Statistics {General vs. Specific to You}

by Birth Without Fear on July 18, 2011

Birth Statistics

I see people asking for or citing research and statistics all the time. I’m gonna put my flame suit on before I let you know how I feel about this. OK, ready. I think it’s a load of crap. Research, most of the time, is biased and/or read completely wrong. Statistics come from said research. Not only that, but what does research on someone else have anything to do with ME? Or you?!

We have a nasty habit of comparing ourselves to others. If you think about it, this starts at birth when we weigh and measure our babies. Why does it matter how much they weigh? They are just themselves. Oh that baby is big at 10 pounds or small at 6 pounds!!! Says who?! That baby was and is the perfect size for him!

How about having our children continually weighed and measured to be put into a certain percentile. This always gets me. Who are you comparing your child to and why?! It continues throughout our lives. Comparing our bodies, weight, facial features, boyfriends, girlfriends, cars, houses, etc.

After pondering this phenomenon, I realized the only person I can compare my births with, statistically, are with myself! I have birthed 5 children and here are MY statistics if I were to have another baby. I think they are as accurate as any other statistics and research about birth (for me).

I have 3 girls, 2 boys, so I have a 60% chance of having another girl and %40 chance of having a boy* (see comments)

My births have been 40% cesarean and 60% VBA2Cs, but 60% medicated and 40% unmedicated

A breech baby is a %20 possibility

Out of four VBAC’s…I have a ‘success’ rate of 75%

When left alone to birth I have a 100% chance of a vaginal birth

I go into labor naturally and birth healthy ‘post date’s between 42 1/2 to 44 weeks 100% of the time

My placentas have nourished my babies until birth 100% of the time

I have a 20% chance of a painless vaginal birth and an 80% chance of it hurting like a mother…

I have a 100% chance of having prodromal labor for at least a week and up to 6 weeks prior to birth

I have a 100% chance of having a labor between 20-72 hours long

I will 100% of the time listen to my intuition and fall completely and madly in love with my baby

Life doesn’t happen in a randomized, double blind way. It’s life. It’s birth. Birth is as safe as life gets.

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” ~ Marcia Angell, MD

With all that said, even still, every pregnancy, baby and birth are different! Don’t get caught up on statistics. Your body is designed to grow a baby and to birth. MOST of the time, when left alone and trusted, birth works wonderfully. It can be the hardest, but most empowering experience of your life. Interventions are usually unnecessary, but when they TRULY are needed, they are a blessing. Find the support that is right for you, listen to your body and intuition always and enjoy this incredible journey!

Baby, Birth*Picture from precious Bellies Doula Services and Childbirth Classes

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