Maybe it’s not just babywearing. Maybe it’s not gentle parenting. Maybe it’s not cosleeping and breastfeeding. Maybe attachment starts at birth.
I had two natural hospital births. The first was empowering, a group of women cheering me on while I pushed. For the second, in the 10 whole minutes I was pushing, I was instructed to stop so they could get a read on his heart and prep the room. I can only imagine what fun we would have had if I’d been there longer.
For both, I thought I could run a marathon afterward, if I didn’t have to breastfeed immediately! I was strong and able.
But I’m one of the lucky ones. I was given a good birth legacy, a “Your body is capable. It can do this!” (Thanks, Mom.) Many are not so lucky. They are told that labor and delivery will be scary, painful, unmanageable without medications.
I think for most people birth is a nightmare
It hasn’t been what a baby would want.
In our births, is it only about us? When are we going to start asking, “What does baby want?”
A new documentary, narrated by Noah Wyle (ironically enough), seeks to explore this issue. Admittedly, I have only seen the trailer and read what is available on their Web site. Already, I’m trying to finagle a screening through a local birth group.
Isn’t how we come into this world important? The movie, which has sparked debate, explores natural birth as best for baby, not just mama. For some, perhaps those who needed medical interventions to give birth, it may cut too close.
But let’s look at it this way: Who do we want to say, “Welcome to this world!”: A present and empowered mama, or a team of doctors and staff and a bunch of machines and tests?
Certainly, medical interventions are sometimes needed. Pitocin, fetal heart monitoring, C-sections: these have helped in some cases.
I am a natural birthing advocate not because I want to guilt parents, mamas especially. Babies I love are here because of medical technology. I simply believe in the capability of women’s bodies to give birth.
Should medical interventions be the standard in childbirth, or the exception?
Of the most common procedures done in a hospital, the top 6 come out of maternity care.
Is that the kind of care we want on the day our children enter the world?
Currently, the United States sets a new record annually for the number of C-sections performed. For all of our fabulous interventions, we are still failing when it comes to our infant mortality rate.
The infant mortality rate in the U.S. is higher than any other industrialized nation.
Let’s not pat ourselves on the back until we get it right, hmm?
I find it sadly funny that everything old is new again. Cloth diapering, babywearing, cosleeping, breastfeeding: these are things that should not have had to be taught again.
Natural birth is something our bodies know, deep within. While we are relearning everything else, let’s take a step back and start with peaceful birth.
To arrange a screening or to learn more about this film, go to the “What Babies Want” Web site.
Great post, Cate! A gentle way of asking us all to be more reflective about a far-reaching issue.
1001 petals says
I couldn’t agree more. I did not have a home birth for me — it was to decrease the risks to my baby. Hell, feeling like I am being murdered slowly is definitely not something I’d choose to endure otherwise! I would have loved an epidural if there was absolutely no risk to my baby and did not have a cascading effect of intervention after intervention.
After analyzing the stats and the way things typically go, I don’t see how someone would choose to do anything other than a natural birth, if possible.
Then again some people are willing to gamble whereas I don’t even visit casinos 🙂
I had an intensely uncomfortable feeling seeing Noah Wyle pop up on the screen… I don’t know why.. he’s like, too beautiful to be talking about childbirth. It’s like putting on your porno and seeing your boss pop up on the screen. Just no no no!
Once I come off the shock of seeing the hot ER doc talking about dad stuff, I’ll try to revisit it.
Binary Blonde says
I agree wholeheartedly. After I gave birth naturally, at a birthing center, to my son, I breastfed and cuddled with my husband and new baby. Then I showered and was sent home that same day (within 6 hours of giving birth). On the way home, I called several family members, who all said something to the effect of, “Wow, you sound so happy and alert! Not at all like you just gave birth!”
That spoke volumes to me about what the “status quo” is for women to “be like” after giving birth. To me, it said they expected me to sound groggy, tired, cranky, in pain or medicated.. or all of the above. Sad, but I am glad that I was able to dispel the myth.
That documentary would be great to show at birthing classes!
I love watch the documentary trailer of “what babies want”. It really feels good giving birth and being a mom.