Emails and Interventions

Nella* emailed me the other day. The email read:

OK, everyone knows that you are a natural childbirth nut. But why does that mean that the rest of us should feel bad for choosing what we have chosen? Don't you think it is a little judgmental to push your way of birth on me and others who choose whatever route of birth they want.. even if it doesn't line up with your view of how it should be done?"**
Alrighty... first off, I'm not a nut, although sometimes I feel like one, sometimes I don't! Second, I never 'push'.. Unless pushing means giving options (both medical and not), information (both both risks and benefits), and sharing positive birth stories.

Another aside, I am an advocate for natural birth, and there is a good reason why. It's not just about the experience, it's so much more.

The video below is a very small excerpt from Ricki Lake's Business of Being Born.

This particular excerpt deals with the cascade of interventions that occur in the majority of American hospital births. What is the Cascade of Interventions? It is the idea that one intervention leads to other interventions, which lead to other interventions...

An intervention is anything that intervenes, intercepts, or interferes with a process or thing... an IV, a vaginal exam, Fetal Monitors, etc...

There is a great article by Childbirth Connection that talks about the best ways to avoid unnecessary interventions that I believe every woman should read and take to heart.

Interventions introduce possible risk, and increased chance of risk is something that all women should be interested in avoiding if at all possible during childbirth, as with all areas of their lives.

I support educated choices in childbearing, regardless if they are what I would do, as long as the risks and benefits are weighed carefully and completely. I have supported, proudly, beautifully empowering epidural births... but this is not the norm!

Some additional reads:
The Profit of Pain Relief
Benefits of NCB and Public Opinion

My intent is not to make you feel any way except thoughtful. I am not trying to grieve you, begrudge you, or anger you over your decision - I simply want you to know the risks and benefits so that you have no regrets, and no secondary anger, over your choices.

* name changed to protect identity
** posted applicable email content only


mommymichael said...

was this about your blog, or in person..
if about the blog...
i have two things to say to this..

1) if you know what you're going to read here, don't like it/don't agree.. then don't read. Seems pretty simple.

2) if you're happy with your baby/babies births, and how those occurred/choices you made.... then GREAT! That truly is wonderful.
By reading the information gleamed on this page you shouldn't feel guilty. After all - your body, your baby - your birth.

I've never seen anything here that is the least bit "you're wrong, we're right! you did things wrong wrong wroooooong."
Which is of course, non-sense.
It's educational. It's factual. So read or don't, but don't feel guilty.

Monica said...

I found this post interesting.

I'm one of those people who was devastated by my first birth. There were many interventions, that I was okay with at the time, but ultimately ended in my having a fourth degree tear that took months to heal and then needed reconstructive surgery. Since my babe was only 6 lbs, with a small head (no vacuum or forceps), I'm quite sure, if I'd known more about birth I could have avoided this. That part makes me sad. More than that, I'm angry that the hospital staff didn't work (at all) to prevent this. Is PREVENTING injury not something a hospital should be good at????

In subsequent births, I read more, learned more, asked many more questions, knowing that trusting the medical staff to have my best interests at the forefront was not something that worked for me in the past. I needed to know how to do this ... myself.

I went with a midwife for my next two births and while I trusted her, I didn't trust her as much as I trusted the hospital staff at my first birth. I still felt it was my responsibility to take charge of my birth and do it the way I wanted, the way that was safest for me.

I ended up having two wonderful births that were healing and powerful. I often say that I'd gladly give birth over and over again if it didn't mean raising the kids that came of the births. Ha! But really ... I loved giving birth. My births were not short and not easy. They were hard, but I got to see what I was really made of. I loved myself more after my births. That's what a natural birth gave to me. It gave me back myself.

This information HAS to become as accessible as managed hospital births. The pamphlets have to be sitting there side by side in the doctor's office. It has to. It would have saved me so much heart ache if it had been then and would be now.


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