So let's play a game for a moment. Let's pretend that today in New Brunswick, you are free to give birth in the way you want to. Let's pretend that our c-section rate could be lowered to 5% or at worst 10%. Let's pretend that moms will be able to breastfeed their babies and receive prompt help when they encounter a problem.
Ok, so giving birth the way you want to. You want a birth pool? No problem. A great resource for info is http://www.midwifemama.com/. Your pool can be set up for you to use as you see fit, whether it will be for simple pain relief, easing your joints and resting, or actually delivering your baby.
You want to avoid tears? Ok...you pick the position you will give birth in. Will you be standing? On your hands and knees? Reclining in your bed? Who knows? You'll probably find a position that will feel better than others as your baby starts to emerge. Oh, and you won't be coached to push, ok? Read this article: http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/pushing.asp. Want to see a baby emerging with little effort on mom's part? Watch this cool video: http://www.themidwife.net/index_files/Page340.htm.
You want good postpartum care, with your caregiver coming to your home several times over the weeks following your baby's birth? Ok, sounds like a good plan for a healthy baby and healthy mom.
In our imagined world, homebirth is as safe as hospital birth. You have fewer problems with your birth because it starts on its own schedule, and noone is giving you drugs to make it go faster. You are in great shape physically and nutritionally, and you've been nourishing your body to prevent complications by following the Brewer diet: http://www.blueribbonbaby.org/.
Does all of this sound too good to be true? Most mothers tell me it is too good to be true. And yet it's not. There are women in New Brunswick who are choosing these alternatives for their births. They aren't all crazy hippies, they aren't all raging feminists, they aren't all women disillusioned by a previous hospital birth. They are women who are taking the time to educate themselves about birth options, who are more scared of unnecessary interventions than they are of birth.
Grab yourself a cup of tea (nettle/red raspberry leaf is a combo your body will appreciate!) and start educating yourself. You just might help yourself to have a better birth, or be able to support a friend or family member to do the same. Some resources to start with are:
Some of the information may seem technical, but you will learn! If you aren't choosing homebirth, these resources can be used to demand the care you deserve from your obstetrician and hospital.
Gentle, low- or no-intervention births ARE possible, and they ARE happening in our province. Let's turn the tables so they become the majority, instead of the minority of births!