Thursday, July 29, 2010

Green Birth

We all know what “being green” is. But have you thought about it in regards to birth? Chances are most haven’t. But we should.

This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I’m starting to regard myself more and more as “green” although I don’t care for the term. I prefer saying I’m being responsible with my environment, my home, and our bodies. I’m starting to be more conscience about not only what we eat, but about what goes on our bodies too.

Now, what does this have to do with birth? I’ll get to it.

When we’re pregnant (when I say “we” I mean as a society), we do all kinds of things to give our babies the best start we can. For instance, we may cut caffeine out of our diets, we eat more fruits and veggies, we don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol and refrain from taking most medications. Why? We don’t want to harm our babies, or hinder their growth or cause birth defects. And many studies have shown links between those substances, or foods that either help or hurt the baby.

I’ve heard many women say they are very careful about what medications they give their children, even what vaccines they do or don’t give them.

How many women go into a hospital to give birth and get pitocin and pain medications? Now how many women know the risks/benefits of these drugs? How many have thought twice about the fact that these things are drugs? How many assume that since Dr’s endorse them they are ok or that since “every body” uses them during labor/delivery that they are perfectly safe? I think many women blindly assume that since they are commonly used (to the degree many Dr’s/nurses don’t know what an unmedicated birth looks like) that there are no risks at all. I could go into a lot more detail but we’ll save that for another post.

So why do we just sign up for these drugs without a second thought about the effect they have on our babies. If we don’t even take an Advil while we’re prego then why would we give our baby a narcotic while it’s trying to be born? It’s not healthy for the baby. Why do we work so hard to have only good things go into our bodies while prego, but throw that out the window when in labor? I’ve heard of women asking their Dr’s/nurses the risks of pitocin and pain meds while in labor only to hear that there are none. This is a lie. If it’s not good for me to take an over the counter drug like Advil while prego, then why would it be ok to take a narcotic that is only administered by needle in the hospital, while prego? (By the way, I’m referring to non-emergency situations).

Being green is about taking responsibility with your actions, and I’m big on that. We need to be more responsible with regard to our births, realizing that some things do carry risks. We need to be educated, so we know what we are agreeing to when giving birth. Don’t ever let someone make decisions for you regarding your birth.

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