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Happy New Year to Everyone. I hope this post finds that all is well in your world. Since taking my fertility massage then prenatal massage classes, I have become quite interested in natural child birth. I still have lots of research to do in this area, but I think when it’s time for us to have children this will be the route we’ll go. I’ve already found that when I mention this to people, they  tell my why would I endanger my baby’s life like that? They forget that that’s how we are supposed to have children…naturally. A couple we know have planned to have a home birth. They have experienced the same type of reactions. Here is an explanation of why she’s chosen a home birth as opposed to a hospital birth. I don’t think I could explain it any better than what she says here:

“I’m realizing that some people think our midwife is going to show up with a couple of towels, catch the baby, and be on her merry way without any further thought about the baby’s well being. For those of you who are at all curious, let me set the record straight. Our midwife will be coming to our house, with a second midwife (who have delivered about 300 babies each), fully equipped with everything the hospital has at their disposal for dealing with a normal, healthy birth. They will also have any other medical equipment needed in the event of respiratory distress, and many other problematic infant complications (which are rare in natural births.) The baby will be put directly into my arms, and will hopefully nurse very soon after birth. This releases more oxytocin, which helps the placenta detach and make its way out, and provides a “love cocktail” in the brain, triggering a truly amazing bonding feeling I’ve read about time and time again. The cord will be clamped and cut, not right away, but when it stops pulsating. At hospital births, they frequently cut the cord right away, depriving the baby of up to 1/4 of their total blood supply, and triggering anemia among other problems. After plenty of bonding time, the baby gets his Apgar score, is weighed, carefully evaluated, and given Vitamin K and eye ointment. Along with regular prenatal check-ups and birthing the baby, the midwives do several follow-up visits to the house to check on the well being of the entire family. The care they give is personal, attentive, plentiful, and mostly holistic. They cost a fraction of the price doctors charge, and the care you receive makes you feel like a movie star who has hired a private practitioner to be at your disposal whenever you need them.

We chose a natural water birth at home for no greater purpose than that we believe it is the very best start for our baby. We are fully covered for a $15,000 birth at a hospital, but we believe the path we chose will provide a much safer, more fulfilling experience for all of us. Giving birth in water provides a lot of pain relief, and we have taken a 12 week class on the Bradley Method of husband-coached childbirth to learn how to manage contraction pain. People think I am brave for choosing this, but I couldn’t disagree more. I think to give birth in a facility where 1 in 2 women have unnecessary C-sections as a result of the drugs they are given to induce labor or prevent pain takes a lot of courage! That’s major abdominal surgery, which is risky for both mother and baby and requires a lot longer recovery time. All just to birth a baby, which women have been doing just fine on their own for thousands of years. And this is the average C-section rate at our local hospitals, and at facilities all over this country. The World Health Organization says that the C-section rate should be about 7% given the number of women who actually have real complications during birth, and it is very close to that in most other countries. Yet here in the good old USA, the rate is 31%, the vast majority due to unnecessary interventions they routinely give at hospitals. It’s insane.

If I turn out to be one of the small minority of women who has complications requiring hospital intervention, God forbid, we are very close to the hospital. There are no real emergencies that the midwife can’t catch in plenty of time to get us safely to the hospital if need be. Midwives are also well-trained to deliver a baby with the cord wrapped around his neck while usually not having to cut it prematurely, as a doctor would usually do. The bottom line is that most births could very well happen naturally without any problem, but doctors and hospitals frequently wish to “get things moving” so everyone can go home and have dinner. No one wants to wait on a laboring woman who is taking 20 hours to deliver when a Pitocin drip and a $5000 epidural will really speed things up. But I digress.

I just get a little tired of people looking at me weird and telling me I’m so brave, with that unmistakable undertone of “I can’t believe you would risk your baby’s life like that.” If you’ve actually read this and are interested in finding out the truth about natural childbirth, you should really watch the award-winning film, “The Business of Being Born.” It’s really interesting, informative, and you get to see Ricky Lake give birth in her bathtub. We were lucky enough to have a few friends who had natural childbirths, and who were so totally satisfied, transformed, and fulfilled by their experiences, it moved us to investigate. I can’t say for sure I wouldn’t have chosen to go into the hospital and have an epidural if I hadn’t been so fortunate to discover other options. And we have done an enormous amount of research on the subject to come to this decision. It’s a pretty important one. While it may not be for everyone, it could be for most, as it is for most in the rest of the world. So that’s my case!”

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