method of lizzy

preservations… for posterity

Let’s talk about sex, baby

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth“It’s as though they think they invented birth.” My midwife shook her head sadly as she spoke about the views of many obstetricians. I had just met her, but we had already bonded over a shared philosophy of natural childbirth. A midwife for over thirty years, she said that she had seen the pendulum swing both ways when it came to intervention in birth. She couldn’t believe how technological birth is today, and she hoped that the pendulum would soon swing back. I do, too.

There are many parts of our lives that are improved by technology, but childbirth isn’t one of them. Pregnancy is a natural part of life and one that a woman’s body is built to handle. It is not a disease requiring hospitalization, medication, and other intervention. This is what Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth is all about. Some of the more prevalent misconceptions about birth are that (1) it is inherently dangerous, and (2) it has to be painful. Think again. Ina May provides the experience and the data to open your eyes to an entirely new view of birth. Consider this, for instance: In 1999, the US ranked twenty-first in the world in its rate of maternal death. Midwives attend fewer than 10% of births in this country. In the countries with the lowest maternal and infant death rates, midwives attend births and provide prenatal care for eighty percent of women.

Please read Ina May’s book if you ever intend on becoming pregnant or if you are at all interested in women’s health. This book covers so much incredible information, and my little post simply cannot do it justice. In the meantime, do not fear birth as a painful experience. Don’t think that you must have babies in the hospital. Appreciate doctors, but recognize that their training is in pathology and their decisions may tend more towards liability control.

For my own reference, questions I will want to ask my midwife:

  • how many women does she have to care for at once?
  • who will care for me if she isn’t at work when I go into labor?
  • what prenatal tests does she do routinely?
  • what procedures does she do routinely for women in labor?
  • is she open to me having a doula?
  • what is her rate of c-sections?
  • in the case of a c-section, do the doctors at this hospital use a double suture?
  • does the hospital allow eating and drinking during labor?
  • what is the practice of episiotomy on first-time mothers?
  • is there a time limit on labor?
  • will there be a rush to cut the cord? a rush to deliver the placenta?
  • can the baby room-in? how long do we have to stay?

February 25, 2007 - Posted by | alternatives, books, childbirth, crunchy, midwifery

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