Today I received an email that has been circulating amongst the midwifery community, that I found quite disturbing. Apparently Dr. Phil is collecting information to do a show on Midwifery and Home Births, this is not the disturbing part, what I find frustrating is how he is asking the questions.
In order to properly address this issue I feel that I need to give a little background history. My three oldest children were born in the hospital, very typical hospital births with no major complications. My last two children were born at home, absolutely amazing, empowering experiences for myself and my family.
Thirteen years ago when I was first pregnant I did not even think twice about finding an OBGYN to administer every test in the book to prepare me for the birth of my child. This was something that occurred in the hospital because that was the safest and why would I want anything else for my precious child?
After three hospital deliveries (no real horror stories) but made to feel that the staff knew what my body was doing more than I did, I realized that I needed to find something different. I did a lot of reading and found a wonderful team (Midwife and her Assistant). It is funny how just these two people guided myself and my family to a new perspective, a place where WE were in control.
Child Birth is not an illness or disease and should not be treated as one. For thousands of years women have been giving birth, it is amazing how our bodies really do know what to do. We need to allow our bodies to do this. I strongly believe that a women who is empowered throughout her pregnancy, labor and delivery has an easier time adjusting to the role of parent. I have not studied this but I would suspect that post pardom depression is much lower with home births versus hospital births (when I have more time I will see if there are any studies on this, if anyone out there knows, please inform us).
Okay so back to Dr. Phil ... the questions being asked seems much like a 'witch hunt' to me." The following list was taken from: Dr. Phil.com
- Did you have a child at your home?
- Did you want to have a soothing experience where you were in control and could bond with your child?
- Did it not go the way you planned?
- Do you regret having a home birth?
- Do you regret using a midwife instead of going to a hospital?
- Did you have your second child the traditional way in a hospital?
I also would like to note that I find it annoying when people speak of "traditional way in a hospital" because if we really look up the word traditional, taken from ARDictionary:
"Traditional: Definition: Of or pertaining to tradition; derived from tradition; communicated from ancestor to descendants by word only; transmitted from age to age without writing; observant of tradition, attached to old customs; old-fashioned."
Now honestly, it has been less than 100 years and mostly in the United States where births happened in the hospital, so looking at the big picture I would not call that 'traditional'.
I would like to include that I do believe that there are times when the hospital facilities provide great service to birthing mothers and babies. I just think we should look to them more as an 'as needed basis' not an only option. From my experience hospitals run as factories ... there are rules, regulations and procedures and none of these take into consideration the special needs of the individual. This is not to say that some facilities are more sensitive to individual needs but like I said from my experience it can be very NOT personal!!
So I have said my piece and you may agree or disagree. I just really felt like I needed to say something. I also went to the Dr. Phil website and expressed my opinion and if you feel so inclined, please do so yourself!