This article made my heart sing! We need more recognition for home birth. I know that when I was having my first baby and I'd hear, in passing, that women wanted to give birth in water or at home I thought they were absolutely nuts. I had no understanding, no knowledge. So when I hear others say the same thing (mostly first-time mothers or older women who no longer have the ability to have children) I cringe inwardly. We can only seek to educate and to accomplish anything it has to be done with sensitivity and not arguing.
So there are two models of birth - the medical model and the midwifery model. The medical model sees childbirth as inherently dangerous and suggests that all women should undergo routine interventions to ensure safety and give birth in hospital, and the midwifery model uses a more holistic approach and assesses women on an individual basis—a process which often enables women to give birth in their own homes.
I'm currently reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin and woo-ee! It is a great read. The midwifery model is so vastly different. I think we need to also understand that Obstetrics training needs to be redefined and redone on a whole. It just needs to be revamped. I say this because right now OBs are thrust into a world of high-risk and traumatic births during their training and rarely ever see a "natural" or "normal" birth. They are taught and trained to do the things that they do to women in our current birth system.
It gives me a compassion for them. But ultimately things won't change until the world of Obstetrics sees women demanding safer and better options for themselves and their babies. And hopefully with that change comes better OB training, where OBs and midwives can work together much like is done in European countries where mortality (death) rates are very, very low!
I am so glad that you posted this, I cringe every time I speak to an expected mother that has been convinced by medical professionals to schedule their birth. I always make it appoint to follow up with them afterwards and see how their birth went and they often note feeling "cheated" out of their natural birth.
I am all for medical intervention when it is in fact deemed necessary for both the mother and the child, but throughout the years it seems to have taken a different turn and done more so out treating birth as a medical issue not as a natural occurrence.
I have always appreciate Laurey Shanley's Unassisted Childbirth book. It's a great resource for mothers and also midwives. I am still amazed that some states in the U.S. do not have midwives as even an option for women :(
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