Natural Birth

Response to those who do not understand Natural Birth

I do not usually post very much, but I was looking for some suggestions. I am planning on a natural birth with a CPM, at an independent birthing center. I have done my research and read the books, etc. Personally, I have many reasons why I am choosing this. DH is wonderfully supportive of whatever I choose.

The problem is - My in-laws do not understand. My sister-in-law just had her baby (first grandbaby) this past July and she went completely conventional - epidural, episiotomy, on-call ob, big hospital, pitocin. The whole 9 yards. So, they are quite confused about my choice of birth and keep insinuating that it is highly unsafe.

My question is - short of writing a thesis over my choice, or having a heated debate, what could I answer them with when they ask these questions? They are even trying to get DH to admit that he thinks it is 'unsafe'. Once again, he fully supports me, but they still try. :/ 

Sorry this is so long, just looking for some ideas! Thank you! :) 

Pregnancy Ticker

Re: Response to those who do not understand Natural Birth

  • If you really think they're open to information, you could find a simple article that shows that what you're planning is probably the most safe option of all. And then when that probably doesn't work, you just have to pull out the "I'm the mother of this child, and I'm really doing what I fell is best" card. And then you change the subject.
  • Kindly let them know it's your decision and give them your reasons. After I watched the documentary "The Business of Being Born" I changed my tune! I initially wanted a hospital birth with an epidural. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.. there are a lot of facts and statistics that you will learn from it that you can share with those who doubt your decision. Also, if any of them live near you, have them come to one of your appointments with you where they can ask the midwife questions directly. My best friend just graduated from PA school and her last rotation was in OBGYN so she had her doubts/concerns. I let her come to an appointment with me, ask questions and get a tour of the birth center.. she is now on board! Hope that helps :)
    Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie First Birthday tickers
  • I really like this article from Consumer Reports for people who think the "conventional" stuff is so great -


    It's not all natural birth stuff necessarily, but is from a source they may be more likely to believe.  You can tell them the best way you think you can try to avoid these things is to go the route you've chosen.

    image image image
    DS, May 2011
    DD, April 2014

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • As someone who comes from the same place as your inlaws (but respect what the mother's choice is in the birth of her child) if you care what they think I would try to alleviate their concerns. 

     I have seen BOBB (and maybe you could have them watch it).  I think my biggest concern would be, and maybe for your inlaws as well, is what happens if something goes wrong (baby gets stuck, isn't breathing, etc.).  For me, I will always have a hopsital birth because every second that child isn't getting the life helping care that he/she will need may impact their quality of life.  This includes the time to call an ambulance, the time to get the ER etc.  This is my biggest concern about home births.

     Once again the information only applies if you care what the ILs think, but if you do then: 1. tell them you why you want a home birth (more choice, more control, better following of birth plan, more natural, etc.).  2.  Tell them your game plan in case the unexpected happens.  3.  Answer questions that they are going to have but limit it (I will answer questions, but at this point I'm unwillingly to listen to any negative support about my decision).

     Good luck!

    BabyFetus Ticker
  • My Mil interjects comments here and there all the time that let us know she finds HBs unsafe. Her go-to comment is how wonderful her birth was with my Dh bc she delivered with a CNM but had all the medical technologies available if needed. She seems to forget that she also was delivering a preemie (32w) which made her a poor candidate for an OOH birth anyway! Oye.

    I agree with PPs to bring them to an apt with you or at least give them the opportunity to ask questions about things they deem unsafe. Once my ILs recognized that we have a game plan for emergencies, red flags, and that my MWs actually can administer meds that an OB can, they backed off. If they don't, you and your Dh need to le them know that it is no longer up for discussion. Harsh, but you need to be surrounded by positive people, not ones that are constantly harassing you. GL mama

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    It takes a special amount of bitch to induce menstruation in another person. - LovelyRitaMeterMaid

    Rap Roller
  • I've got that response a lot and so has my DH. Everyone tells him that he's crazy for "letting" me go with a birth center. 

    For starters, tell them that you've done research and this is what you feel is best for you personally. That you wouldn't choose to go with this path if you thought it would bring harm to your LO.

    One of the best things that helped me with answering questions, is the movie The Business of Being Born. I watched it with my Mom and she is fully on board with this now. So maybe try that? 

    BabyFetus Ticker image Anniversary FuzziBunz at Nurtured Family
  • Tell them to can it!!!! My ridiculous IL's told DH that baby and me were going to die in our homebirth and it would be his fault! I really lit a fire after I heard about that one. I don't tend to put up with their crap in general and I sure didn't care what they had to say about my birth either.

     FIL and DH work together so he was always in DH's ear about how unsafe it was to the point where DH was questioning it. I told DH that he needs to tell them to stop talking to him about it. We have made our decision and it doesn't matter whether they like it or not.

    Married to the love of my life 8/14/09
    Our sweet little Easton was born at home 3/15/12
    Suprise BFP! 09/20/12 natural m/c 10/09/12
    Baby Heidi was born at home (picture perfect homebirth!) 7/28/13

  • image pdilly2b:

    I really like this article from Consumer Reports for people who think the "conventional" stuff is so great -

    That is really neat that Consumer Reports has this out there. Thanks for sharing!

    Married to the love of my life 8/14/09
    Our sweet little Easton was born at home 3/15/12
    Suprise BFP! 09/20/12 natural m/c 10/09/12
    Baby Heidi was born at home (picture perfect homebirth!) 7/28/13

  • image allierhiana1:
    I had a lot of the same issues with friends and family.  We simply said, "This is something we've discussed as a couple and think is the best option for us.  Its a very personal decision".  And leave it at that.  Its really not worth the debate. 

    I think this is a good option. Keep it short and simple. It's not a matter of proving you're right and they're wrong. Your choice isn't any better or more right than the birth your SIL had, it's just better and more right for you.

    I have seen the Business of Being Born and I found it terribly biased and full of scare tactics. I have had two hospital births that were amazing, one with an epidural and one med-free. My doctors and nurses were also amazing and I will do the same with this baby.

    The above quote sums up everything you need to say.

    EDIT Depending on their experiences and views they may not change their minds no matter what you say but especially if you put their choices and experiences down. That's why it's probably best to just let them know their choies worked for them and that's great, you and your husband have decided what works for you. Then, just don't talk about it as much as possible.

  • Just a lurker here....

     All the PP are much nicer then me. When family memebers asked and I told them I was going natural (in a hospital, twins) everyone just nodded and said wait and see. Someone eventually pissed me off enough that I responded with a "Im trying for that medal everyone keeps talking about!" I'm sure they thought I was nuts but DH thought it was funny and now jokes about that too.

     Your baby your buisness. Good luck to ya!

    Pregnancy Ticker
  • Just simply say "You had the birth experience you wanted, I will be having the birth experience I want.  Please respect our decisions."

     No need to try to change their minds or have them on your side.  

  • I like the short and sweet answers above from several folks. If they are willing to do reading and you are willing to educate, I like this link that my MW has:


  • I get so tired of people telling me how I'm going to change my mind blah blah.

    Right now I'm so against anything that I think will profit the pharmaceutical industry that I can't even imagine paying to have someone inject something into my spinal cord. Are you freaking kidding me? You want me to unnecessarily stick a needle and put foreign matter into my SPINAL cord? Do people not realize that people die from spinal cord injuries? No thanks. I just don't feel like that's anything to be messing around with just to be able to do something with my body that women have been doing for a long time without being injected.

  • image MadameFancyPants:

    Just simply say "You had the birth experience you wanted, I will be having the birth experience I want.  Please respect our decisions."

     No need to try to change their minds or have them on your side.  

    This. I'm not sure engaging or educating them is going to do anything except have them dig their heels in and frustrate you.personally, no one besides dh really knew what the plan was going in, it wasn't any of their business. If they weren't there to be a support person, then I considered it none of their business.

    Family and friends eventually stopped bugging me, probably because they knew I'd tune them out. Aquaintances and strangers still tried to put two cents in, but they usually got a canned response or, oh, that's nice, or, hm, interesting, I'll keep that in mind. People get nuts if they feel you're against their view and take it as a personal attack.

    Logan 4.97~ Teagan 2.02 ~ Eirian 3.06 ~ Keira 2.08 ~ Seren 10.10
  • Another vote for don't engage them.  You'll likely exhaust yourself before they ever change their minds.  If they push, just explain that you and your DH have done your research and made the best choice for you and your baby.  If they talk about your SIL's "safe" birth choice, you can just highlight that they made the best choice for them but that their choice doesn't have to be your choice.   You respect all women's rights to birth how they choose and they need to respect that you and your DH chose a different path.  End of discussion.  
  • Thank you for all the advice! I love all of the differing opinions. I believe we have decided to not engage, as we are fairly private people. We will come up with a polite, but firm answer and leave it at that.


    Thanks again! I love how supportive everyone on this board is! :) 

    Pregnancy Ticker
  • For our first (and now, for our second despite the fact we've switched coasts) we found a CNW practice that operates out of a hospital. We were really happy with the experience during our first pregnancy - I had the MW care I desperately wanted, but DH still felt safer being in the hospital with the back up that provided. In my book, it wasn't worth the argument about hospital vs birthing center so long as I was guaranteed a MW birth. I knew that even if I "won" the argument, DH would still be nervous, and that would still cause some tension even if we were resolved.

    That said, I had a friend (and her father, a retired OB) that were big on OB care, and even circumcision for my son, and I just told them that I was happy with my care, that the MWs were capable, and at any point in my pregnancy WOULD refer me to an OB if there were complications. If it helps, there are MANY other countries where the rule is MW care, and you're only referred to an OB if you have a complicated case.  

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  • Make them watch The Business of Being Born.  That shut my friends up real quick.
    BabyFetus Ticker
  • They addressed this issue in BOBB actually.  Those doulas were certified to take care of everything.  OP,  Its so hard not to get into a heated debate about this because the actuallity of this is a lot of things doctors do is way more hazardous than birthing the way women were meant to and have dont since the dawn of time.  I think the best thing to say would be that you know it is whats best for you and your baby.  I would also assure them that your decision is a very well informed one and if they care to learn more I would gladly fill them in.  Sometimes its also necessary to just laugh it off to.  I did a lot of that, also a lot of beaming when the people who challenged me found out about my amazing natural birth experience.

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