Impressions of the two sensational reports
In reference to the controversial issues involved over our nation’s childbirth options, Beth Overton said
“The real power in changing things is to have mothers speak up. Otherwise this controversy is perceived as a turf war by providers.”
As an expectant mother, I have the responsibility to choose a provider that will care for me and my baby through pregnancy, birth and post-natal care.
Wait- there’s more than that. As a member of our community, I have a responsibility to listen to mothers- to hear what they want, what they consider safe, and what they know is right or best for them and their babies.
So, as I plan for the birth of my third baby, I pay attention when I get the opportunity to watch a movie like Orgasmic Birth. When I am referenced to a story on the Today Show entitled “The Perils of Home Births,” I pay attention. I study, observe, scrutinize and investigate the facts that are presented.
Here are a few of the things that made an impression on me from these video reports:
The hard face of the man who pulled on the attached-to-baby’s-head device during a documented vacuum extraction (Orgasmic Birth (OrB))
The special kiss shared by a couple as a woman experienced labor (OrB)
The sad voice of a mother, Kathryn McKenzie, as she regretted her choice for a midwife when her home birth experience ended in the death of her child. (The Today Show (TS))
The many pounds of baby (10lbs!) a woman was able to deliver through a positive, natural birth experience at home (TS)
The calm nature of a a little baby who just emerged from her mother’s womb and was welcome by the soft spoken song of her caring grandmother’s lullaby (OrB)
The intrusive yank a surgeon employed to pull a baby from an open stomach incision. The baby’s cry when it was rushed across the room away from its mother. The length of that foot-long looking tube that was crammed down its throat (OrB)
The presented fact that the rates of birth-related deaths are in direct correlation with the rates of c-sections. While the World Health Organization has found an optimal, safe c-section rate to be at 12%, the average rate of c-sections in the US is almost 30%- DOUBLE the safe rate (OrB)
The concern that hospitals often treat births like medical emergencies and may end up performing many unnecessary c-sections out of fear of malpractice lawsuits (TS)
Kathryn McKenzie’s lament, “I’d have a hundred c-sections over if I could just have my child in my arms. So c-section is not the worst thing. Losing our Noa was definitely the worse thing” (TS)
As I have just recently viewed these two reports, my commitment to mothers is renewed. I hope that I can help provide expectant mothers with accurate, honest information for safe options. I hope I respect individual choices that mothers make as they consider the specific locations and spiritual environments for their births. I hope that I recognize mothers’ devotion to and innate love for their babies.
As we consider health care reform, let us consider the expectant mothers of our nation. Let us listen to them. Let us hear what they wish for their babies and what they know is right for them and their families.