth is not bigger than us, it is us.
However, when labor becomes suffering, we become grateful for supportive medical interventions. You see, suffering and bonding don’t really go so well together. Labor and birth is not intended to cause suffering and in many cases, it doesn’t. Pain and suffering are not the same. We can birth in pain and we do, but suffering, that’s some next level shit…
My suggestion is to know what you want your birth to look like, and keep an open mind at the same time.
The goal is to have the birth that feels best for you and that leaves you feeling the most satisfied and we can help.