ALLAH designed the female body perfectly to carry, deliver and feed babies. This miracle has been a trusted fact since the creation of humankind. It wasn’t until the last century that there were other options besides natural, non-medicated birth followed by breastfeeding.
With these new options women have begun to doubt their bodies and the natural process. The introduction of medical interventions in labor and birth have produced side effects that take an irreversible toll on woman and babies. Following closely behind has come bottle feeding and man-made infant formulas.
Women have always known that with childbirth comes pain. But when we look at the modern culture of birth we find a society of women who fear the unknown pain of labor so much that they seek medical help to avoid it. There are a precious few who still trust the perfect design of their body and choose a completely natural, non-medicated birth. These “natural moms” are also most likely to choose the natural method of breastfeeding their baby as opposed to bottle feeding.
The Importance of Education
Fortunately, childbirth education, such as AMANI Birth, is available to empower Muslim families. Most women who learn about the physiology of their bodies and the process of pregnancy, labor, birth, and lactation (and how to best prepare for it) find that they are capable of birthing their babies without pain medications and medical interventions, and subsequently of feeding their babies without bottles or formula.
Unfortunately, too many mothers are still in the dark, blinded by the false hope for something better than what Allah taʽālā has designed. What they fail to realize is that the medical interventions and pain medications used for labor and birth only offer to rearrange or change the pain of childbirth, not to eliminate it. What’s worse is that these modern interventions and drugs come with a myriad of unnecessary risks for both the mother and baby. Many also fail to realize the importance of breastfeeding their newborn baby, mistakenly believing that formula is just as good as breast milk.
Things to Consider
Below are some of the things women should consider when making choices about their labors and births.
- Birth is an athletic event which takes training and preparation. In fact, birth is most likely the most physically challenging event of her lifetime. If you knew you were facing a marathon swim in the coming months, wouldn’t you get out there and practice and prepare?
- Neither a medical nor a natural birth are painless. It’s best to learn to cope with it.
- By the time pain medication is administered the woman has already spent a considerable amount of time laboring (which she probably didn’t prepare for).
- Pain medications may not take away all the pain or may not work at all!
- The administration of the drug usually involves needles in sensitive areas of the body and may actually be a cause of pain in itself.
- There are additional medical interventions that come from not being able to move or feel or push effectively (due to pain medication) which cause greater injury to the body and will be felt after the birth (and often times hurt worse than the birth itself).
- Natural birth mothers, who prepare their bodies for birth, learn to work with their labor, and employ simple techniques for minimizing pain, usually feel great after birth.
- Medicated mothers often feel nauseas, sick, and have a great deal of pain from medical interventions and may feel miserable after birth.
- A mother who feels great is more capable of caring for her baby and thus more likely to breastfeed her baby right away.
The fact that “natural mothers” usually feel great after the birth, while medicated mothers may not, is of extreme significance. Do we really want to move the pain from a few hours BEFORE birth to a few hours/days/weeks AFTER birth? Think about that for a moment. You are not going to eliminate pain, but simply move it around. Wouldn’t you rather feel great when it counts? When you have your newborn baby in your arms?
Risks of Medication to the Mother and Baby
Mothers should also know that all medications that are used during the labor and birth of her baby do reach the baby within an estimated sixty seconds of administration. She should also know that NO medication, not even the medications used during childbirth, have been proven safe for the unborn child.
Additionally, she should realize that these medications affect her and the baby in ways that outlast the birth. Even a medicated mother who has full intention of breastfeeding may find it extremely difficult to get started due to some of the short-term effects of these medications. Among them are:
- They may interfere with mother and baby’s alertness
- They may effect mother’s ability to care for baby
- They may cause nausea and other discomforts
- They may require prolonged recovery time for mother and baby
- They mother and baby’s bonding time may be compromised or delayed
- They may interfere with baby’s sucking reflex making nursing difficult
- They may interfere with mother’s milk supply
- They may interfere or delay the let down of milk for breastfeeding
There are also a myriad of medical risks associated with using these medications. Rather than making a list I’d like to ask expectant mothers, “Can you be absolutely positive that you or your baby won’t have an adverse reaction to the man-made drug you are considering for your short-term comfort? Would you put your baby in harm’s way for a couple hours of pain relief for yourself? If you can learn how to minimize the pain and birth completely naturally, would you try?” Simply put, “Why risk it?”
Sadly, many expectant mothers in the world haven’t had the opportunity to take classes. Subsequently, they don’t know what to do to prepare for their upcoming labor and birth. They are unaware of the physiology of pregnancy and birth and they are unclear about proper diet, simple exercises to prepare their body for the event, or natural techniques for coping with the pain.
These women often find themselves in a panic and unable to bear the discomforts and pains of birthing their baby naturally. They unknowingly fight their labor and make the pain worse! These women often times come into the hospital in a panic, searching for medicinal relief. In the end they feel they have “suffered through” the event, and are often too sick or in pain to be able to care for themselves, let alone cuddle and nurse their new baby. The hospital staff is then left to keep the baby in the nursery, feeding them with bottles of formula.
Fortunately, families can now avail AMANI Birth classes online and on-demand from anywhere in the world! Preparing for your childbirth journey has never been more accessible than now. In fact, there are many languages to choose from, including English, Arabic, and coming soon, Indonesian, Bengali, French, and Urdu.