What are your experiences with birth?

Amanda Witman
By Amanda Witman on Mon, Sep 10, 2012 - 3:47pm

Welcome to this group!  I thought perhaps we could start by briefly telling a bit about our experiences with birth (birthing our own children, attending the births of others, supporting friends who are expecting or recently had a baby, hearing others' stories of their experiences...???)

I have four children and have had four very different births:

  1. medically complicated, induced in hospital with certified nurse-midwife (CNM), many interventions
  2. uncomplicated, birthed in hospital with CNM and doula, no interventions, went home early
  3. midwife-attended home waterbirth with lay midwife, assistant, doula
  4. unassisted home waterbirth

I've supported new parents for many years as a breastfeeding educator and counselor, have supported many friends as they processed their birth experiences, and I have heard and read a wide variety of birth stories.  I believe that in most cases, homebirth is at least as safe as hospital birth (see Henci Goer's book, Obstetric Myths vs. Research Realities).  Some people assert that under some circumstances, homebirth is sometimes safer than hospital birth, and I am inclined to believe it.  I feel it's important for women to birth in the setting where they are comfortable, whether hospital, birthing center, home, or somewhere else, but sometimes there is no choice for the mother.

I think many modern women (and their partners and caregivers) routinely turn responsibility for their birth -- choices and outcomes -- over to medical professionals.  I anticipate that in coming times, if medical support is more expensive and/or less available, fewer people will have that luxury.  Part of resilience is being able to take responsibility for one's own health and safety, and also to support the health and safety of those in our families and communities.  I'm not a midwife or a doula by certification, but I have gathered much knowledge and experience over the years, and I can reasonably guess that it may be needed and valued in my community as time goes on.  It is reasonable to think that the hospital birth model will change as our health-care and hospital-care models change in response to economic changes and resource scarcity.

And that's just the topic of birth...  I have more to say but will save other topics for other discussions.

Please share your thoughts on anything related -- and introduce yourself, too.




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