This mum says she is sick of women bragging about their drug-free births…

A frustrated mum has taken to Mumsnet to ask if a drug-free birth is really any better than choosing to use pain relief.

The mum says she has noticed that many women who have a baby without any intervention feel the need to brag about their ‘natural births’, making others feel bad about their own birth experience.

The Best-Laid Plans…

The mum says that despite having a detailed birth plan for her first daughter, things didn’t go to plan.

“I was quite relaxed about my birth plan, didn’t want pain relief or anything if I could manage it,” she wrote.

“After three days of labour with a back to back baby and not progressing, I had to have an epidural.”

Though the experience wasn’t exactly what she imagined, the mum says she was just grateful to have had a happy and healthy baby, but began to notice a disturbing trend on social media that made her feel that she had somehow failed.

“A woman on Facebook announced her babies birth with the line ‘total natural birth, I am a lioness’…am I being unreasonable to think that this is a bit ridiculous?” she wrote.

“Do we really need to make people feel bad about how they gave birth? Do you secretly feel better about yourself knowing you’ve done it with no pain relief?”

No Other Option

Some commenters admitted that having a ‘natural’ birth gave them a sense of achievement.

“I am (secretly) proud of myself for managing the second time ’round with gas and air,” wrote one mum.

“I gave birth to my son with gas and air,” said another.

“I have just read previous comments about how only gas and air is good! Yippee! I feel quite smug now.”

Other mums were quick to point out that many women don’t get a choice.

“Giving birth is mental however you do it,” one commenter said. “Any woman who does it is entitled to feel proud.”

“You can plan as much as you like but no one has any idea what will happen during labour,” said another.

While every mum would love a straight-forward, complication-free experience, nature often has other ideas and no two births are ever the same. We think whatever ensures a happy and safe experience for both mum and bub can only result in a birth story to be proud of!

Did you feel disappointed because you couldn’t have a ‘natural’ birth? Share your story in the comments.

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Pregnant woman in delivery room

  • I had one with drugs (it was a breech and highly recommended i have pain relief) the second was drug free (only because my labour was so far along, there wasn’t time for drugs) And I dont think there’s a difference. I bought home 2 happy and healthy babies, what more could you ask for?


  • I never believed in having a birth plan because nothing always goes to plan. I went in with the mindset of getting my bub out safely and that’s exactly what we did. I thought I would have got an epidural but when they asked I said no mid contraction. I had a natural (complicated) birth and only used gas when I had to get stitches.


  • I have had to normal births and two breech births, I had an epidural with the breech who was bottom first but only gas for the breech feet first. Any mother who gives birth albeit regardless of pain relief is a hero!


  • Everyone is different.


  • Well I felt a bit disappointed of myself for not being able to have a drug free one. But to be honest, we do what we can and always strive for the best and that’s all what it counts


  • Nope definitely not ! Every birth story is different


  • I am happy with my three births. All went well.But i agree with no one has any idea what will happen next during the labour even you plan.Safety is first.


  • GIVING BIRTH is SUPERIOR now matter how it occurs. There is no best way, no right way, it’s about what’s best to deliver a healthy baby. Everyone’s circumstance is different.


  • It really does come down to the priority of both the baby and mum being healthy. We all do the best we can :)


  • The thing to be proudest of is the fact that you gave birth and your child is healthy. It doesn’t matter if it’s natural or you need all the drugs available at the time. Also some people have a much higher pain thresh-hold than others.


  • I am on baby number four and really, it comes down to what is going on at the time. You can never pick if you will get through with or without pain relief, so well done either outcome, we are all proud mummas and congratulations!


  • I had done both, I have had two births with zero drugs including gas,,, I have also had 2 births where pain relief was used. One was because the pain was so intense going through my hips.. I had some gas but ended up making me feel sick so I stopped and one shot of pethidine which we found out I’m allergic too so that was the end of that. And my other birth I was on a morphine drip (my baby had unfortunately already passed away so I wanted it as painless as possibly as it was already hard enough)
    For me personally I draw the line at epidurals as the thought of a needle in the spine and not being able to move freaks me out and I’ve heard too many stories of women having pain for years at the injection site.
    Giving birth no matter how is a massive achievement And every mother should be proud.


  • I wanted to go natural but neither of my births went to plan. It’s great if you can do it, but it really doesn’t seem to have affected my kids in the long-term – now 5 and 7.


  • I had my first son ‘natural’ my waters broke & he was in our arms within 4 hours with 20 minutes of actual labour.
    My second son I had to be induced, had him ‘natural’ also & he was in our arms within 4 hours of the gel going in & also less than 20 minutes of actual labour.
    Both sons were born 2 weeks early (8lb6oz & 5lb6oz).
    I tell people my story as I am entitled to, I don’t tell my story to rub it in in any way. Everyone has a choice in the way they bring their children into the world, some people can do birth plans & they go to plan, others have a birth plan & it goes nothing like they wanted & others end up in emergency situations. The only time I get annoyed is when I speak to people who elect to have a C-section to conserve their ‘vajayjay….
    I am happy I got to experience drug free births as the body is an amazing thing & the side effects from the drugs are always a worry, but if I had to go down the drug route to have my babies in my arms safely I would have done exactly that, their health and safety was my number one priority.
    I had more issues with breast feeding, my milk never came in with either of my sons, so I had to breast feed, express & also too up with formula to keep my babies fed & I got judged by people around me, midwives at the hospital & also the lactation consultants, I was made to feel like breast feeding is the most natural thing in the world that a mother’s body just does it, but my body didn’t agree even with all the medications & herbs, yeast bikkies didn’t help my supply, my first son was starving all the time & had no choice but to top up with formula, so for me I don’t care breast is best, yes! But ‘FED’ is best…
    I think we all need to support one another as giving birth is an amazing experience that mummas have been doing for centuries. The world is a hard enough place as it is & we all go through mummy guilt at one point or another so no need to beat ourselves up about how we brought our children into the world, just do what works for u & be an amazing mumma.


  • My first birth was my easiest and I went to sleep for two hours before I woke to push; the second I was in and out of labour for three weeks, with a baby who kept spinning around inside, so I also had a couple of Chinese burns trying to turn her around before she was born. She ended up coming so quickly I had no pain medication and a girlfriend delivered her. The third baby was induced, and he really didn’t want to be born, it was a 20 hour labour, with pain medication and in the end I was facing a forceps delivery as he was splitting my bowel as I was pushing. All three were different and thankfully I got a great baby at the end of all three labours and really that was all that was important!!


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