"Birth is something women do.....not something that happens to them!" - Ina May Gaskin
You'd be surprised how many people don't think this way! We have been taught that birth is a medical procedure and that we need all the medical help we can get to give birth successfully. We have not been taught or shown just how powerful our body is and how perfectly we are designed to give birth with minimal assistance. I was one of these people. My body may be able to give birth, but I wanted all the medical back up I could at my disposal in case something went wrong. The hidden caveat to this is that when you enter the hospital setting their protocols may not allow you to labor in they way you want. Electronic fetal monitoring, I.V.'s, and blood pressure cuffs can all limit mobility and can be stressful to the mom. Bright lights, blinking machines, and beeping monitors can be distracting and take the focus away from the laboring mother and her needs. Many hospitals still restrict food and fluid intake in anticipation of possible surgery.
"What are my options?" you may ask. First of all you need to become well informed of your choices and what may be available to you in your area. Do you prefer an OB/GYN, a family practitioner, certified nurse midwife, or lay midwife?
Ask around. Go to mother's groups, lactation specialists, La Leche League, and preschools and asks mothers about their care providers and the quality of their experience.
Ask the care providers what their philosophy for labor and birth are and what their role should be as well as what they expect of you.
Find out what their intervention rates are: percentage of c-sections, epidurals, inductions, use of pitocin, forceps, vacuum extractions.
Learn about the pros and cons of interventions and how they affect birth outcomes. A good book for this is
"A Thinking Woman's Guide To a Better Birth",
By Henci Goer.
Her information on interventions and the pros and cons of each is very accurate and up-to-date.
***Remember it is okay to question your care provider.
It's also okay to shop around and find a care provider that will most closely meet your needs. This is your birth, your body, and your needs. Honor yourself.
Good Luck and God Bless,