Recently many internet bloggers have been going back and forth about the “Home Birth Debate”. I saw Jennifer Block post a great piece about home birth, which was immediately challenged by Dr. Amy Tuteur via her internet blog. Whether or not Jennifer Block agreed to a “debate” over the subject is completely irrelevant in what I have to say.
Whether or not home birth is safe, as safe as hospital births, or more dangerous than hospital births doesn't matter when it comes down to it. What does matter is that a woman should be able to legally choose where she wants to give birth, and with whom to managing her care, and deliver her baby.
What we should be debating about, or even merely discussing is what we can do as women, mothers, providers, and advocates to reduce the maternal and infant mortality rates in The United States, as well as make all birthing options available. The way that births are being over managed, and birthing options being restricted, such as Vaginal Birth after Cesarean better known as VBAC. Across the country women are being essentially forced to have repeat cesarean sections, with no medical reason, because the local hospital, or local OB/GYN's do not attend VBAC's or provide any kind of VBAC options. Leaving women with very few options regarding subsequent pregnancies if they do not wish to undergo surgical birth a second time.
Some of these options include home births with Midwives, but some women cannot even have that options because home birth midwives, and home birth in general in their state, or area has been now become punishable by law. But I digress, VBAC access is a whole other tragic story in itself.
The real issue at hand is why we sit and argue over difference in opinion when it comes to other peoples birth choices, while American women are being denied the right to make their own medical decisions.
This is not a Natural Birth Advocate vs. The Medical Community. This is a simple womans rights issue. Women have fought for the past 100 years for all the amazing freedoms that we have today, and for doors to be closing left and right for choices women would like to make regarding their own medical care is downright frightening.
Why are so many options being taken off the table for pregnant women? Mainly for fear of litigation on the part of Obstetricians which have this little group standing behind them called The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Their name is very misleading. They are not a college, nor are they an institution of higher learning. They are basically a really big “union” for OB/GYN's. They issue statements, publications, and “guidelines” better known as their opinions. Many are unfounded medically or scientifically (which has been proven over and over again). They say that certain medical events, such as birth, which we all know isn't rocket science, should be handled in one specific way. But women know that every pregnancy, woman, and birth are different. You cannot compare the experiences of two women, or even two pregnancies in the same woman, but they continue to treat all pregnant and birthing women the same. They are being put on a conveyor belt of hospital interventions, which you have to fight tooth and nail to avoid. I don't know about you, but when I was in labor with either of my children, the last thing I wanted to be doing was battling with Nurses or even the OB/GYN I picked for my first birth. I was the portrait of a good patient my first time around. That landed me with a non medical induction and cesarean section for the oh so typical “failure to progress”.
Now I am a nobody. I do not have M.D. after my name, I do not have C.N.M. After my name. In fact, I do not have anything after my name. I am nothing more than a mother, of two children, both born by cesarean section. My first cesarean completely avoidable. My second, not so much, after 26 hours of labor attempting a VBAC. Now I find myself at a petrifying crossroad. I am literally scared to even think about having another child because I know in my area, there will be no OB/GYN or Midwife that will take me on for a vaginal birth after two cesarean sections, even though many women have successfully accomplished birthing a baby after one, two, or five cesarean sections. They simply do not want the liability, or work, and I simply do not want the repeat cesarean section.
Why are more people not speaking out about this huge womans rights violation?
Because it does not effect or impact them on a personal level?
Because they do not know about it?
Someone, anyone, everyone, needs to step up to the plate and help women have the right to have any birth she chooses. It is a human rights violation to dismiss her wishes.