Sunday, July 31, 2011

In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children? (Genesis: 111,16)

This is how Dr Han Dong-up, who works at a Christian hospital in Korea, has described the bonding benefits of vaginal birth, in an article criticizing the high rate (36.8%) of Korean women choosing c-section births:

"We persuade the mothers to endure the pain and see the baby in a more natural state."

"The more painful the whole experience was, the more attached you would feel to the child," he said.

This point of view has been around for centuries, and as anyone who knows their birth history, pain relief in labor (from chloroform through to modern epidurals) has been frowned upon by many health professionals for being "unnecessary".

Perhaps it's only natural that the criticism would extend to prophylactic cesareans too.

The article continues:

"There are several options mothers-to-be can take in giving birth in a natural way: water birth, swing birth and family birth.

Water birth was once favored by many women because the pain was lessened inside the water.

However, it takes longer because the muscles are much looser. Also, the possibility of contamination from excrement during birth now sees many doctors to not recommend it.

The swing birth has similar effect in lessening the pain but it also takes longer time and the possibility of injury in the vulva."

Family birth
And so family birth that is now the most "preferred method" for labor and birth.

"It raises intimacy between the couple and stronger family ties after birth,"Dr Han said, and 'the practice is common in many other countries.'

I actually think that the process of labor and birth can indeed be a very strong bonding experience for families, and so I am certainly not going to disagree with the doctor on this point.

But sometimes, natural birth advocates seek to warn women that a cesarean birth experience lacks the ingredients necessary for family bonding, and this is certainly not true.

[Photo copyright mimsyweretheborogroves blog]

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