What does "Trust Your Body" and "The Body Knows" kinda language really mean?


I'm somewhat new here and only recently started getting more into reading discussions. I have seen the movie/documentary and I like the idea of a 'natural' birth but at this point I still have a regular 'ol OB and plan to keep him, knowing he may or may not deliver my baby himself. I also would be very happy if I can go without meds...hope I don't have need for a C-section, etc. Natural sounds GREAT...but I'm not married to the idea.

Anyway, it seems that whenever I read information and pro-natural birth stuff I read things like "trust your body" and "the body knows how to birth" and stuff like that. I am not clear on what that means. I agree that the body of a woman more or less is programmed to make birth happen and there are hormones, processes, etc that work together in harmony to get the job done. But in my gut...I don't "trust" my body. All bodies are NOT perfect. Things go wrong...people get cancer, diabetes, lupus, etc. The human body sometimes (often) has flaws and sometimes doesn't do things as planned. So how far do you all take this notion of "trusting the body" as if it can not go wrong? I, personally, can only trust so much and tend to think that experienced nurses and docs can't be SOO FAR out in left field as to be 'dangerous' for the average delivery.

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yeah, may I also add to myself, that labor was really really painful, but it wasn't the worst pain I could imagine. I could tolerate it, I could work with it, it wasn't even as unbearable as a bad migraine. It's so different. It's like, you get done and think, "God, I'm so glad I'm done...but I could totally do that again. Hey, it was almost fun!" At least, that's how I felt.
This is a very good disscusion and you've got a lot of great advice. I believe if you are not 100% sure about natural labor and you do give birth in a hospital you probably will have an epidural. Docs and nurses like to offer it to you and when your in that amount of pain, most likely you will take it. My mother had me at home with a midwife, so when I was pregant with my first I thought about having a natural labor, but I wasn't sure about it. I was also very young, just 18. WHen I went into labor it was more painful than I imigined. The docs gave me stadol in an IV and I ended up with an epidural. At that point my blood pressure dropped very low beacuse of the epidural. I almost had a c-cection, but I had a midwife and she encouraged me to push and I did have him vaginally, although I couldn't feel much to push. After that expierence I decided to have a natural birth with my second baby. I was determined and 100% sure I was going to do it. And I did, my labor was much more painful than my first. AT one point I just wanted to give up , but I was 10cm and knew that it would be over soon. I ended up pushing for 3 hours and he finally came out 8llb 11oz a very big boy. Some docs would have said he was too big to fit through my pelvis,but I did it and knew that my body was capable. I did have him in a hospital and I was pressured to have an IV and epidural but I stood my ground. And I did it! I have to say the expierence was enlightening. SO I guess, just go with your gut, if your not sure you trust your body then maybe you can do it with pain meds and maybe next time you'll try it diffrently. Having had two completley diffrent birth exeriences I have to say natural labor is amazingly painful and yet extremely rewarding at the same time. I'm pregnant again and plan to have another natural labor. In the end it is your choice, and natural labor does have a commitment to it and a surrendering to your body and the pain. Good luck!
The body is not made to be pregnant forever... that baby will come out and your body will push it out if you give it the time it needs.

Yes things can go wrong but these are seriously the minority, and will a good carer by your side most of these are mitigated anyway.
I don't know if anyone suggested this yet but there are some great books on this subject. Make sure you are completely educated on what choice you are making for yourself and your baby. I read all of these books while pregnant and so glad that I was able to understand exactly what choice I was making in having a homebirth. Read these: any book by Ina May Gaskins, Pushed, and Gentle Birth Choices. If you are completely educated than you can know in your heart that you made the right choice for you. Most women I tell about my homebirth didn't even know that it could be done and some of them wish that they had known there were options other than a medicated hospital birth. One friend told me yesterday that her next baby will definitely be born somewhere other than a hospital because she told the doctors and nurses thatnshe wanted no drugs and the while time she was in labor they told her how ridiculous she was being and that she would never be able to do it. So she ended up with an unwanted epidural. She didn't know that every person in the hospital would not support her and that's really the key to an unmedicated birth.
It is true that until you have been there, birth is still somewhat of an unknown. You may feel great the whole time and wonder why you were told it would be so difficult. You may have some issues come up that you did not expect. If you are interested in a natural birth then you can increase your chances of that occurring by talking openly with your OB. Tell him/her that you want to keep interventions at a minimum and that you would like to only receive medicines for pain if you ask for them. I agree with the suggestion to hire a doula.
I recently had my 3rd child in the hospital. I had a home birth 15 years ago, but opted for a hospital birth due to my age. I told my OB about my previous experiences and that i wanted a natural birth, but i did not ask him about HIS record. When i went into labor he told me at least 4 times that I should get an epidural. I was not allowed to walk around. When he came in the room and I was on my hands and needs (a very good postion for relieving back pain in labor) he was very rude an impatient to check my dilation. He was not comforting or helpful and the nurse was overworked and unavailable most of the time. In the end i had a shot of narcotics that was given very late and could have caused respiratiory problems for my son. Everything ended up ok but it was not the experience i thought it would be. I think you really have to push to have a natural experience with an ob. Find if your OB is really supportive or if he is just not saying anything. Ask about his induction and c section rate. I would ask the epi rate too.
Hi Adina! I don't think that Docs and Nurses are Dangerous. However I do feel that they are there in case of emergency and are just not that helpful. My doc checked in twice and then came in to "catch". That cost me $3500, just for that day! When I had my son with nurse midwives it was a completely different experience. They were with me every step of the way, actively helping me with natural pain control (which I do feel you need help with, you need that support). They made the whole experience amazing! It was such an incredible thing! With my second we lived in an area that only had Docs so I thought I could do it on my own, and just use the Doc for what she could do. It was not a good experience. Birth time was the same, I went natural but it was not the loving, enriching, incredible experience I had before. You can trust your body, that suprised me the first time around. That baby's coming out one way or the other. Your body knows what to do and it will do it with or without you! :) My midwives facilitated that process, whereas the doc fought it every step of the way ("get back in bed, lay down, don't move, etc") Things can go wrong, that's true, which is why I like the birth centers that are connected to a hospital or close by. Also, good prenatal care and a backup plan is important as it is in a hospital setting. I never understood why they don't have more birthing centers and doulas working in hospitals then we'd have the best of both worlds! Good luck! I also wrote about my experience here:
I think the best example of that is, you cut yourself while chopping up some veggies you don't tell your body to heal it just does it on it's own. I hope that helps...

GET A DOULA...... That will help you ALOT! it will make you feel more confident and help you relax and help reduce your worries. On top of that a doula will also help you understand your body through body language and this will help you understand how to trust your body to do what it's gunna do. Also I think what else would help you is if you haven't done so is to make a birth plan.

Not to lecture but I find that most women that have negative thoughts or don't feel comfortable with reading their body and letting it do what it is going to do tend to have C-sections or other interventions(pitocin, popping the water). If you feel negative feelings maybe it would help you to make yourself rethink that thought in a positive way. I have personally seen what can happen with any negative thoughts in a room with a woman that is laboring. I feel that labor has more then a physical aspect it also has a mental aspect and this can cause problems or make things go extremely fast. I hope this helped!
A preggo friend of mine and I are meeting with a doula tonight. She's not certified or whatever, but I figure someone who's done it naturally twice herself and has interest in this area would be more helpful than NOT. We'll see what she charges, etc. and if it is feasible.
I hope you get a lot of good answers from the doula. Good luck!
A doula is wonderful. And, they don't necessarily need to be certified or trained (I think if they have had previous natural births that were positive, it's a good start). It's worth your investment. There are been some good studies that have shown very positive outcomes with doula's.
What does it mean for others? Depends on the person. Some use these statements when talking about the complex biochemical and homeostatic mechanisms within our bodies. Others are referring to something perhaps intangible...a feeling, an instinct...

For me, it meant both. I knew my body was healthy; I did not have any signs of dysfunction or disease. Pregnancy and labour continued smoothly. I contracted, dilated and pushed the way my body was designed to do these processes.

But, it wasn't only about the stark scientific facts of life. As I was pregnant, and especially during labour, I felt something more. My mind was part of the labour, not just my body. I 'knew' certain things without being able to prove what I 'knew' with visual or palpitable evidence.

Before birthing, I wasn't much of an 'instinct' person. I'm factual by personality. Always interested in statistics, studies and logic. In RT or CBT I might be called a 'robot' personality. But after my birthing experience, I found a lot of courage in knowing and trusting something which cannot be explained or proven. I found a calm resolve that no one else could budge. If I had not followed that little feeling, that tiny voice, things would not have been good for me and my baby at all.

I hope you find this in your birth, too.

BTW, I hope you don't stop thinking because you believe doctors and nurses will think for you. I finished more science classes than the nurses are required to take at the local university while dual-enrolled in highschool. I'm sure there are plenty of good nurses out there...but good does not mean infallible. The same goes for doctors. In fact, chiropractors actually study for more hours in specific categories such as maternal health. But they are considered quacks. There's nothing wrong with knowing as much or more than your doctors or nurses and it might save you a lot of grief.
I don't think it's possible for me to know "as much or more than" my docs or nurses...I can know more about different things, about what I'm feeling, about other ideas perhaps they haven't explored. But not necessarily MORE about what they know. I don't think we can chalk up their experience as less than that of the woman giving birth...just different.



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