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Don't Fear (Home) Birth

by meggf (follow)
Trigger Warning: This article contains some disturbing images of doctors holding babies.

DISCLAIMER: Obviously some births need to occur in a hospital. Most don't. Research it thoroughly!

There's a thousand and one reality style television shows about birth these days and they all have one common denominator. Highly managed, interventionist births. Women lying on their backs covered in drapes with their legs up in stirrups and a heap of strangers peering at their vulvas telling them to PUUUUUSH. It's no wonder we're afraid of giving birth!

It's rare to see a woman arrive in the hospital and just push a baby out without drugs and medical intervention, and even more rare to see a woman in an upright position without people's heads between her legs. The only unhindered birth Iíve ever seen on television was amidst much talk about how unnecessary her doula was, and how her refusing to allow augmentation was stubborn and dangerous to her baby.

Looking at birth on television it's not hard to see why we have a caesarean rate of over 30%, and much higher in some places. Women can be forgiven for thinking that birth is the most dangerous activity they will ever partake in. However birth just isn't like that when you take it out of a hospital. Hospitals are like that, birth isn't.

Will you meet your baby like this?
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

or like this
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

What we need to remember is that hospitals are businesses, they earn money for every single thing they do to a woman or her baby, and we must not forget that there are multi billion dollar drug companies making money from the birth industry too. Try watching the Ricki Lake movie The Business of Being Born.

When people go to a fast food restaurant it's because they feel like eating something on the menu that is always the same. There might be a little bit more sauce, or a little less lettuce at one visit, but basically every burger is the same. When someone stays home for dinner they do it because they can make whatever they want, and the people they serve the food to can pick and choose which bits they want. some like salt and don't like carrot, that's easy at home, no dramas. Some want sauce, some don't. Easy, right?

We often hear women saying that homebirth isn't for everyone but in reality it's hospital birth that isn't for everyone. The same as the fast food vs home cooked meal scenario, at home you can pick and choose, in hospital you get what you're given. Many women are fearful of homebirth because of their first birth experience in a hospital, and that's understandable, but if you want something radically different, you need to make some radically different choices!

Will you meet your baby like this?
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

or like this
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

So if you were dissatisfied with a hospital birthing experience, or if you're fearful of birth prior to your first birth, or just if you feel like having a baby at home, speak to a midwife! Ask her how she would detect and manage any emergencies in a homebirth. Don't speak to a doctor because chances are that they think over managed emergency style birth is how it always is.

Speaking to a midwife doesn't mean you MUST birth at home, it simply means you're going to be able to make an informed decision about where is the best place for you to give birth. Home is where the heart is!
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