One question I get asked almost immediately by everyone who learns I’m pregnant is “Who’s your doctor?” or “Which hospital are you using?” Most people are completely shocked when I tell them I don’t have a doctor and I’m not giving birth in a hospital. Instead, I’ve chosen to have a completely natural birth at a birth center with a midwife and a doula in attendance.
It’s at this point that I get the incredulous stares and then a flustered reply. And the most common reply is…“WHY?” Well…
1. I trust my body and my instincts more than I trust doctors. I have never had good experiences with those in the medical field. All of the significant issues that I’ve suffered (back injury, strange allergies, skin problems, etc.) have been correctly diagnosed by ME and cured or managed through completely natural methods that I researched and discovered after the drugs that the doctors recommended continued to fail or made the issues worse. I have never found a doctor that is willing to truly listen to me and what I observe about my body and every doctor I’ve seen has been way too drug happy for me (I am very sensitive to even the most “mild” drugs). Of course, I know that not all doctors are this way and I’m sure there are some fantastic ones out there. I just have not met them.
Moreover, I deeply believe that women–ALL WOMEN–are capable of having a natural, un-medicated birth. This is what our bodies were made to do. I do not believe that all the women that have given birth for hundreds of years before OB/GYNs were invented just “got lucky.” The human body is an amazing thing and can do and endure amazing things. I also believe that American women have been essentially brainwashed into believing that birth is akin to a sickness that MUST be handled in a hospital or dire things can and will occur. We’ve been led to believe that the pain is so unbearable that we have to numb our mind and bodies to feeling the process of labor and delivery. Well, I call bullshit. Yes, I know that labor and delivery is going to be painful. Yes, I know it will be hard. But I truly believe that I am made to be strong enough to do it as God intended–without medication and without unnecessary intervention.
2. I trust my midwife and my doula to guide me. Of course, I know that in certain circumstances, a woman should be in a hospital and attended to by an OB/GYN. That’s what OB/GYNs are good at: those circumstances in which the mother or baby or both NEED medical intervention. In most births, however, I do not believe a surgeon is necessary to deliver a healthy baby. However, my midwife and my doula have both been trained to know when such medical intervention is necessary and I am confident that, if necessary, I can and will be transported to a hospital within minutes. So if my midwife tells me at any point that it’s time to go, we’ll go and I will be grateful for the medical attention. Otherwise, I trust that they will help me birth my baby naturally and safely.
3. I believe a natural birth is in the best interest of my baby. I am a strong believer that the synthetic drugs that a hospital pumps into a laboring mother’s system is not in the best interest of an infant. I will do everything in my power to make sure that my daughter is born without any kind of drug in her system. (And don’t get me started on the atrociously high rate of unnecessary C-sections…I could write a short novel on that subject). I also believe that the instant separation between mother and baby after a baby is delivered in the hospital is detrimental to the essential bonding process for mother and child. A natural birth allows my baby to remain with me, skin to skin, from the moment she comes out of my body until I decide it’s time to put her down somewhere else. All of the health checks that need to be made on my baby after she is born can be done safely and effectively while she is in my arms. And I’ll be damned if someone else gets to care for and snuggle my child after I go through so much to bring her into this world!
So, those are my top three reasons in a nutshell. Like I said before, I do believe there are good reasons for “traditional” hospital births and I do not discourage other women from going that route if that is their choice. But I also believe that women are not being given all the information they need to make that determination based on facts rather than rumor and fear-based misinformation perpetuated by the American culture. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about natural birth vs. “traditional” birth in America, I HIGHLY encourage you to watch the documentary called The Business of Being Born. It is eye-opening and pretty unbiased.
And, as always, if you have any questions for me, I’d be happy to answer them!