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Arguments for Normal Birth

October 25, 2007

SageFemme, a midwife, has a bit of a rant on birth, and you should read the entire thing. A snippet:

Birthing as your body leads you is your RIGHT – your baby’s RIGHT. Don’t hope that your doctor is honest about his / her promises to abide by your birth plan. There’s always some “emergency” or “complication” that will remove any and all of your desires. Don’t assume that one good doctor out of a practice of five will be there for your birth.


All these don’ts. Where are the “do”s?? Where is the control? Why do women have to birth on the defensive? Why on earth do first time moms believe that they can have the birth they deserve, they desire? Why do so few of them get it – but believe that it was their body that was faulty – and go back for more??

Trial of Labor has additional thoughts on this topic inspired by SageFemme’s post, including this point about “selfishness”:

It’s curious that people who oppose homebirth find it selfish and self-serving. Oh but doctors who gear birth to happen during daylight hours during the week aren’t selfish? The doctor who suggests induction or augmentation of labor isn’t being selfish? S/he doesn’t have a line of patients at his practice to get to or more babies to “deliver”?

SageFemme also links to this appalling piece in the LA Times, in which a perinatalogist is being allowed to continue practicing at Kaiser Fresno, despite years of complaints from fellow staffers about his allegedly inappropriate care of women and babies.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. snikta permalink
    October 26, 2007 7:40 am

    Jennifer told me the other day of an acquaintance who was told by her (female) OB (the same one who delivered Chloe) to go to the hospital at 1AM for her induction! She actually told her patient that the reason was so that she could deliver the baby at lunch.

    She was bad when we were seeing her, but that’s just horrible.

  2. October 26, 2007 7:55 am

    Snikta, that just makes me angry.

  3. October 26, 2007 12:05 pm


    Topics like this, though frustrating, always come back to the same conclusion…when women became educated, then we will see a change.

    If we are not asking for something different or even asking (questions) at all, why should healthcare providers care more than we do?

    I was guilty of being ignorant when I was a young mother-to-be. I made assumptions, but never did the research, or ask the questions or demanded a different way. I ended up, like all the rest…induced…tortured for 36 hours…and sectioned.

    Though I will say, that had it not been for my sons birth 19 years ago, I would not be the women’s healthcare advocate that I am today. I decided to make lemonade and lemon bars.


  4. October 26, 2007 12:09 pm

    I was just having that conversation with my husband this morning, following Snikta’s comment, about how many women are told, “Come in, do this,” and they just do it rather than speaking up. I hope that by improving women’s awareness on this topic, fewer women will have to learn by going through it, as you did, but will be better armed up front to deal with birth.

  5. Sheila permalink
    October 26, 2007 3:06 pm

    This reminds me of a great post over at Feministe from early October.

    Dr. Confused writes: “I’m doing the best I can…I shouldn’t have to make that kind of defensive decision. I should be able to trust my care providers. I’m educating myself about birth to an insane degree…But I’m still scared. And I shouldn’t have to be.”

    She seems to know what she is getting into but chose not to go for a homebirth because her insurance doesn’t cover it. But I wonder, if homebirth was more readily covered by insurance (it isn’t because insurance companies consult obstetric advisers who consistently discredit homebirth), would more insured first-time birthers consider it?

    I have to say I doubt it. There is an inherent cultural fear of birth (because no one sees it anymore!) and when confronted with the prospect of having to push a head out of her vagina most women will choose to run (or waddle) to the hospital for an abstract sense of safety and comfort.

  6. October 26, 2007 4:12 pm

    Sheila, thanks for that link, I missed that somehow.

  7. mike permalink
    January 21, 2008 2:12 am

    wow. good for you guys. i just stumbled on this googling for something entirely different. i’ve heard that the physically most advantageous way to birth is the same as pooping: squatting. Being on your back just for the ease of a doctor doesn’t make sense. Mechanics seem to have learned to deal. Why not doctors?
    As for fear, I feel I should show some appreciation for the whole process, since that’s where I came from. It appears, by all accounts, to be perfectly normal!

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