"You Don't Get Any Gold Stars for Having a Natural Birth"

"You don't get any gold stars for having a natural birth."

I will not justify the above idiotic quote with any more media attention for the moronic health care provider who stated it (or something similar), but I do have a few responses.  Feel free to use them if somebody dares insinuate that you desire natural births for your children because of something as silly as social approval or attention from others.


~No, but my baby got one, because he was born without being pumped full of drugs.

~Believe it or not, I actually chose a natural birth because it is healthier for mom and baby, not for a sticker that I wanted.  I did not have the birth of my child confused with a first grade spelling test.

~Do you get gold stars for your heavily medicated, date chosen induction, fear based, birth decisions?  I didn't think so. 

~I don't vaccinate either, do you think I am doing that because I want my body to look like Jenny McCarthy's?

~I will not respond to that with violence or hatred, because despite how ignorant and dismissive it sounds,  I am trying to raise my "gold star baby" to be loving and turn the other cheek.

~No, I received no gold stars, but I did have a fabulous, empowering, climactic birth experience and a happy alert baby, unlike so many women out there who choose to listen to care providers who tell them that their bodies don't work right.

~I didn't give birth naturally for a gold star, I was actually hoping Riki Lake would be my friend...

~I chose natural birth because it is so obviously the way birth is meant to be.

~Actually, I just believe in a woman's incredible ability to grow, birth, and feed her babies without the help of man, machines, or sharp objects. 

~Why do you find it offensive that I had a natural birth? 

~I chose natural birth because I was more afraid of the horror stories I heard about MEDICATED birth than I was about the supposed PAIN of natural birth.

~I teach natural childbirth classes.  I think you would be a great candidate for them....Call me next time you are pregnant.  You too can have a gold star!


Guggie Daly said…
You don't get a medal for a marathon if they find out you took drugs. So I think they have it backwards, eh?

I've always found it interesting that our body-obsessed, sports-obsessed (primarily male-directed) society condemns drugs for performance in everything but childbirth.

Sounds to me like they are saying women are helpless losers who can't be expected to complete a NORMAL process without getting shot up with everything.
Veronica said…
*Like! =D
I'm preparing to have this baby (#3) without drugs & interference. My first 2 were epidural babies; I was induced at 35 weeks with baby #2:( This time around, I determined to have little to no interventions because I love my baby too much to agree to have them rushed out into the world before they are ready, and too groggy to feed because of drugs. I understand that sometimes interventions are necessary, but when they are not, it seems to me that they are best avoided for the health of mom and baby/babies. I wasn't happy about the episiotomy from birth #1, or tearing along the episiotomy scar during birth #2; I'd like to be able to feel what is going on down there this time so that I can actually be a participant in the birth of baby #3. No guided pushing this time around, just faith in a birthing process that has been around long before needle and forceps-wielding obstetricians /:)
Mama Birth said…
I love that perspective Guggie! I think few people realize how deeply rooted in female hatred our current obstetric system is-
Good for you Veronica and I am excited that you are planning an empowering natural birth- you can do it and you deserve to do it!
Enjoy Birth said…
Love it! This is a comment that drives me crazy. I actually created a medal for moms, because of the "You don't get a medal" comment.

While I don't think a mom would ever do it for a medal, some do deserve one!

Pamela said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pamela said…
Just say, "Sure I do! I've got a whole roll of them, and I give them out freely!"
What a ridiculous comment to make! Might as well come back with something just as silly.
Unknown said…
I chose a natural birth at home because I just wasn't listened to in hospital, I researched it at length and if I found that another caesarean was safer (i'd already had two) then I would have (reluctantly) chosen that option....the safety of my baby was paramount....however I found homebirth to be just as safe as hospital and I would have a better chance of vbac at home. My second caesarean was due to the health professionals being extremely eager to intervene......I really don't care what other people think or presume about my choices, I did what I thought was best for my baby in the circumstances I was faced with.
Mama Birth said…
Thanks for all your insight ladies-
Rikki Lake is my friend... on facebook! It was so great to be able to send her a message personally thanking her for the difference she made in my life and the encouragement from her movie that helped me to have a natural VBAC birth after two inductions, once which inevitably led to a c-section.
LOVE this!!
I chose a natural birth bc after 3 c-sections I was so traumatized by my births and drugs make me crazy. Last August I had an amazing, empowering vba3c after inverted T incision. I showed up at the hospital at 10cm so I wouldn't be 'messed with' during my labor. It was a beautifully different experience!
Jess said…
Ha! That's funny. Everyone is always amazed at my natural birth... I did have an old man ask if I was trying to go back to the dark ages haha...
My first was an "emergency" c-section that I blame on an idiot OBGYN and my lack of knowledge/support. My second was a completely natural birth. If anyone asks why or acts like I'm crazy, I have 2 responses.
"You should try it. It's AMAZING." and "Talk to 2 people who have had babies - one who had meds and one who didn't - and decide who had a better experience."
I've never talked to ANYONE who had a med-free childbirth who calls it anything short of incredible. Conversely, ladies who are drugged up have nothing positive to say about labor. I SO enjoy responding "I LOVED IT!" when people ask me how labor was and seeing the shocked faces.
Kris said…
I only have one child and definitely do not consider myself an expert. I would never say something something so ignorant to any woman who chose to have a natural birth experience. I consider you very brave. However, I chose to have an epidural (my husband wanted one too... ha ha) and I had a wonderful experience with no complications. I may try natural next time, depending on how I'm feeling at the time.

What I do want to say is that I disagree with Jess that "ladies who are drugged up have nothing positive to say about labor." It can be a great experience either way when you have carefully chosen your doctor and written up your birth plan so everyone is on the same page. I'm sure there have been mothers who have given birth naturally who would ask for drugs the next time around.

My doctor was excellent and had been delivering babies for more than 30 years. I felt no pressure to do anything besides what I wanted. Maybe I'm just outspoken and wouldn't let them. I had no episiotomy and no tearing. Looking back, I enjoyed every minute of pushing and every contraction I still felt. I experienced a wonderful climax of joy as my baby was placed in my arms. I recovered quickly. I did have a wonderful experience and an epidural has not ruined my life, nor my child's life.

I just want to say that sometimes when I read articles with strong opinions against medical intervention, it hurts. I don't want to be judged for my choice to recieve drugs and will not judge you for choosing a natural birth. Expecting mothers need to research their own decisions and do what they feel is best. Please be sensitive to those who decide to do differently, as you expect the same in return.

Though none of us get a gold star, we all get our beautiful babies and hope for the best experience for us.
Mama Birth said…
Kris- I think you make a great point-
I have met women who went natural and would do it otherwise the next time. There are lots of factors to a good and healthy birth, many of which you touched on. Namely being respected for their decisions. If you read the blog you will see that I share positive birth stories - some are unassisted, some are c-sections, some are inductions.

It does seem though in the natural birth world that many women come to natural birth passion after a very bad medical experience. I can also say that of the birth stories I get, the vast majority are un-medicated. Those women do seem happier with their experiences overall.
Obviously there is lots of passion and emotion on the subject on both sides. Everybody is trying to do what is best for their babies.
And the truth is that natural birth mothers are a TINY minority. We find ourselves often made fun of- on national television no less and by so called professionals in the birth field. It seems that something is motivating this hatred that is beyond logical thought.
Thanks for reading!
Honey1 said…
I had my first baby as a natural hospital water birth a few months ago. Before the birth I often told other women about what I was planning to do. I often got this comment in response to what I was saying and from what I understood it was a women's way of defending her own choices (or her lack of ability to make those choices) not to birth naturally. I usually didn't know how to respond to it at all. I would usually just smile and agree and eventually I stopped telling people about my plans. What bugged me is that I was certainly not looking for a medal and praise from other people was definately not the reason behind my desire to birth naturally. The reasons behind my choices were to do with ensuring my body stayed intact and that may baby was born healthy and happy. I think it's really sad that some women go into birth with a lot of fear and no skills to cope with the pain and then feel like they have no option but to get 'help'. It is my wish that all women knew that they CAN give birth, not just the minority.
Cee in Jax said…
I'm gonna have to pass this along to my childbirth students. There is an OB practice in my area - all women - and they are the WORST offenders when it comes to making comments like this to pregnant women. I have students who have been told "this is no time to prove what a WOMAN you are" [really? OK, I give up... when IS the right time to prove you're a woman if it's not when you're giving birth???] and "you don't get a trophy for refusing an epidural". For the latter, I've always told my students to respond, "Oh, yes, I do... but it's a trophy I won't put on a shelf and dust twice a year. My trophy will be a strong, alert, healthy baby who isn't starting life with drugs in its body!"
Anonymous said…
I hear this comment ALL THE TIME and it drives me nuts!! I'm preparing for my 3rd (natural) birth in sept and while I am getting anxious because I know whats ahead, I feel extremely proud that I have been able to stick with the commitment I made 4 years ago to give my little ones the best start in life as possible. Plus I'm terrified of needles and the thought of a big one going into my spine pretty much sealed the deal on having natural births...lol!
Anonymous said…
WTF?! Yes, I most certainly DID get a gold star for my four natural home births! They came in the form of four healthy children that were born alert and ready to feed and explore their surroundings! My gold star came in the form that for years to come, my children are going to be much less prone to respiratory illness (vag vs. surgical birth)and a multitude of other health perks not to mention the awesome birth stories I get to share every single year on their birthdays. I'm sorry, but the woman who does her homework and chooses to believe in herself is rare these days, and I'm happy to be one of them.

C Marie
Kaurina Danu said…
All those reasons are great, But I wanted a gold star too :>