We hear of so many mummies insisting on a “natural” birth. Most people define a “natural birth” as a vaginal delivery, without the aid of any kind of medication (think epidural).
So, why is there an obsession with natural birth? Here are some fears about epidural in Singapore…
Some mums fear that the pain-relief medication will cross the placenta and harm the baby. Others believe that not feeling pain would leave them vulnerable to having a last minute C-section.
Natural birth enthusiasts believe that opting for an epidural or pain relief is taking the easy way out.
Is it fair to judge mums just because they opted for pain relief? How does it make a mother’s birth experience any less natural?
Singapore singer Tay Kewei, who recently gave birth to a boy, reveals her experience. Read!
Epidural in Singapore: Tay Kewei’s take
PHOTO: INSTAGRAM / TAY KEWEI
New mum Tay Kewei recently shared her experience on Instagram.
She reveals that initially she was all in favour of natural birthing, “Having heard so much about labour pains, I was one of those new mums who decided I would TRY to see if I could tahan the pain before deciding if I would go for an epidural shot.”
“Part of me wanted to test my own limits and see if I could handle it – if all our mothers could do it, why couldn’t I?”
It even seemed like a matter of pride, “Although the politically correct advice is that every birth experience is personal and different, and we shouldn’t compare, but don’t you feel it seemed like a badge of honour if someone went through labour without any drugs?”
“So there I was, lying in the labour room and going through waves of contraction pains every 5 minutes.”
Every time the pain got bad, she was tempted to get the epidural. But hubby Alfred Sim helped, by massaging every time the contractions peaked.
This went on for about 3 hours, “He was super supportive and assured me that as long as I was ok, he was ok massaging me…But at the back of my mind I kept wondering – how long can we keep this up?”
She was shocked to know that, “After 3 hours my dilation was only 3cm, not even 1/3 of the journey, so I gave up. “
She decided to opt for the epidural.
A post shared by TAY KEWEI 郑可为 (@keweitay) on
| My epidural story 1/4 | ( 2,3,4 in comments) Having heard so much about labour pains, I was one of those new moms who decided I would TRY to see if I could tahan the pain before deciding if I would go for an epidural shot. I’m not a purist who insists on experiencing the most natural state of childbirth, but I didn’t think I would want to opt for epidural right from the beginning as well. Part of me wanted to test my own limits and see if I could handle it – if all our mothers could do it, why couldn’t I? Although the politically correct advice is that every birth experience is personal and different, and we shouldn’t compare, but don’t you feel it seemed like a badge of honour if someone went through labour without any drugs? So there I was, lying in the labour room and going through waves of contraction pains every 5 minutes. Each time it cascaded over me @zolalfredo came to the rescue with deep massages on my butt, which directly relieved the pain somewhat. Every time it happened it was “ok enough of this gimme the epidural!!” but when it subsided life was back to normal again and I couldn’t even remember how intense the pain was, and hey maybe I can tahan it after all. I didn’t like using the laughing gas (I could have used it wrongly as I was taking deep breaths and it made me feel groggy and retarded all my reactions) so it was just me and Alfred against the contractions, again and again. When i finally checked with him, it had been 3 hours. He was super supportive and assured me that as long as I was ok, he was ok massaging me. I thought ok we are gonna be an A-Team, we can do this! But at the back of my mind I kept wondering – how long can we keep this up? After 3 hours my dilation was only 3cm, not even 1/3 of the journey, so I gave up. ♀️
Epidural in Singapore: “I felt scared and unsure…”
She continues, “When I finally caved in to the epidural, I was advised to take short shallow breaths of the laughing gas for the process, and by the end of the shot I was pretty much delirious.”
Tay Kewei felt the pain drifting away…but was inexplicably overwhelmed by melancholy. Why did she feel like such a failure?
“As I lay there and felt the bottom half of my body (and the pain) disappear into a blanket of clouds, I was getting hooked up to a drip, a urine tube, and strapped in to so many machines that I just kept my eyes closed so tightly and felt tears stream down the sides of my cheeks.”
“I felt scared and unsure, like a lab rat in a science experiment and a chemical cocktail for birth.”
She remembers feeling depressed and guilty, “I was so disappointed in myself for not being able to let my body operate naturally, and guilty that I had to depend on all kinds of chemicals to birth my child.”
But before she knew it, she was asleep, “Then I drifted off into a vacuous empty space of unsettled sleep, right up till the baby was ready to birth…”
PHOTO: FACEBOOK / TAY KEWEI
Today, Tay Kewei feels that it was silly of her to feel so stressed out and upset then, “I want new mamas to know this – I wish I didn’t give myself this unconscious pressure to have a drug-free birth.”
“I wish I didn’t view an epidural shot as a failure to be a brave mother.”
“I tried my best, and everyone is indeed different. I guess it’s just one of those cliches – you’ll never know till you experience it yourself. So go forth and deliver – be brave! But not so much if you don’t want to – it’s gonna be perfectly okay ❤️”
We so agree with her!
Whether you have an epidural, a C-section, or a “natural” birth, every mother’s experience is special and unique. She is still welcoming life into this world.
It is unfair to judge or pressurise mums to give birth a certain way, and make her feel that her experience was inferior to those of other mums.
As long as both mummy and baby are fine, all is well. Nothing else really matters.
*This story is from our archives.
ALSO READ: 10 Pain relief methods for a drug-free labour!