Mamas on Bedrest: What is Normal Birth?

April 24th, 2013

What is a “normal birth”?  The definition of a normal birth varies.  Using the broadest of definitions, “Normal Birth” is defined as the spontaneous initiation of the birth process, i.e. uterine contractions and cervical dilation and effacement occurring between 39 and 42 weeks of gestation. That is the broad, baseline definition. But this has varied over time. If you ask someone who delivered back in the 1920’s, they defined a “normal birth” as a home birth with a local midwife. If you ask someone in the mid to late 1950’s, a normal birth is a hospital birth, likely in a ward and with lots of medications and monitoring and a mama who may or may not have been conscious during the process. And today, the definition has become even more broad and varied. What is comes down to is this; “normal birth” is relative. What was normal in the 60’s when I was born is not at all how “normal birth” is defined today.

What about complications? How do they play and if they arise, do they negate a birth from being “normal”. This is the central question addressed in this video blog. Mamas,  if complications arise during labor and delivery, that doesn’t mean that the birth isn’t “normal” and more pointedly, it doesn’t mean that you, mama are a failure.

2 responses to “Mamas on Bedrest: What is Normal Birth?”

  1. Beautiful blog! As a mom of four children who experienced everything from a C-Section to induction to a completely natural birth with number four, I am sorry that women might feel inadequate in the birth process. All births are as different and varied as the children that result in the process;)

  2. Darline says:

    Sally,
    I bow to your expertise on this! 4 pregnancies and births-WOW! But you are so right. Could you even begin to compare your births? Are you any less of a mom to any of these kids?? Do you feel more connected to one or the other because of the way that you gave birth to them? Of course not! How they came into this world is not the issue. The real gem is that you took loving care of yourself while you carried them, and then got them here the best way that you could at the time. Well done, Mama and thanks so much for your input and wisdom!!

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