It’s not the delivery as much as the outcome.

First off, I want to say that I don’t believe that pregnancy is childbirth is a disease that needs to be “treated”.  I do feel it is a natural occurance and human and animals have been doing it for millions of years without the assistance of doctors and hospitals.

With that said…

I get angry when I see and hear debates on how a women should be cared for during her pregnancy and delivery.  I hear of so many people that are almost militant about making childbirth less medicalized and more “natural”.  I see people going on and on about how a woman shouldn’t get this or that or something or other because it is a natural process that should be allowed to run it’s course.  Some even attack women who don’t deliver “the natural way” and say that they shouldn’t have been parents if they weren’t willing to go natural.

Then you see the other half of the spectrum that feel that it should all be done under a doctor’s supervision and in hospitals with drugs and whatnot.  These people go as far as to call the other half uneducated stupid crackpots who have no idea what they are talking about.  They say that doing it “natural” is old school and unnecessary in today’s world and that it is just so much safer and more intelligent to have your baby in a hospital environment under a doctor’s care.

What everyone seems to be forgetting though is that is really doesn’t matter how your kids’ some into the world.  They are going to get here one way or another…what everyone should be concerned about is if mom and baby are safe and healthy.  For some, that is at home with a midwife.  For others that means being in a hospital under a doctor’s care.  My son was born by c-section.  It was necessary…I was cared for by a midwife.  Both of my sister’s kids were born in  a hospital, but natural birth under a doctor’s care.  A friend had her girl in a hospital, under a doctor’s care, with no medication.  All of our kids are fine, we are all fine.  Isn’t that the important thing?

Now, I realize that the safety of mom and baby is always the reason for these views…but I really have to wonder if that is the “real” reason or if people just want others to think the way THEY think.  I mean, let’s face it…women have been having babies at home for hundreds and hundreds of years without meds and doctors.  At the same time many women and children died.  Now many women have their babies in hospitals with meds…but that comes at a cost of emotional distress as many don’t feel like (or where made to feel like) they have no control over anything to do with birthing their own children.

I think everyone needs to find a common ground.  That yes, it IS about the health and well being of mom and baby.  That some moms are cut out for the at home/midwife birth…and some are not.  No one should be made to feel stupid or inferior or unworthy just because of how they gave birth.  Like anything else, it should be a private decision made by the mom and her family (i.e. husband/partner).

Maybe she is totally against the  idea of birthing at home…maybe that idea scares the crap out of her thinking of all the things that could go wrong.  She shouldn’t be made to feel like she made the wrong decision to go to the hospital. The same goes for the woman who chose to birth at home.  Maybe she is totally comfortable in her body and would feel better delivering her child in the comfort and safety of her own home.  One may need medication, one may not.

Everyone is different and one person’s choice isn’t always the right choice for another person.   We need to allow that choice to be made on a case by case basis…and not fault anyone for choosing the path we chose not to take.

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7 Comments

Filed under Family, Health, Pregnancy

7 responses to “It’s not the delivery as much as the outcome.

  1. Giving birth and a new baby are two of the most amazing things. No matter how the birth happens, the end result is still the same…a wonderful child to love and protect.

  2. I think this is another example of people simply sticking their nose in others’ business. How one gives birth is a completely personal decision, and one that I don’t think anyone else has a right to judge. Ditto for breastfeeding. Ditto for whether one circumcises a male child.

    When did we become a society so completely unable to mind our own business?

    I think that we should become more accustomed to reacting with bluntness, when someone speaks so far out of line. If a virtual stranger, or an acquaintance, tells you how you should give birth with regard to doctors, surroundings, or anything else, you should look them straight in the eye and tell them, “I’m sorry, but I find it incredibly rude, and even offensive, that you would think it is your place to instruct/judge me on such a personal decision. How dare you!”

    That will shut almost all of them up quite quickly. Sure, it’s not particularly polite, but neither was what they said.

  3. Janis-

    Grr…the breastfeeding thing gets me too. If you remember I had issues breastfeeding Babyhead as well…and it really doesn’t matter WHY I had issues, the point is that I DID have issues and bottlefeeding turned out best for us. I am going to try again with Baby Girl…but I am also willing to put her on the bottle as well if it doesn’t work out.

    I actually think I wrote about that in an earlier post there somewhere too….

    Kell-

    Yep, people forget that there was a high rate of infant and maternal mortality before doctors really got involved. I think that those people are scared about the high rate of csections and emotional trauma women sometimes suffer at the hands of their doctors…however, I had the worst experience with my midwife clinic and the best with my doctor! It is all subjective and women need to know that THEY are the ones that are able to make the choice of what is best for THEM. If their care provider isn’t working with them, then by all means change care providers!!!

  4. I’m sure most women would love to have as natural a birth as possible, but it’s NOT always possible or safe for both mother and baby. The thing people seem to forget is that up until fairly recently, childbirth was the most common cause of death in women in the Western world (and still is in many Third World countries where good medical care isn’t freely available to the majority of women). With the advancement of medical care available, infant mortality rates have dropped, as have the mortality rates of women – and this is a good thing! Some women need a little extra help, whether because thair pelvis isn’t wide enough to allow a natural birth, or because the baby is lying in a difficult position, or simply because the baby is in distress for any number of reasons – there is nothing wrong with having help and, where required, medical intervention. It’s all there to make sure of the best possible chance of both mother and baby coming through the trauma of birth as safely as possible.

  5. Great post Sandy! I agree with you 100%! I know of women who’ve had thier babies so many differen ways, but I’d never condone any one of them. They each did what was right for them and thier baby! And, that is all you should be concerned with. Dont push your ideals onto someone else!

    Same with breastfeeding. There are pro’s and con’s to each and my sister is going through that now with her newborn. The hospital was making her feel bad for her choice to bottle feed, some of her friends breastfed thier babies and go on and on about how great it was and it should be a no-brainer for my sister to breastfeed. But it wasnt for her so why should she endure the sarcasim and snide remarks?

  6. So true, Sandy, so true. Every birth is special and people who poo-poo other’s choices are just being mean.

  7. I love this post! As a pregnant woman who was planning on having a natural birth in a hospital, I was trying to find exactly this balance that you write about.

    Now I am hospitalized with preeclampsia and have had to come to terms with needing to take medications (whereas I had been avoiding Tylenol up until this point), not having the natural birth I had planned, and enduring constant monitoring from the medical team. I know these are important things to have done to me for my health and my baby’s wellbeing. So I am happy to adjust my views.

    Thank you for an insightful and well written post on balance and personal choice.