Marsden Wagner is a favorite author of mine. He is a neonatologist and worked for the WHO for 15 years as director of Women's and Children's Health. Some of his articles of interest include:
- Technology in Birth: First Do No Harm
- Collection of articles about Cytotec for induction of labor, many by Dr. Wagner
- Fish Can't See Water: The Need to Humanize Birth
For example, a CNM practice at a large university hospital where I used to live had an epidural rate of over 50% (and a C-section rate between 20-25%; they didn't know their actual statistics, but guessed it fell somewhere in that range). I interviewed one of the midwives for a paper I was writing as a doctoral student, and she told me that "the drugs that we use today are very safe for the mom; they're very safe for the baby" (direct quote).
Women who choose to birth in hospital alternative birth centers often do so because they DON'T want the option of immediately available pain medications.
For those of you who birthed in hospitals, what were your experiences of pain medications? Did the staff pressure you into having narcotics or epidurals? Did they try to talk you out of them? Did they suggest other non-pharmaceutical comfort measures, such as showering, hot tubs, birth balls, massage, etc?