Clay and I watched this incredible documentary a couple of weeks ago, and it totally blew my mind. It was just as good as I knew it would be, and I’m afraid it might have ruined me for having my next babies in a way that’s comfortably expected.
Here are a few things I didn’t know before watching this film:
*The U.S. has the second-highest fetal death rate among developed countries.
*The rate of c-section is drastically rising, and I believe it hovers somewhere around 46%. Many of these are completely medically unnecessary and not by maternal request.
*Epidurals and Pitocin often counteract the effect of one another, thus leading to a much higher rate of unnecessary cesarean births.
*The hospital-mandated position of giving birth while lying flat on your back with your legs in the air is the worst position for which to deliver a baby. There is a much increased risk of perineal tearing, and the opening of the pelvis is smaller, and gravity is working against you. Pushing in a more natural squatting or standing position allows the baby to more gently slide through the pelvis as it twists and moves, and the pelvis opens a full 30% larger than it does when the mom is on her back. Makes ya wonder about all those babies who get “stuck.” (Evelyne included!)
*The U.S. stands alone in our extremely low use of midwives to assist births and almost complete reliance on hospitals for normal, low-risk births. Many other developed countries, like England and Japan, rely heavily on midwives and they far out number hospital and obstetrician births.
*Since OB/GYN’s are primarily surgeons and medical intervention is used in almost all U.S. births, many doctors are not familiar with what a natural birth can look like. They aren’t familiar with what our bodies do under normal circumstances, and because of that, neither are we.
*After watching several unmedicated homebirths in this documentary, I was struck by how beautiful and natural it was. There was no one yelling at them to “PUSH! PUSH! HARDER!”, there were no flourescent lights in their eyes, they were allowed to move freely however was most comfortable for them, they were able to listen and be guided by their own bodies instead of what someone was telling them to do. They were able to help “catch” their baby and spend time holding and nursing him instead of nurses wisking him away to be poked and prodded while the poor baby lies there screaming his head off. It just appeared to me to be closer to the way God designed it to be.
I very strongly suggest that every woman (and every man who plans to have a woman and children in his life) watch this film. The point is not to convince women that hospitals and OB’s are evil or never necessary, it’s to educate about very real and wonderful options that are out there for childbirth. To undo a little bit of the bias that the medical profession has instilled in us about what birth is supposed to be like. To strip away the fear and ignorance we have about giving birth with someone other than an ob/gyn. As women we have the responsibility to educate ourselves about all of the options out there when it comes to our health and our babies’ health and safety.