Thursday, July 9, 2009

Your Body, Your Birth

I am always amazed how many women will blindly follow the advice of their doctors in regards to pregnancy and birth. They don't question or disagree they just do what they are told. The medical community can be a great thing in pregnancy and birth but it can also be the source of interventions, unnecessary csections and the downfall of childbirth in the United States.

Just yesterday I was talking to a very pregnant aquantance and she was asking me about my girl's size at birth and their gestational age. When I told her the size of my first she was surprised but when I told her my second was 1 1/2 weeks overdue and over 9 lbs she said the common phrase from those who go in completely trusting their doctors "I can't believe your doctor let you go that far overdue". Of course she was even more shocked when I told her I don't see an obstetrician for prenatal care and that a doctor really doesn't let anyone do anything, medical professionals work for you, it isn't the other way around.

It really makes me sad the way doctors will bully and scare hormonal women into doing what they want them to do. The way inductions are scheduled for convenience and the option of an elective csection is even available. The percentage of doctors in this country who have actually attended a 100% natural birth with no interventions is very slim. Doctors aren't even trained to deliver a baby in any way other than the mother laying in a flat on her back position with her legs up above her in stirrups. This is perhaps the most conterproductive position to push a baby out in and when the second stage (pushing) last longer than what is convenient for the doctor you can almost always guarantee that mother will be wheeled down the hall on her way to a csection.

I wish that all women would educate themselves on birth, don't be afraid to question your doctor and ask them why and most importantly be an advocate for yourself. Natural birth isn't for everyone but at the very least know the facts and the risk of interventions. If you do chose to have a natural birth then look into classes. Two very popular ones right now are Bradley and Hynobirth. I personally have had 2 successful and natural Bradley births and cannot even begin to say how great I think the Bradley method of childbirth is.

Just for the record so I'm not taken as saying that all medical interventions are bad I did have what I consider a traumatic birth experience with my baby. After 28 hours of labor and 5 1/2 hours of pushing I transferred to the hospital where my care was transferred to an ob and family practice doctor. I am grateful that they were there that night and they got little Lila here safely and kept me safe. But I just think that under normal circumstances there is no reason to interfere with a natural labor and birth.

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