FYI, my beef is with the medical establishment
Okay, so I’ve gotten some women mad at me. They want their epidurals, etc. I understand that, I’ve had 2! I’m not judging you for having the birth you want, I’m mad at the medical community for making the birth I want seem strange, abnormal, not safe even! You can read my previous posts on my views of interventions as a whole and hear my personal experience with the establishment. I don’t need to beat on that anymore. I just figured, since I keep getting told that I’m attacking women who disagree with me, then I should focus a little attention on the real problem instead of trying to help women be presented with a different voice than the establishment. Again, not saying its for all women, but all the options should be available and easy to access or dare I say PRESENTED to all women when they go in for their prenatal care and birth.
Shouldn’t all women have their pregnancy and birth treated as a beautiful process to be assisted and encouraged, not a medical condition to be treated and managed? Shouldn’t we get all the information about all of our birth options and be supported for the decisions we make. And shouldn’t all options be safe and legal?
But no, if it doesn’t make money for doctors and hospitals it’s not presented to women. If we want a home birth, heck even a natural birth IN A HOSPITAL, we’re told how unsafe it is and scare tactics are used to bully us. In many states it’s even illegal to have a midwife attend your birth. Of course it can be unsafe to have a home birth if your midwife is having to work covertly and is afraid to come with you to the hospital if there are any complications on fear of prosecution!
Okay, I’m not going to even try to find statistics on a lot of this stuff, because there aren’t good, solid, accurate statistics out there. But the US is one of the only countries where doctors do most of the prenatal care for births. Even in most developed countries, midwives provide well over 3/4s of prenatal care and births. And why do women who don’t want or need to labor in a hospital, a place where diseases are treated, have that as the only “safe” option to deliver their baby? Why aren’t there birth centers all over our country where women can labor in a peaceful and homelike environment which will help her stay calm and ease the labor process. Heck, why can’t we labor and deliver at home where we’re completely comfortable and be surrounded by the people we love?
I’m not saying it’s for everyone. But if it were “normal”, wouldn’t more women consider it? If we weren’t basically forced to deliver in a bright, stark hospital room with people we don’t know in and out with beeping and cables and monitors surrounding us, don’t you think it would be a little more peaceful and we’d have more relaxed and quick deliveries?
We’re not really told, but we sure feel the pressure of the second we reach 40 weeks we’re late! Full term is 38-42 weeks. 42w1d is late. Doesn’t mean unsafe for mom or baby, just fully baked and time to observe. The stress of thinking we have a late baby will cause problems of their own. So far, I’ve avoided to comparison of human birth to that of other mammals, but that’s what we are. Farmers and veterinarians know that if you interfere or stress a laboring animal that the mother will hold on to her baby and delay delivery. It’s been observed in prey animals that they can be pushing out their baby and a predator comes and their bodies physically pull the baby back in so that they can safely get away. Are we really so different when it comes to stress and hormones, the factors that drive labor and delivery?
And then to the interventions. What ever happened to informed consent? On TV commercials drug companies are forced to list all the possible side effects that go along with that medicine. When we’re offered our pitocin, are we told that it will make the contractions harder, less effective, and harsher on the baby then natural ones? And that just by using pitocin we’ve greatly increased our risk for having a c-section? When we’re offered our epidural early, are we told that it will slow down labor and make it harder to deliver because we will now be restricted to our bed? And that 1/5 of women who’ve had an epidural will have lasting back pain? Yes, they are wonderful options for those who need it, and many women have wonderful experiences using them, but should it be PUSHED on everyone?
I’ve been told “anyone can find anything on Google, anyone can find the information they want in a blog or study and skew it how they want. These are medical professionals, we can trust them!” Or my favorite, “So you’ve watched The Business of Being Born, so you’re an expert now, right?” Yes that movie got me started, but why should I have to search to find information that my DOCTOR should be presenting me? Why are services that most women around the world use regularly so rare and hard to find, or even illegal in the United States of America? We talk about the cost of healthcare being so outrageous in our country, listen to these statistics from 2007 (that’s right, I am using statistics, but these were easy to find!):
The average cost of a birth center birth: $1872
The average cost of a vaginal delivery with no complications in a hospital: $8316
The average cost of a vaginal delivery WITH complications in a hospital: $10690
The average cost of a cesarean delivery with no complications in a hospital: $14843
The average cost of a cesarean delivery WITH complications in a hospital: $18915
That’s just for the birth ladies! Not for the prenatal care. Part of what was making me consider a home birth this time around was even after insurance, the out of pocket cost for my kids’ births were over $2000 4 and 6 years ago. When I was researching for options this time around, I found I could get an experienced midwife to do all my prenatal, birth and postpartum care in my own home for an average of $3000. Why isn’t this presented as an option, especially with the cost of healthcare is skyrocketing in our country? Again, not saying it’s for everyone, but if it was a normal option in our country and we all knew women who’d had one and could readily find information, and midwives were supported by doctors, wouldn’t it be a safe and cost effective option?
We live in the information age. We have informed consent with over the counter medication, why not for a major life event? We’re not being presented with valid information and research studies and the basic facts and risks for an event that not only brings a life into the world but also we’ll remember for the rest of our lives. The information is not only hard to come by but withheld and we have to search and sort through all kinds of stuff on our own and push for what we want. Thank God we’re still not pushed twilight birth is all I can say.