No absolute definition for 'medical intervention'
And there is no definition of 'normal' or 'natural' birth either.
You might have your own but it may not be shared by other mothers and fathers.
The truth about childbirth that many people want to avoid is this: in places without access to healthcare, any occurence during birth can be considered normal or natural. Our naive obsession with so-called 'natural' birth is based on many false assumptions.
What does natural childbirth really mean?
Around the globe many women give birth with no access to medical care, completely unassisted or perhaps assisted by a close family member whose only experience may have been giving birth herself. In these situations, a natural birth can mean anything and everything, including the death of the child or the mother.
Is that what we mean in developed countries when we say "natural birth"? Of course not.
Somehow we have concieved a world where a "natural" childbirth means not using medical interventions, birthing at home, or even birth with the assistance of a midwife rather than at a hospital with a doctor. We have taken 'natural' to mean good, organic, instinctual, and unadulterated. We have been led to believe that this type of birth is idyllic and brings the birthing mother closer to some primal state in which her birth can be a moment of ecstasy.
This is not reality, it is a fantasy.
In reality birth is not an instinctual process. It is not something women "just know how to do". It is an active process in which women and those who support them must involve themselves thoughly so that they can self-learn the skills needed to make birth positive.
- Is a childbirth intervention artificially rupturing membranes at a home birth? That happens more than you might think.
- Is taking castor oil to stimulate labor in an overdue pregnant mother an intervention? Doing so often causes the baby to also move it's bowels and meconium stained fluid comes out when the membranes rupture.
- Is leaving a woman alone to 'discover birth' an intervention? It sure is for birthing women who find positions that ease off contractions causing the labor to go on for hours more.
Childbirth interventions are not just the medical ones like induction of labor, epidurals or a Cesarean.
Natural birth exists in two forms:
- The only 'natural' thing about birth is that it comes after pregnancy. 100% of pregnant women will give birth one way or another. Birth will follow pregnancy. Without medical 'interventions' anything that happens to the birthing mother or baby is both 'natural' and 'normal' even if unpleasant. There is nothing unnatural or abnormal about any birth. Birth is birth.
- An intervention during birth is absolutely anything anyone does in a birth ... from rubbing a back, changing position, talking to the woman or medical ones we commonly think of such as epidurals etc.
Oh, you say that's silly. Actually, it isn't. There are many birthing women who have been distracted by a well meaning husband or other birth support person. At that moment her process was interfered with. We might as well change the terminology to 'childbirth interferences' rather than interventions, because sometimes a distraction at the wrong moment (even if it is a well meant distraction) can extend labor and cause complications rather than neutralize them.
Medical interventions do not need to trip your birth up
The Birthing Better with The Pink Kit Method® skills work with medical interventions which are assessments, monitoring and procedures. With childbirth skills, you, as the birthing mother can continue to work with your baby's efforts to be born. As a father-to-be, friend or relative who takes the role of birth coach, birth support or birth helper you can help the birthing woman work alongside the medical birth interventions even if the mother-to-be is pissed off, delighted, or just plain exhausted.
Birth skills are about what you do, not what happens to you.
Birthing better can occur in any birth whether natural or loaded to the gills with medical interventions.
When a father-to-be skillfully helps his birthing partner to stay on top of the naturally occurring pain of labor contractions, he is also intervening, and she is grateful he knows how. To learn childbirth skills is the best way to intervene positively in your own birth, and The Pink Kit can provide the resource you need to obtain these skills.
'Everyone who is into natural birth would say mine wasn't. Yup, it wasn't except I had a wonderful birth because I used my pink kit skills'.
Shirly Y ...
'We didn't think we would have any interventions, but when I lit the incense my wife insisted on in our Birth Plan, she totally freaked out with the smell. That sure was an intervention. It took hours to ventilate the house and she was cranky for most of that time'.
Jimmy C ...
Arm yourself with wonderful birth skills and birth coaching skills. Then you can look back on your birth positively, regardless of whether it was 'natural' or full of medical intervention, knowing you did what you could to make your birth the best it could be.