Roundup: Birth Matters for Women


Birth Matters, really.


Birth matters, not just to the women who have an “idealized” birth, but to all of us because everything surrounding birth can affect long-term both mom, baby and society. However, laws surrounding birth can change the course of lives – and since the US ranks low in maternal outcomes and in the outcomes for babies, it is important that we, as citizens of a “free’ nation, we are aware of how our liberties are being compromised.birth

Birth is in the news

Arizona is supposedly overhauling midwifery for licensed midwives (it was supposed to reduce the burden, but instead, it appears that more restrictions are happening, and women are losing their rights to choose a safe birth). You can view their information above, or make a comment here.

North Carolina may be losing opportunities to give birth at home with a midwife. They’re looking for support as the bill is up for vote, like, NOW.

Oregon recently passed a low allowing women to take home their placentas.

The problem with medicalized low-risk births is that rather than paying attention to the actual birth, hospital births are often regulated by machines and shift changes.


Hospitals mess with birth

  • I mean from doctors continually denying food to laboring patients (when this is based on one study that has never been replicated and is “in case” you need a cesarean. Because you know, if you ever need surgery because of say a car crash or something… they make sure you haven’t consumed food, right?)
  • to pulling on the umbilical cord (new study is showing this shouldn’t be done, and midwives generally don’t mess with the natural birth process- so how long will it take for this to be passed through the OB ranks?)
  • to delayed cord clamping, which may help prevent the need for formula and baby food companies (ahem Nestle) companies to portray the need for iron fortified foods on a routine basis.
  • to the fact that ACOG now recognize potential effects on babies with the use of pitocin (a synthetic hormone) and already knows the issues for birth outcomes (note in the ACOG link there, they say pitocin is used when a woman is overdue. That’s laughable. There’s a reason they’re now trying to get OBs to stop medically unsound inductions!)

All these were known by midwives. Yet, midwives are the ones always under scrutiny? I just don’t get it. Where are our liberties as women? Where are our rights? I recently finished reading “The Tyrrany of the Cubicle,” it was too entirely true to real life and too eye opening perhaps. The reminders of the liberties and freedoms we do not have and how someone doing paperwork in a cubicle has so much power over our “free” lives.

We, as women, need to know we’re strong. We need to teach our sons and daughters the truth about birth. We need to be open and honest about our fears. Once this happens, birth will be supported and maybe, perhaps, the US will rise above their current rank as highest first day deaths in the industrialized world and overall 50th rank in maternal mortality. With ~1% of women giving birth at home, we clearly know what the issue is, right? Has to be natural birth at fault!

In the end, there’s no right birth. There’s no wrong birth either. But birth matters.

A woman just needs to have the rights to a competent health care provider of her choice.


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  1. Awesome round up! You cracked me up with the comment about making sure you haven’t eaten before a car crash!! I think you’ve really keyed into the idea that change will come from teaching the next generation about what birth should really look like. Unfortunately, I’m at a loss as how to accomplish it as most of the parents don’t know!! One of the most interesting things in reading the stories in the natural birth book I’m writing on is how influenced the women were by seeing their own mothers give birth. Do you have any ideas how we can spread the word to the next generation? I’m sharing!

    1. I agree – to make change we need to make sure that we don’t perpetuate fear. I mean, if someone fears swimming and doesn’t allow their kids to swim, they won’t learn. Then they teach their kids to fear, rather than respect water. The same is with birth. We can respect that the birth process is complex yet comes naturally, like swimming or other things in life. What you don’t know can be feared, but once you understand, swimming in a pool or in calm water is perfectly fine. It is those bumps, and waves that cause issues. And for most of us, birth will have small ebbs and a big flow at the end, but by the time that happens, we just get past the last hurdle and done. For women in situations where they’re in the middle of the ocean (ie, high risk) then of course, use what you need to get out of the situation. But we don’t put a 10 year old in a baby pool with 10 floaties and tell them to be afraid!

  2. I really like this post. I am so interested in the whole birth process. I’ve had two babies in hospitals and I really want to try a home birth or a birthing center birth but I’m too scared! Posts like this help me get a little more confidence to try things naturally the next time around.

    1. Good luck! Find a nearby birth circle or and attend some meetings. You can usually find them in larger areas, but even small, remote areas have doulas around – they usually will have meetings for their former clients. “We do better when we know better.” Knowledge really is power!

  3. Great info. I have yet to experience a completely natural birth but that is my goal for baby #3 – better late than never, right?


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