Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Go Read this Great Article!

Feb 5, 2012--edited to remove all mention of and links to the birth organization I cannot in good conscience support in any way, including the very mention of their name.  This organization has failed to make good on many promises, many of which are financial, and has behaved appaulingly unprofessionally in many ways.

As I have announced somewhat here on this blog and more officially to clients and friends, I am now a (link removed from post so as not to drive traffic to their scam of a site) Educator.

Recently, I started my first (edited) class.  I have a student couple who has made the decision to birth at home with their first baby.  A rarity, but a wise choice.  One I wish I had had the smarts to make with my firstborn. (Not that I regret my decision of hospital birth--I just did not know enough to choose and be comfortable with home birth back then.)

If home birth is not initially scoffed at and completely thrown aside, the scenario all-too-often goes like this: a mom-to-be states, "I'm not entirely comfortable with home birth.  I'll have this baby in the hospital, and if all goes well, we can consider out-of-hospital birth in the future;" little knowing that the choice of hospital birth will often lead her to the conclusion that she or her baby would have been in trouble at least, and would have died at worst--had she not given birth in said hospital.

Indeed, it is this faulty premise that feeds the illusion of the need to birth in a hospital in order to have a safe birth.  Mom encounters problems in labor and birth while in hospital, and incorrectly assumes that had she been at home, she would have experienced these same complications.  Ask any birth junky: the common quip from women after such an experience is: ". . . And thank GOD we were in the hospital, or . . . (insert dangerous and/or life-threatening scenario here). . . would have happened, and . . . (insert individual's name and horrific outcome here)!"  The faulty logic is that birth = danger, while in fact, very often it is birthing in the hospital that causes the problems encountered in birth: the iatrogenic complications (that is, problems arising as a result of medical intervention, not the actual birthing process).  Yes, hospitals are good for some births, and yes, major abdominal surgery is life-saving in some instances, but this does not mean that the hospital is the safest place to birth for most women.

If you are reading this and it makes sense, I am preaching to the choir.  For any readers who wonder, "Where is she getting these crazy correlations?!", I would truly love to spend a few hours on this post and give all the statistical data to back up what I've said in the above paragraphs, but alas, I have four young children, a teething and needy seven-month-old asleep on my chest as I type, and I need to start dinner, finish laundry, and otherwise continue cleaning and preparing for my next class.  So I regret to say that the above statements will have to suffice as a teaser and a challenge for anyone not convinced of the normalcy of birth.

Since having joined (name withheld) Birth, I have regained an excitement about teaching the essentials of a safe and satisfying birth.  I have also absolutely enjoyed the never-before-experienced sense of community with my sisters in birth: fellow birth educators, doulas and midwives (to name a few) within the (name withheld) Birth community.  This great bunch of birth workers have challenged me, encouraged me and constantly bring new and interesting information my way.  I am LOVING my affiliation with (name withheld) Birth!  (Incidentally, what I loved--and still do--was  the community, which is still alive and well after a mass exodus of most of the educators who had originally joined the org.  The business, as it stands, is a blight to the birthing community.)

Today, one of my colleagues posted an older article by Mothering Magazine entitled: "You Want to Give Birth Where?", stating that the couple had been clients of hers and students of one of our fellow Brio educators (while she was under a previous certification).  This article is a good read: one that chronicles how an intelligent, mainstream couple came to the oft-assumed "brave" and "out-there" decision to birth at home.  (Interesting note: the dad/baby pictured with the article is not the dad/baby of the article: my colleague states that he and his wife were much more mainstream.  I mention this as an aside to encourage you to read the actual article and put aside any conclusions drawn upon seeing the picture.)  Enjoy the read!