Monday, November 07, 2005

Why do women think their bodies are somehow not functioning right???

Somehow not made for birthing? Or breastfeeding? A friend of mine had a baby earlier this year. She started dilating at around 36 weeks, and then stayed at 3-4 cm without progress for a couple of weeks. So somehow, she felt that her body must not know how to go into labor, and ended up being induced. Not past her due date, no, a week BEFORE her due date. Whatever happened to waiting for the baby to be ready? Newsflash: Just because a woman's cervix starts to dilate does NOT mean her baby is ready to be born. It's normal for some women to walk around dilated 3 cm or even more for several weeks before actually going into labor. That does not mean their bodies somehow don't function right. It simply means the baby may not be quite ready. Just think about it. Some women start to dilate very early, like 30 weeks. Does that mean their babies are ready to be born then? No, of course not. Most likely, the women will be put on bedrest for a few weeks. But all of a sudden, if a woman is 36 or 37 weeks, and has started dilating, the need to "do something" arises. Why??? Because the woman is tired of being pregnant? Because the dr is out of town? Because there are other things going on that would make birth more convenient at a scheduled time? Because, hey, 37 weeks is considered full term, so of course the baby's ready and obviously the body is just not doing what it's supposed to? I really don't get it. Do women research all the risks associated with induction before agreeing to it? Or do they just trust that their doctor knows best, and wouldn't ever do anything to harm them or their baby? Do women realize that induced labor is harder on not only them, but the baby? Sure, mom can get an epidural, but what about the baby? Do women know that the incidence of fetal distress is higher in induced labors than in natural labors? That c/s rates for fetal distress rise? That the risk of uterine rupture rises? That the risk for post partum hemorrhage rises? What is it with our need to schedule things? Are babies "things" that should be scheduled? I think not. I tend to think that in the majority of cases, babies know when they should be born, and women's bodies know how to birth. Yes, there are times where medical intervention is helpful and necessary, but should it be used routinely just because? I think not...

On another "scheduling" note, what is it with putting babies on schedules? Feeding schedules, especially for breastfed babies? When Kaylee was just 3 weeks old, the dr asked how breastfeeding was going. I told him that she feeds anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 hours. Promptly, he tells me that she shouldn't be nursing more than every 2 hours. WTH??? BS, I say. When my baby is hungry, I nurse her. When my baby is tired, I nurse her. When my baby needs comfort, I nurse her. I'm the mom, that's what I'm there for. What exactly does 2 or 3 hours mean to a baby? Jack diddly squad. "Sorry sweetie, it hasn't been 2 hours, it's not time for nursies yet." Huh? I don't get it. Worse yet, women are told that they're not making enough milk if their baby is nursing more often than every 2 or 3 hours. Even more BS, and worse, too. They are then told that they need to start supplementing with formula. Do doctors not realize that bf'ing works on a demand/supply basis? The more the baby nurses, the more milk mommy makes. Likewise, if a bottle is introduced, baby will suckle less, and mommy will produce less milk. So there, again, somehow her body is broken? I think not. Very very rarely does a woman have a medical condition that truly does limit her supply (or sometimes on medication that reduces milk supply). I say forget about the clock. Nurse the baby when (s)he's hungry, tired, cranky, whatever. The more you nurse, the more you make. In my own case, Tyler only nursed every 3 hours. But Bryan and Kaylee nursed much more frequently during the first 4-5 months. Rarely did they go more than 2.5 hours between feedings. The norm for them was 1.5 to 2 hours. So what's with the idea of feeding schedules for babies? My question is, do adults all eat on the same schedule? "Sorry, it's only been 1.5 hours since you had breakfast, no snack for you!" Duh. Some people eat more, some less. Some eat frequently throughout the day, some have bigger meals less often. So why shouldn't babies do the same? No, really, it's generally not a supply issue, it's messing with a natural process and introducing bottles, and sometimes even just pacifiers too early, that interferes with breastfeeding...

1 comment:

Leia said...

You go girl!!!!!! I LOVE everything you wrote! You should be a doula! You sure are a great cheerleader for anyone who is passionate about childbirth and childcare though! :)