Sunday, May 22, 2011

What is birth anyway......?

Quite literally, birth is just the way to get your baby out. Period. I won't win any midwife essay contests or popularity contests with that bold statement.  But I do believe it. Sometimes I beleive some of us make way too much of it and put way too much weight it in. Because what do you say to the moms who relied on surgery to get their baby out. Who were perhaps unconscious when they delivered or had no or little say in the interventions posed on them.... had a horrific experience. Or what about the adoptive mom. Less a mother? Less bonded. Less loving. Babies are less happy?
I believe how a woman handles her birthing expereince and how we as providers of that care reflect our feelings is what makes the difference in how she sets out on her mothering trail.
We need to do what we can to lessen a woman's "disappointment" in her outcome when that outcome is only that she  did not get the birth she desired.  If she is holding a beautiful, healthy babies in her arms we shouyld all rejoice in her accomplishment of birthing her baby no matter how that precious one emerged.......
Now with that said, I do believe that having the privilege of accomplishing the birth of her dreams is a wonderful and blessed thing. But that doesn't happen for all women.For many times due to circumstances beyond their control.  And as midwives, if we are true to our namesake of "with woman" then we must honor all women. No matter what birth they chose or was chosen for them.
I remember once when I worked with a group of midwives. I had come from a solo practice where I felt my job was to educate  women  in their choices and then honor what they decided was best for them......The midwives and I were talking about epidurals.  And I stated that I had many women in my old practice that received epidurals because thats want they wanted. One midwife posed this question to me...(quite condescending I might say, too) "Well, why would a woman who wants an epidural come to a midwife?"  What? I thought.....????  Uh.....because of the care we give....because we as midwives should be there for them no matter what. Because, quite simply my dear fellow midwife, "It's not our birth"  It's their birth and not all women need  nor want to accomplish a completely natural drug free birth. And that's okay in my book. I really wish we could open up our practice to hospital births as well. Because I know there would be many women we could serve who want and need to be in the hospital for the birth of their babes.

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