Natural Birth

How do you deal with naysayers? (kind of long rant)

Lately I've been getting a lot of annoying as hell comments from women that I won't be able to handle labor without an epidural. Two of the women I know for a fact were induced and had wanted natural births, so I think they're just trying to make themselves feel better about calling for that epidural when the pitocin brought the contractions on too strong. My sister was able to go natural for both babies and her first was nearly 8lbs. I remember previously thinking she was a wuss for pain tolerance, too. So what do I say, without getting snotty? I'm having a hard time censoring myself lately, especially because I have a lot going on emotionally besides the pg hormones and I really don't appreciate these women constantly bombarding me with "Oh just you wait and see, you have no idea!" comments just to make themselves feel better. My SIL has brought up the epidural every time I've seen her since we announced it. I'm totally expecting her to start some "Let's beat up on the pregnant lady for having expectations for her first birth" conversation at my shower next weekend, too. I don't know how to deal and I'm seriously at my wit's end. I'm just hoping my stubbornness that my mom and DH have always hated will finally come in handy and when I'm at my weakest and most painful moment in labor I'll remember all those comments and be more determined to "show them." Lol!

So have you dealt with crap from people? How did you respond?

Re: How do you deal with naysayers? (kind of long rant)

  • Meh.   Just shrug your shoulders and move on.    I wouldn't worry about getting all heated about it and probably would avoid discussion.   

    Also, it doesn't matter how big the baby is and it's not about pain tolerance.   My smallest baby was my hardest labour (she was only 5lbs. 8oz - worst contractions).    For each labour, the pain was entirely different.....  Everyone likes to give their stories (see, I just did! lol) and some people think that epidurals are the be all end all of labour.....    Just don't say much about it and go about your business.    If you get all defensive about it, chances are the person you're talking to (especially if the person had an epidural) will get all defensive, as well.   It's seriously not worth the argument....

  • Believe me, once you do it, you just think, "Hahaha... let's see you tell me what I can't do now!"  lol

    Putting myself back into the mindframe of being pregnant with #1 (because now I would just say, "I've already done it once and part of that was on Pit"), I would have probably said something like, "Well, I've been preparing with my childbirth classes and doing exercises to get my mind and body ready.  I know what to expect and have gained a lot of useful techniques for natural pain management."

    If they keep going then bust out the, "I know everyone's experience is different so even though you couldn't handle it, I'm at peace with my decision kthxbai."

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  • I didn't say anything because I refused to get into discussions with folks about MY plans.  The only people I discussed my plans with were family and close friends- and if they couldn't accept my plans even after I presented them will all my research, then we just didn't talk about it.  It really isn't their business. 

    I know how hard it is- I had a homebirth and went past 42 weeks.  I KNOW how harsh folks can be.  All I can say is it isn't worth getting into it with them.  Really- it isn't. 

    I will say, however, that it was pretty fun telling those same folks about my successful homebirth after Lily arrived.  ;)

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  • I'm not discussing my plans for the birth with anyone but DH. After some other baby topics, I already know which family members can't keep their opinions to themselves to save their lives. And I've already been told all the horror birth stories they all had. I just let them go in one ear and out the other. I have no idea how this birth will go. I'm hoping my body will know what it's supposed to do and we'll go from there.
  • I haven't really encountered negative nellies yet, but when I do I plan to just smile and nod and stay confident in myself. There is no point in trying to convince them. If you are finding that these comments are creating doubt or are just wearing on you, I would just say straight up, that this is your decision and that you would appreciate if they kept their negativity to themselves.


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  • My response was to laugh it off and say something along the lines of "yeah, we'll see how it goes!"  Inside I was thinking "eff off.  I am NOT going to get an epi.  You'll see!!!" 
  • Ignore them. It used to upset me too but after a while it just made me stubborn about doing it naturally. And I did and I loved telling them about it afterwards :)

    I mostly used to just respond with "we'll see how it goes" meanwhile thinking "YOU'll see" :)

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  • When I first found out I was expecting, I got a lot of advice right away. The main thing other women told me was 'get an epidural as soon as you can, it's Heaven.' so for a long time, that's what I assumed I would do.

    Once I educated myself more and decided that wasn't the right choice for me, I decided to limit who I discussed my personal preferences with. I have not mentioned it to any of the women who gave me that 'valuable' advice in the beginning, because I know how they will react. I've avoided a lot of negative comments from people by being choosy who I share my plans with.

    Of those I have talked with, I've gotten only one response that stung a bit. A close friend, who I know was pro-epidural but I'd hoped would support me, gave me the eye-roll. I just changed the topic and moved on, no point in arguing. 

  • Just move on. I would probably just say "well I guess I will find out for myself in a few weeks" and that would be that. And then when you do have your awesome experience then they get the opportunity to bite their tongues.



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  • image CheriCO:
    My response was to laugh it off and say something along the lines of "yeah, we'll see how it goes!"  Inside I was thinking "eff off.  I am NOT going to get an epi.  You'll see!!!" 

    This was me.  Why get into an argument?  Use their negativity to your advantage.  When things got tough towards the end of my labor I seriously thought about all of the people who thought I couldn't do it, and my stubborness wouldn't let me quit.  I kept thinking, I'll show you!  It worked for me :) 

  • I have also noticed that people LOVE to tell you how you just don't know what you are in for and give you those little smirks (ugh!).

    I generally smile and just say, Maybe you're right, we'll see! That basically shuts them up.

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  • i think you should just stick your fingers in your ears and say, "la-la-la-la-la-la-la"  hopefully it will get the point across without being rude.  although it's funny to me that they find it perfectly ok to be rude to you. 

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  • I've found the response, "oh, how interesting that you're so intimately familiar with the pain tolerance of my vagina. I didn't realize we were close like that." pretty much shocks everyone into silence :D
  • This is what I would say:

    I would be happy to discuss my plans with you, but it is with the understanding that your opinion is not welcome. I appreciate any support, but if you don't have anything nice or encouraging to say, please keep your mouth shut. I would love to share what I have learned with you if you are open to the information.

    This is what I plan to say to people once the whole HB thing comes to surface.  It really sucks, I agree. But you have us!

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  • I would just say something like "I'm really hoping to get through without any drugs, but we'll see how it goes".  I think there is a mental element to natural childbirth that you either have or you don't.  You have it.  Then there is the physical element- does your body cooperate with you.  That is out of your control.  For those woment that come in wanting the epidural- that mental element is not even there.  I try to convince women they can do it without drugs so I am the opposite extreme of the people you are dealing with.  I hope those women take it for what it is- a point of view!
  • From the pp's, I like the 'we'll see how it goes' response.

    Unfortunately, one of the naysayers in my world is my own mother. Makes me sad that I can't share my plans with her now, but she's not open and just can't keep from asking questions like 'what will the MW do when you decide you want painkillers?'



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  • I went pain med free with a 10# er with induction, but I have been guilty of giving people the side eye if they act all nonchalet about going natural.  I went to a baby shower and the guest of honor and her mom were like, "I'm so tough, I don't feel pain, I'll be fine."  And I was thinking...sure, just wait...not that I think people need epi's...I believe everyone could probably do it without if they had to, but I think people need to be honest about the pain...or it will seem worse.

    I'm a wimp, but we PLANNED a HB so we always knew pain meds weren't an option, and no one even mentioned them at the hospital after we discussed our birth plan with the doc.

    I would respond with..."I know it will hurt alot, but we believe that a med=free birth is possible and best for our baby or our situation."

  • image duncanpowers:
    I've found the response, "oh, how interesting that you're so intimately familiar with the pain tolerance of my vagina. I didn't realize we were close like that." pretty much shocks everyone into silence :D
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  • we did hypnobabies classes and we learned about the concept of bubble of peace where you imagine you're surrounding yourself inside a metaphorical bubble and you only let positive message in and keep the negative messages out. it worked for me. most of our friends were supportive, we mostly got a lot of surprised reactions. and when i encountered negativity i just explained that i won't be in pain cuz we're using hypnosis and would explain a little bit more about hypnosis and how it's being currently used in medicine. i'm sure the naysayers are going through with their own issues. i just always try to keep in mind people have positive intentions behind each message. maybe they had negative birthing experience and they don't want you to go through what they did or just don't want to see you in any pain. we videotaped our birthing experienced and showed it to our close friends and family and they were amazed. i don't think they'll ever say an unmedicated birthing is impossible anymore. i pushed for just 12 minutes and everyone was shocked that i didn't make one noise. but i did cry my biggest cry after she came out and i got to hold her skin to skin!

    if you're thinking about doing natural birthing, i'd recommend preparing ahead of time by taking natural birthing classes or reading books. hope you have a wonderful birthing experience! it's an amazing feeling!


  • Oh I feel you.  When I told my mom I wanted to go natural she replied "oh don't let them talk you into that!".  She since came around and I did end up going naturally.  But really the only people you need on your side is the nurses/Dr/MW and your SO.  On the flip side, I think the sometimes the same people that naysay feel bad that they weren't able or willing to have a natural birth.
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