Many pregnant women take Lamaze classes because they would prefer to forgo an epidural or other intervention which may not always be necessary. These soon-to-be mothers often have a desire to allow the childbirth to proceed at a natural pace and only seek interventions in the case of fetal distress or other medical necessity.
Unfortunately many hospital birthing centers may not share the women's vision. They may not provide the woman with all the information necessary to allow her to make informed decisions about the nature of her childbirth, or intentionally or thoughtlessly put the woman in so much fear for her child's safety that she no longer feels like she is on control of the process.
This was the scenario shared recently by one mother. She explained how she had taken Lamaze classes and intended to have a natural childbirth. When she arrived at the hospital however, she was swept into an assembly line like process in which she felt like her wishes were ignored.
She told how when one nurse did not believe that she was sufficiently dilated, that nurse panicked, which in turn put everyone in the room into emergency mode. When an internal monitor discovered that the baby was handling the contractions safely, the woman was never told.
The doctor ordered the administration of the drug Pitocin to speed up the labor. This caused the labor to become more intense and painful. The woman finally gave in to the nurses' suggestions that she take painkillers. An epidural however can sometimes slow the contractions and prolong the process, the exact opposite effect of the drug administered by the doctor.
Eventually the doctor ordered a cesarean section delivery. Fortunately the infant was healthy and safe.
It is a doctor's job to use his knowledge and training to ensure that both mother and infant are protected and safe throughout the birth. This duty however, should not require unnecessarily intimidating, or withholding information from the mother.
Source: The Huffington Post "What They Didn't Tell Me in Lamaze Class," Lindsay Pyfer, Aug. 23, 2011