“Labor, the hardest work you’ll ever love!”

Another doula is publishing a book soon that has a chapter named “Labor, the hardest work you’ll ever love!” That made me think about what that means. It reminded me of the quote that Pam England shares in her Birthing From Within book- “Labor is hard work, it hurts and you can do it.”

Many folks don’t get why anyone would want to have a baby without medication being involved to numb or dull the pain. The comments about how you would not get a root canal without novacain are spouted by many. Do they realize a endodontist will not perform a root canal with novacain on a pregnant mom!

So how in the world is labor something you can say you love? Why would you want to do this unmedicated? Nurses many times will tell a mom she does not get a crown for doing it without an epidural. But is this really true?

I hear moms tell me later that they could not believe how tough it was. But in turn they could not believe how strong they are. How proud they are of themselves. How amazed their partner is at the work they did. How quickly they bounced back from the birth. Many women will tell me how they feel they can do anything now after laboring and birthing naturally.

Shoot some moms don’t even end up without medication but they are amazed at how hard they worked prior to getting medication and they feel the same way. Amazed, powerful and extremely proud. So isn’t that a crown? Isn’t that a reward?

The benefits of laboring and birthing with little or no medication are many. Being able to move in labor and allow your body to let you know the way you need to move helps facilitate labor. Having no bad reaction to medications causing the mom or the baby to crash and need to be born by cesarean is certainly beneficial. Having an alert baby whose mom has not been pumped full of fluid and has no edema issues creating breastfeeding issues is great.

But the benefit I see the most is the glow the mom has after she has worked- been a warrior like she has never been before. And again this is not just if she goes unmedicated- it is about the way she approaches her labor. If she goes into labor thinking “Labor, the hardest work she’ll ever love!”, then her view of it is not one of fear and desire to not feel pain. But instead she moves into it knowing it will hurt- but that she has prepared-that she has dealt with her fears prior to the labor beginning and she is confident she is able to make decisions along the way that are right for her.