You know what's amazing about giving birth? The fact that we can. And we do. Every day. Birth is something women can do just like we can twiddle our thumbs. But imagine someone said you can't twiddle your thumbs anymore. Or that you were doing it wrong and you need help to twiddle. Even though you knew your thumbs were made for twiddling, you'd start to doubt your twiddling abilities.
Chances are you can twiddle your thumbs. And you can birth your baby. (Barring any complications which would result in a c-section, which, yes, is just another way to birth your baby.) But a new study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology has revealed that we spend "much more time" in labor now than 50 years ago makes me think this is because we are rushing to go into labor, which leads to medical intervention and therefore a longer labor.
Are we doubting our birthing abilities because of everything we read, see, and hear? And in this fast paced world, we have no patience. And patience is key in child birth. Key in being a parent, too. So we rush to the hospital before it's time and labor stalls because we're not really ready and then the synthetics get pumped in and everything takes longer because mama and baby aren't ready. We wait ... wait ... wait in a hospital gown unable to eat anything. Waiting at home would be a lot nicer, especially if you don't need all those drugs pumped in.
More epidurals and more pitocin and more medical intervention are factors some experts feel make labor take about two hours longer nowadays. Is this a bad thing? Medical intervention saved me and my twins and it helps moms who need a little something to get through labor.
Other experts weren't so sure. Dr. Christian M. Pettker, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale, shared that this longer pattern of labor isn't bad because "neonatal survival is extraordinarily better" today than it was 50 years ago.
On one hand I think we need to trust ourselves. Know that our due date is just a guess and not head to the hospital before it's really time, which could result in unnecessary induction, which could increase the chance of a c-section (and you probably don't want major surgery unless you really need it, right?). But when it comes to something as important as birth, with the scary thought of how to make the right decision, and with all the info we have out there, it makes sense that we are scared. Still, we need to trust birth. More trust and more faith in ourselves whether or not labor takes 10 hours or just 2. And the only way we are going to do that is with more awareness, more education so all pregnant women can be empowered. Because we can do this. It's one of the things women were born to do. So twiddle your thumbs, mama-to-be! Baby will come when baby is ready and you don't have to rush to the hospital only to be induced before it's really time.
Why do you think labor takes longer today than it did 50 years ago?
Image via MammaLoves/Flickr