Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Unassisted Childbirth

The Washington Post has an article today on Do-It-Yourself Delivery. Though I am not a supporter of unassisted childbirth, I do have an interest in the positive - or at least fair and unbiased - portrayal of normal birth in the media. The article contained this gem:
To [Mairi Breen] Rothman, [a nurse-midwife and spokeswoman for the American College of Nurse-Midwives, which does not support unassisted childbirth], Shanley's beliefs underscore a more fundamental problem with maternity care. "To me the really interesting question is, Why would someone go outside the system?" Rothman said. "What is so broken that they don't want to use it?"

[Heather] Jones, the Navy wife, has an answer. Her first delivery in a hospital four years ago was marred by "interventions and interferences based on someone's outside judgment" of how well her labor was progressing, she said. She said she felt pressured to have epidural anesthesia, was not allowed to move around as she wished and was denied access to her baby until he was two hours old because he was being observed by the hospital staff.

Jones said she decided to give birth to her third child unattended after her second was born five minutes after the midwife arrived at her home."

She was like, 'See, you didn't need me,' and I thought, 'You know, maybe I don't,' " she said, as baby Gideon, now 5 months old, cooed in the background.

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