Because I haven’t talked about birth lately…

About my last post…  To clarify, I did not mean to imply that natural or home births are the only kinds of birth worth celebrating.

The point of birth is to bring a baby into the world. When mom and baby come through childbirth healthy- no matter how that happens- it is ALWAYS a joy and a cause for celebration.

I don’t judge anyone for not having a natural birth. When it comes to parenting, and birth in particular, I believe that we are all making the best decisions we can in light of our individual circumstances, those of our family, the knowledge we have about the situation, and (most of the time) within the constraints of the medical system. I also know that sometimes we don’t get to make a decision- when there are medical conditions, high-risk situations, and/or medical emergencies, the only option is the one that will keep mom and baby alive and healthy. I am grateful to have access to modern medicine, including the option to have a C-section, when necessary.

What I do judge is a medical system rife with protocols and policies that largely view birth as a pathology that needs to be managed, versus a natural process that will- most of the time, when the mother’s pregnancy is low-risk- play out in it’s own time, with no risk to mom or baby, without intervention. In the context of this medical system, many women are having unnecessary C-sections. According to the CDC, the C-section rate in the US is at 32.8% Meanwhile the World Health Organization recommends a goal of reducing it to 10-15% of all births.

It has never been my intention to judge other women for their birth experiences. I just want to create a resource for people planning home births, in hopes that their positive experiences will have some effect, however small, on the culture of birth in the U.S.



6 thoughts on “Because I haven’t talked about birth lately…

  1. Natalie D says:

    I agree with you, Pam. Of course the goal is to have a healthy mom and baby, and we’re lucky to have that option, but I think pregnancy and birth are far too pathologized in the medical community. Of course, I haven’t given birth yet (so what do I know?), but I am the product of a home birth, and I have watched one (my sister’s birth). Personally, I dislike hospitals, which make me nervous, as I’ve been there for life-threatening illnesses.
    In any case, I think this post is a thoughtful, explanatory apology.

    • Pam says:

      Thanks, Natalie. You probably know more than you think:) I dislike hospitals in a big way because I have worked in them for many years… I know too much! That said if you need one, you need one.

  2. Donella says:

    While I wouldn’t choose a home birth for myself since my prior pregnancy was high risk, hospitals are definitely not all they’re cracked up to be. My doctor was wonderful during my entire pregnancy, but I ended up needing an emergency c-section.

    Although I loved my doctor, the nurses were a total nightmare. I had a hard time getting my milk to come in (due to the c-section), but the nurses in the nursery assured me that they’d feed the baby whatever I could manage to pump (he was on the ventilator for a few days). I only got a tiny amount–about an ounce–but I was so thrilled. I asked my maternity ward nurse if she could take it to the nursery, and she told me that it was so little I might as well throw it away. I was devastated and called my husband sobbing. The rest of the experience wasn’t much better. I was so thrilled when we finally got to bring him home. I’ll never give birth at that hospital again, though.

    • Pam says:

      I would have gone berserk if someone had ever told me they might throw away even an ounce of my milk!! That stuff is liquid gold! With a different nurse every 12 hours, you just never know who you’re going to get.

    • Pam says:

      I think this is a cultural construct, and by writing about home birth, I hope to dispel some of that fear.

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