Definition of Natural and Natural Childbirth — The Bump
January 2016 Moms

Definition of Natural and Natural Childbirth

The word natural and the phrase natural childbirth have specific meanings linguistically and based on cultural usage.  Natural is defined as ‘existing in nature and not made or caused by people’ or ‘not having any extra substances or chemicals added : not containing anything artificial’.  Natural Childbirth is defined as ‘a method of giving birth to a baby in which the mother chooses not to use drugs to reduce pain or to make the birth happen more quickly’ (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Neither of these definitions is inherently positive or negative, this is simply what the words mean.  I am getting really tired of reading the defensive language of women choosing or requiring a birth that does not fit this definition regarding women who have made a different choice. 

Two main issues seem to come up over and over again.  The first thing that the person decides themselves that the word ‘natural’ means good (which is doesn’t) and so they want to be allowed to use that word too, even when their circumstances clearly don’t warrant it. 

The second issue is that (often in the same breath) women make derogatory comments about those choosing to have a birth which does fit the definition of the word natural, by saying things like ‘if you aren’t having your baby in a cave on a bed of leaves, yours isn’t natural either’. 

You can’t have it both ways, you can’t decide the word means something good and use it in a case where it doesn’t fit, and at the same time make fun of women who are having a birth that fits that definition as being either not natural enough, or old fashioned and primitive.

Can we all just agree that we will get out babies out in the way that works the best and is safest for us, and let everyone else do the same?  Do we have to pick fights over word definitions so that we feel better about our own decisions?  If you truly believe that natural is better, strive to have that in your birth.  If you truly believe that whatever intervention you choose is best, then strive for that, but don’t expect the world to change the definition of the word to accommodate you.

MommyduclosDianaL92somewhereinafricacatgrazsamara267mamakculbbella2210Knottie1433440300MamaHollandmg137yankeeinthesouthholoceneSisterSunshinePhoebescatlemastedMrsB915N1col3GinnyBarrettejeanbug12tfrangulEC2016Lindsaym5!lwebleymaddisonwallacebabybluuekscopp
«1

Re: Definition of Natural and Natural Childbirth

  • Loading the player...
  • Yes, never knew so many women are offended by the term 'natural birth'
    It is what it is by definition.
  • I'm most likely opting for the unnatural version myself. I think a small handful of people (certainly not a majority) of those opting for natural tend to portray that as making them better than those going the unnatural route - and that is where the offensiveness comes from. And honestly who cares if someone that is getting meds wants to call their birth natural? Since I'm not the doctor / midwife where the incorrect use of medical terms could cause a problem, it's really none of my business how someone wants to describe their birth. Just my personal opinion....
  • There is absolutely nothing self-rightious about using correct medical terminology for medical events, so no, I would not be uncomfortable using the term 'spontaneous abortion' to describe a miscarriage if I knew it would be understood in the context I was using it.

    Also, the word natural is used to describe the birth event, never the baby!  Absolutely no one I have ever heard of has called a child born from a medicated delivery or c-section an unnatural or artificial baby, so can we quit using that as the reason we are offended by the term natural birth?

    The rationale behind the whole offensive issue still confuses me.  People offended by it seem to be saying they think it is better than the alternative, which is their own judgement call and not part of the meaning of the word at all.  If you think that natural is better, then why have you decided not to go down that route?  What comes across to me is that, after deciding natural is something you want, you decide not to do it, then want the definition of the word to change so you feel better about your choice or circumstance.  Natural does NOT mean better, good, more appropriate, safer or anything else, the word is not judging you!

    If you have truly had someone tell you, after having a medicated delivery that you should feel bad about yourself, that person is an asshole and I'm sorry that happened to you.  It wasn't the words fault, it was that person, and I guarantee if that same person used the words 'medication free' in the same way they would be just as much of an asshole.
    usernametaken1MommyduclosMrsB915
  • Can everyone just stop being over sensitive and offended by everything? Call whatever birth method you chose whatever you want.

    And I say everyone in a general sense.

    Slow clap.

    nickicb7bishoplmb
  • Does it really appear on your medical records as "natural childbirth"? It's an honest question. This will be my first full term pregnancy.
  • So, if your argument is that it's a medical or official term, you must all be referring to your child as "the fetus" as opposed to "the baby" because well, it is the medical and correct term until birth.
  • enkbenkb member
    edited October 2015
    @jessfragione, I'm not entirely sure, but its a good question. I suspect it does to clarify for potential future deliveries @AlabamaWorley, not really sure what that has to do with this topic. I was never arguing that medical terminology was the only thing anyone was allowed to use and had to be used in every situation. Everyone is free to use whatever words they want and to change what they call things based on the situation they are in. Being offended by someone using a correct term is what I have an issue with, especially when it is done in a way to make the person using the correct term into some kind of monster. I would hope no one would be offended by me calling my kid a fetus until they come out, even if that wasn't what they wanted to call theirs.
    MommyduclosMrsB915
  • @AlabamaWorley

    So, if your argument is that it's a medical or official term, you must all be referring to your child as "the fetus" as opposed to "the baby" because well, it is the medical and correct term until birth.


    She's also arguing it's the colloquial term, so analogously, "baby" would be fine also.
  • I guess what I don't understand is why it's certain people's hill to die on when it's known to be offensive to some.
    I'll take my unnatural, surgical birth with a baby that comes out alive, and you can keep your self righteousness.
    GinnyBarrette
  • Who, exactly, is being self righteous?

    I feel like you're projecting. Chill out.

    Implied versus inferred? No? See above.
    jordans_wifeSummerFall03HinataUzumaki913babybluu
  • I interpreted the nature of the thread to be self-righteous. The entire basis was to reiterate that "natural" birth is the most correct term. Maybe I learned the incorrect definition of self-righteous.
    AlabamaWorleynickicb7
  • I guess what I don't understand is why it's certain people's hill to die on when it's known to be offensive to some.
    I'll take my unnatural, surgical birth with a baby that comes out alive, and you can keep your self righteousness.

    Lol! It seems like you're the self righteous one with a hang up about what it's called.
    How is it self righteous to point out that it's offensive to some? Would you say the same to someone who took offense to something you said?
    Krisdee123
  • I interpreted the nature of the thread to be self-righteous. The entire basis was to reiterate that "natural" birth is the most correct term. Maybe I learned the incorrect definition of self-righteous.

    Totally drama seeking, bravo OP.
    image
    Krisdee123
  • I was really not setting out to intentionally cause drama and offense. I have read 'corrections' of many people using the term 'natural' for months now, with condescending and derogetory comments about their decisions regarding their own birth, when the original posters obviously were not being offensive in any way.  I was simply sick of it being ok to attack natural birth without any standing up for the other side.

     I was clarifying the correct use of the word in the hopes to help people better understand why some choose to use it, and why when I use it, it is not meant as a derogatory in any way. I will certainly admit part of my motivation is frustration at reading many comments about how my choice for birthing is somehow wrong and offensive to others, but I have never and will never attack anyone for doing what is best for them and their babies.
  • Outdated medical terms: "Mongoloid" or "Retard". Would you use either of these words today?
    JandJ62914Vamason89jessielynn1
  • edited October 2015
    Outdated medical terms: "Mongoloid" or "Retard". Would you use either of these words today?
    **Removed for TOU violation**
  • Krisdee123Krisdee123 member
    edited October 2015
    Outdated medical terms: "Mongoloid" or "Retard". Would you use either of these words today?
    **Removed for TOU violation**
    QFP
    apinkpelican
  • JandJ62914JandJ62914 member
    edited October 2015
    Outdated medical terms: "Mongoloid" or "Retard". Would you use either of these words today?
    **Removed for TOU violation**
    Really not cool.
    Monilee1017Blueyedsky
  • I interpreted the nature of the thread to be self-righteous. The entire basis was to reiterate that "natural" birth is the most correct term. Maybe I learned the incorrect definition of self-righteous.

    Totally! First thing I thought when I read the OP. Also the language being used generally by some of the Pp's. Even as a well educated person I find some of the language used on this board to be condescending and self righteous in itself. The forum is a collective of women from all over the world, different backgrounds and cultures. Yet when we get into these arguments it seems to become a snooty who can outsmart who, by writing the most intellectual and clever response. Just be real people!

    The fact is people don't like the terms natural child birth. Why do we need a thread to berate those peoples feelings? That's a whole topic of conversation now? I don't like that some people don't like this term I want to use, so I'm going to start a thread to pick on those people... The people who don't like it don't have to use it, they are free to use whatever term they choose, as are the people who use the term natural. And the world will keep spinning. Let it go.
    STM - EDD June 24 '18
    DD - January 2016
  • No, I've seen it all over these boards too.

    Mention of "natural" birth invites ridicule. It's ridiculous.

    I'm sorry if you were unhappy with your birth experience. As you said it's the outcome that matters, right? So why don't you focus on that instead of making up something in your head about how people are shaming you by simply uttering the word "natural." And I'm not talking to everybody here, who might just have a different opinion than me. You know who this is directed at, those getting all puffed up at the word "natural" like its usage is somehow an implicit condemnation of any other circumstance or choice.

    People I speak to still use the words "natural" and "childbirth" together in a non-judgemental way to indicate nonmedicated, how did pp put it, NSVD.
    It's not ignorance, it's not self righteousness.

    I had a "natural" birth, not to be superior, but because I was really afraid of having a c-section!
    It wasn't superiority, it was fear.

    Language evolves, so if it's as offensive as you say it is, take solace in that idea.

    This argument is like, as Kierkegaard put it, trying to help a drunk peasant in to his horse; you help him up one side and he falls off the other.

    Now I'm going to go make a "lamptern" for Halloween with my three year old. Out.
    EC2016babybluuHoneyb416
  • edited October 2015
    Outdated medical terms: "Mongoloid" or "Retard". Would you use either of these words today?
    **Removed for TOU violation**
    Really not cool.
    I agree. THAT is offensive. "Natural" is not even in the same boat.
  • AlabamaWorleyAlabamaWorley member
    edited October 2015
    Outdated medical terms: "Mongoloid" or "Retard". Would you use either of these words today?
    **Removed for TOU violation**
    image Wow.
    Monilee1017
  • maureenmcemaureenmce member
    edited October 2015
    As far as the OP's motivations and why she posted this, to clarify, I don't think anyone has ever attacked "natural" birth itself here, or shamed anyone for doing it or attempting it, they merely (with varying degrees of tact) are objecting to the term itself and advocating for it to be changed to something they find more accurate and specific.  I think it's great to have a healthy, evolving discussion about birth, its methods and its terminology, because it's something that so many women go through and it's something that is constantly changing with each generation.

    But overall, I think nearly all of the women here want to follow their own birth plan and their own best idea of what's right for them and totally respect the freedom of others to do the same.  I have absolutely no judgment about anyone's birth plans or choices. There can be healthy disagreements about terminology without that changing, hopefully. :)
    ChrissyD1203EmmyMommy123Mommyduclos
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards