shutterstock_139560956I had two natural births. One was at a birthing center, and one was at home. You can call me crunchy, granola, hippie, or whatever you like, but it was what worked for me, and I had a pretty good time doing it. I don’t humble brag about natural birth, but I do talk about it with friends if it comes up in conversation.

I’m not a natural birth advocate per se, and it is totally a personal decision. That being said, it shouldn’t warrant any more criticism than having an unexpected C-section or a medicated birth.

I’ve had a few friends contact me because they were interested in natural childbirth once they got pregnant. I’m not an expert, but these friends wanted encouragement. Both of them told me point blank that they were having a difficult time because every single person that they talked to told them horror story after horror story.

Now what kind of sense does that make? Natural childbirth is just something that a woman chooses to do, and it’s not for everyone. But I still can’t figure out why people think it is their personal right to scare a pregnant woman considering natural birth, or even worse, to mock her and tell her it won’t work out.

Don’t be a dick. If I sign up to run a marathon and begin the training process, I highly doubt people would say, “Hey, did I ever tell you the story about my friend that signed up for the New York Marathon and got hit by a bus? Or what about my friend that ran the Boston Marathon and her leg randomly broke in half? It was horrific. Do you want to hear more about it?”

I told both of my friends that came to me for encouragement not to tell other people about their aspirations for natural birth. If you try to go natural, it may work out, and it may not. (In my case, it pretty much had to work out because I gave birth in a birthing center that did not offer medication.)

I also gave my friends the best advice I had to offer: Like the sports saying goes, it’s 90% mental. It’s probably best to face the facts that the majority of people are going to tell you a terrible story about childbirth when the topic comes up. Don’t let them get in your head. Keep your natural birth a secret and see how it goes. If your natural delivery goes well, you can have the last laugh and put the Debbie Downers in their place. If not, at least no one can say, “I told you so.”

(Image: PathDoc/Shutterstock)