Thursday, December 27, 2007

What is Normal Birth?

"The modern birth has been so managed, arranged, choreographed, augmented, drugged, sliced and diced that many of us have forgotten its very nature" Valerie El Halta

I really want to see the movie "The Business of Being Born". Although I can pretty much see it in my minds eye already. Have you ever noticed that your friends and family are having "complicated" pregnancies and births? How many times have you heard that the baby is very large and they have to induce? Then the baby turns out to be just average size. HMMMMM...whats wrong with this picture? Or how about...the Dr just wants to go on vacation or watch football on his/her day off? So lets go ahead and schedule.

Birth is normal. Birth is natural. Birth does not have to be treated like an illness....well unless you want to make money from it. Doctors are trained on what to do when something goes wrong...which is excellent...if something does actually go wrong...and sure it can. Unfortunately...they tend to look at the process as a half full kinda thing. Sure your body was made to do this and has been doing a dang good job of it ....since forever...since before modern medicine...but dog gone it...you need them! You, WOMAN, certainly cannot do it on your own. Besides the fact that you dont know anything about having babies. They went to school for a decade just so you could ride shotgun.

The problem with hospital birth...is that your rights are revoked. They have policy see...that must be adhered to nomatter what. That means...after your wrist band is tightened and you sign on the dotted line...you can say adios to your birth plan. Yes its true that many hospitals are relaxing..and starting to allow for instance...a laboring woman to move about as she pleases (which feels SO much better), not have an IV and some even have birth tubs and allow babes to stay with their mothers 24/7. Very good. Rock on. Kudos.

But most do not. And they are still very much into intervention (see $$ signs). This means...if A doesnt equal B by C then XYZ must occur. If you dont jump high enough...say a quick Hail Mary and get ready to hand over your body to the "professionals". In the mean time they will break your water, screw a fetal monitor into your babies sweet little head, check you dozens of time (fist up your you know where),allow a constant flow of staff and trainees to rotate through the room and sometimes "check you",many times disregard your requests and demands, pump you with drugs to cause pain (induce labor), pump you with drugs to kill pain (epidural), not allow you to push until the magic number 10cm has been reached then force you to push push push the baby out in record speed (even between contractions). Eventually your baby will be given to you (first they have to cause it some pain) then taken away and only brought to you when they see fit. Breastfeeding? Usually they push formula...especially if the baby (remember...they said it was large) needs to gain weight or fight jaundice or pee etc etc. All such nonsense. Oh and you mama...cant leave till you fart. So get to gassin else youll be on house arrest. Dont even think about taking your baby home (who hasnt peed) against medical advice....cause thats negligence and cause for a visit from social services.

Oh and thats IF you escape the 31.1% of mothers who having cesareans either by preference or by force (up 50% in the last 10 years).

Point being here....women are powerful amazing goddesses. Women have babies just fine. You do not need to sell your soul to a doctor or hospital to have a baby. Birth is normal. Birth is empowering and beautiful. I encourage all women to check out all their options (home birth, midwives, doulas, unassisted birth, birth centers) before riding side car for their child's entrance into this world. Stay in control of your body. You will be so glad you did!

Disclaimer: of course there can be true complications and in those cases medical intervention rocks. my point here is that almost all hospital births are treated with intervention which is hard on the mother, the child and the pocket book.

Disclaimer #2: if you did have a wonderful hospital birthing experience i am ecstatic for you and your little one. you are however, the minority in my opinion.

"What is Normal Birth?" Beverley Lawrence Beech

Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog - movie review

"It goes far, FAR beyond not having or having medication at birth... it is an entire mindset of respect for a woman's autonomy and the understanding that CHOICES in birth create the most amazing human beings that walk in our neighborhoods. Damaged women and babies do nothing but hurt the world... why foster the continuation of such cruelty? What is so difficult about giving women the options that are possible in birth? (Oh, that's right... economics!)

It goes 'round and 'round." anonymous

1 comment:

Stacy V. said...

I was SO close to having a drug-free natural vaginal birth. But the nurses were so stupid! It took them over an hour of me being in hard ass labor (I went in with about 3-5 minute contractions)for them to discover my babygirl was breech. She had her tushie deep down in my birth canal and was stuck. So, nice big vertical cut c-section for me. I was so disappointed!! My body was telling me to PUSH PUSH!!! And the nurses were saying, "NO! Breath through it and do not push! We have to get the doctor and stop your contractions." ACH!