Saturday, September 17, 2011

What have we done? A beginners view...

About a year ago I started to look into becoming a doula... For those that may not know what it is, a doula is a birth coach... They support the mother AND father and help make the birth as comfortable as possible. Typically they support unmedicated and as little medical interventions as necessary. The reason isn't because they just are holier than thou or because they are more hippy but because there is actual research to show how much healthier, usually quicker and satisfying for all those involved. Because I started to look into this I learned a lot and it just makes SENSE!

Now that I am pregnant myself, we're planning a birth based on these things and Joe is quite supportive. He agrees that it makes sense and so we are being active participants in both our pregnancy and planning for birth. We are asking important questions, making sure that we have the right support, and being realistic but hopeful. I'm not going to say that without a doubt I'm not going to have a c-section or medications however I'm going to do all that I can to prepare so that it doesn't happen. I'm preparing mentally and emotionally. I'm being an informed consumer within the medical realm... Not all doctors are just out to get ya but there are some things to be really cautious about. With all this being said... The main reason why this is a blog posting is because it's seriously irritating me with how uninformed, unprepared, and brain washed so many people are when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth. I'm not going to say by any means that I'm a expert in fact I believe I'm barely scratching the surface but why aren't other people even trying to scratch at the truth?

Regardless of whenever you believe the world began, women have been having babies for a long time. Until approximately the 1920-1930's doctors were not the common ones delivering babies, midwives were. The switch became drastic, it went from women that knew about birthing and were actively involved to going to hospitals and literally having babies drug from them. These women in the hospitals were heavily drugged and forceps etc became common in these deliveries. For years this was the common way of birthing until it started changing in the 70's-80's back to women being active participants in their births. My own mother was unmedicated in the late 1980's-early 1990's for my brother, sister and I...

The doctors have changed by far in their approach but still there are certain things that are in common. They are medically trained to fix a problem, ie broken legs, heart attacks, illnesses etc. Childbirth doesn't really follow this guideline. But too often in our society we have begun to classify childbirth into this category. Women can choose to have unnecessary drugs, interventions and even serious surgery aka cesareans. Most women unless they search for answers are not told that these drugs can actually intensify labor pain (pitocin), increase length of childbirth (epidurals), and increase chances of serious long term injury to the mother (both pitocin and epidurals). They're not told that these interventions can lead to infections (vaginal exams), cause more unnecessary procedures (constant fetal monitoring can lead to more cesareans). They're not told that cesareans ARE serious surgery, make it harder for women to breast feed (another topic for another time), don't allow for natural helpful things to happen for the newborn (ie, giving birth vaginally helps expel liquids etc out of lungs and prepare for the world) along with many other possible dangers. These are just a few of what happens within the medical model. DON'T get me wrong. If it means that the baby or Mom are seriously in danger then it makes sense and is the reason why we have these interventions. This is why I believe God has given us doctors and these options. HOWEVER too many interventions happen without cause. Many officials and organizations approximate that the cesarean rate shouldn't be higher than 10 percent however the national average is approaching 36%!!!

Ok, sorry y'all i needed to vent about this. I'm just so sick of hearing these type of comments around my friends "whaaat, they're letting you go another week? They should have induced you LAST week" (that friend just hit the 40 week mark), "more drugs the merrier" etc....

The best things a pregnant woman can do is ASK questions, make sure she's informed. RELAX- how do you expect to give birth to a child when your body is so tense? PREPARE- work out (ok this is an area that I'll admit I should increase), allow your mind to catch up with whats happening to your body... and Don't listen to whatever everyone else says! I was told that I didn't need any child birth classes to just arrive at the hospital and the doctors will tell me what to do... Waiiiiit. So this is like not preparing for a marathon? Who would do that? Please don't get me wrong, I don't think anyone is stupid or won't be their friend because they decide to get an epidural etc not everyone has the information or thinks to do homework on this because its how society has made it. So why are we such informed consumers about everything but not so much this area? What have we created in this society? Women that think that their bodies are incapable and aren't given support but rather fed more information into that they're not able to do it all... I'm not saying that its not going to hurt or that there may be doubts in the mind.. However there are ways to reduce pain naturally and empower women to do what God created them to do... Oh and, WHO says that the baby has to be delivered BY the 40th week?! The average gestation is 41.7 weeks!

I'm going to be giving birth in a hospital, however I am going to child birth classes with my husband and asking my doctor many questions about how she works and believes. We either agree or come to very acceptable middle grounds (for instance, we're going to use fetal monitoring but only for 15 minutes each hour). We're going to labor at home as long as possible and head to the hospital when we're certain that labor is progressing well and are close to birthing our sweet baby girl (we only live 10-15 minutes from the hospital). There ARE ways to use both the medical model and natural in a cohesive way. It just takes patience, deliberation (make sure that the medical team know what you want and that you have good support so that you're not the only one pushing for informed consent during childbirth- husband or mother or doula GREAT for this), and training...


  1. Have you seen the documentary, "The Business of Being Born?" This post reminds me of that movie; I think you would enjoy it.

    And, good for you for making informed choices.

  2. Nicole- I have watched that! You should read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.. Highly eye opening I think for any woman!