Friday, 19 December 2008
Guest blog submitted by MommyGEM_RN
Free birthing-anyone ever hear of it? I saw a special on this on Discovery Health not too long ago, and I thought it would be interesting to talk about on here.
Free birthing is basically an underground movement... a community of women dedicated to delivering their own babies at home, with no midwife or doctor there to attend the birth. Sounds scary, huh? There's a website here where all of these women do their research on and connect with the creator of this website and with each other for support and encouragement. Most of the women are moms who have had at least one baby previously, and had a bad hospital experience, but there are some first time moms that want to practice this as well.
On the special I watched about this topic, it followed three or four moms-to-be on their journeys to free birthing. They all had successful and healthy births, but not without hitting many roadblocks first. One mom, after her baby was born, wasn't able to deliver her placenta herself, and after awhile, ended up going to the hospital where her doctor reprimanded her and belittled her decision before he helped deliver her placenta.
What is my opinion on all of this? While I can certainly understand why these women want to stay away from doctors and the hospital to have their baby, I think it is very risky and dangerous. I have no doubt that a woman can safely deliver her own baby. But when you're in that much pain, even though instinct guides your body what to do during labor and delivery, your brain gets clouded and you can't really think straight. I know this from experience! I can't imagine delivering a baby, and not having someone there -- a nurse or a midwife -- to assure me that everything is ok, and act quickly in a crisis. I certainly could not have acted quickly after my daughter was born had something been wrong with her.
The women in these situations prepare themselves as much as they can by buying the proper equipment needed for delivery, and getting trained in infant CPR, but like I said, how can they possibly think straight after giving birth to act quickly enough if their baby's life or their own is at risk? Granted, in most pregnancies, nothing will be wrong, and everything will go smoothly in a natural birth, but you never know when that small percentage could be you.
I don't understand why these women don't even want the help of a midwife to assist in their labor and delivery! They could have the same experience that they desire, but even a little more stress-free knowing that a midwife is there. Each one of these women carried a certain amount of stress, and nervousness once their labors started and they were at home without a midwife. Wouldn't they be so much more relaxed knowing that their baby, and their own bodies are in good hands? I just don't understand.
Women for thousands and thousands of years have been delivering babies naturally. But even back in Biblical times (except for maybe Eve), there were midwives to assist women in delivering their babies. There is a reason for midwives, and there's a reason for OB's too. OB's are trained for surgery, and for intervening when natural labor goes awry. Midwives are there to assist in normal birthing situations. They're here for a reason.Why wouldn't anyone take advantage of this?
Oh, and by the way, the fact that the doctor on the show was so mean to that one mom was very disrespectful and classless. Doctors are there to save lives and help people. They have no right to yell at their patients. Every patient has a right to make their own medical decisions without the pressure of doctors. This mom knew what she was doing and took full responsibility of her's and her baby's life. She didn't need to hear what the doctor. was saying to her. She already knew, which is why she wanted to stay away from doctors and hospitals in the first place!
I personally would love to have a home birth next time around with a midwife. But, due to the fact that insurance doesn't cover home births, it's simply unaffordable. Most likely, I will be having our next baby with a midwife, or my favorite "hands-off" doctor in the same hospital I had my daughter in. And not only will it be fully covered by our insurance, but I'll have peace in knowing that my baby and I are in good hands. Having peace and confidence going into labor will make for a much nicer time of safely delivering my baby into the world.
What is your opinion of free birthing? Would you consider this as an option?