20 February 2009

You all know (or, maybe you don't) that I am a birth doula and that I feel very passionately about pregnancy and childbirth. I believe firmly that women were made to give birth and that they are fully capable of excelling at this very natural function of life.

I found this video on my friend Susan's blog and it cracks me up. They actually show a smaller clip of this same video in the 2008 birth documentary "The Business of Being Born" (which I highly recommend you watching - you can watch it instantly on your computer if you have Netflix or you can borrow it from your local library if you don't).

The clip seems ridiculous, but sadly isn't always as far a stretch from the truth as you'd like or think. Women and the natural processes of their bodies are so often taken out of the equation of birth when they should be the main focus. Births are scheduled for convenience, women are scared out of letting their babies grow to term and because so many babies don't have the chance to travel through the birth canal, they are often too weak to be with their Mommies and have to be isolated.

**steps off soapbox**

The truth is, the way a woman gives birth should be up to the woman. A woman should choose to labor with or without pain relief and for the labor to be onset by drugs or naturally. It is her decision and that is very important. Sadly, women aren't always able to make informed decisions because they are just that - uninformed. And as a result, the decisions they make may ultimately put the decision-making in the hands of doctors who may not view birth as a natural function of life, but as a medical problem that needs to be monitored and corrected.

**seriously, stepping off the soapbox**

Please, enjoy the funny video!

I feel like I need to clarify here that I'm so incredibly not out to offend anyone. Some of you may not share my passion, and some of you may just downright disagree. I'm okay with that. We can agree to disagree. I love y'all and I'm so glad that when it all boils down, you have healthy, happy children. And, by all means, I welcome your comments from any perspective.

If you have questions about pregnancy and childbirth (and aren't scared away by my strong feelings on the subject), please, ask! Know that my role as a doula is to share information, to equip couples to make their own decisions regarding the births of their children, to prepare them for childbirth, and then to support them wholly in their decisions.

Also, if you are in the Huntsville, Alabama area, Tracy is currently training to be a doula. And, if you're in the AnnArbor, Michigan area, Susan is a birth doula and is currently training to be a home birth midwife. Holla, girls!


Christine said...

This is one of my fave MP sketches (next to the Spanish Inquisition.) I love the administrator's question: "What sort of thing is that?" when he's told he's at a birth. HA!

Thanks for getting on your soapbox. We all need a passion, and this is an important one.

4cunninghams said...

I believe, with the exception of elective c-sections (I don't believe that sections for no reason should be an option) should be able to deliver with or without pain medication, and should have the option to be induced if it is after reaching full term, which I think is at 37 weeks (correct me if I'm wrong). I know that my husband's previous job made it very difficult to just call into work, and an induction made the entire process of taking time off work easier (although that baby was chose to come said induction, but thankfully on a weekend). My first deliver was induced at 35 weeks 6 days due to a minor complication and while it was a longer process, it was actually the easier of the two. I think if women want to be induced because it does make things a little easier as far as timing it, great. If they wish to go naturally, that is great too. But as I stated before, I do not believe that a major surgery should ever be an option just for convenience or because you don't want a cone headed baby or you don't feel like pushing. I think c-sections should be reserved for necessity only. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes those that want to go naturally and hate intervention forget that the choice to have intervention, etc... is a choice as well. It's funny to me to hear someone berate someone who wants interventions because the irony is that many times a woman wants it!

Sometimes we assume intervention means against the mothers' wishes when it was her choice all along.

Christine said...

Let's remember that the focus of Raechel's post was CHOICE. Sure, she has her opinions, her "ideal" labor and delivery plans, but she first and foremost wants to recognize that the choice to do whatever, be it induction or drugs or whatever, lies entirely in the mother's hands.

Tracy said...

I think Christine hit the nail on the head. Its all about choice.

You know where I stand on this, Rae.

I was veru UNinformed with my first birth. I ended up with an induction (with out knowing the increased chance of c/s) that resulted in a c/s. I felt SO cheated. It was definitely NOT a birth that I wanted or desired. but, what that did was push me in the right direction. It made me get informed.

4cunninghams said...

After re-reading what I wrote, I realize it was poorly worded. I know you emphasized the word choice, and reading my comment again makes it sound like I completely skipped over that part.

Hannah said...

Hi! I have been reading your blog recently and think it's great. I have some questions that I've been thinking about recently... maybe you can help me out.

1.I don't want to have an epidural- is there another type of pain medicine that wouldn't be so strong and knock me out so I can't remember what happened?

2.How do you feel about episiotomies? Do you think its better to go naturally so it heals better?

I know this is a strange comment:) but thought you might have some opinion on it so if you want to email me: hannah.skeeters@gmail.com


Kameron said...

I agree with you all the way. That is why I chose to go with a midwife. I just feel that sometimes doctors are just trying to get you in and out on their time and not concerned with the natural order of things.

I managed to have my boy with no drugs and no intervention (not even an apeziotomy (totally spelled wrong I know)!!!)and it was the best feeling ever. I think women should stand up for what they want. I wrote a birth plan and made sure my midwife and the labor and delivery staff had it too. Thanks for looking out for mommies and their babies!