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The Magic of a Home Birth September 17, 2009

Posted by Guillermo Martin in Health & Wellness.
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Well. Let me start from the beginning, the very beginning of things: being born.

I think that if we strive to have a better society, we need to start doing things well from the beginning: bringing those babies on board safely and with less trauma. I am serious. I do not believe that because the doctor spanked you when you were born, you get scarred for life. But there is a lot of room for improvement in this department. Keep reading…

The first time I heard of a home birth I thought: “What? You gotta be kidding me!” All I could picture was some weird and somewhat bloody scene where a pregnant woman was enduring a terrible pain under dangerous circumstances. “A typical scene from centuries ago, when birth was a matter of life or death” I thought. I was wrong.

Very recently, my wife and I decided, after much research, to have a home birth. We concluded that this option was in fact the safest and most satisfactory for both mother and baby, and we just happened to have the most amazing experience with our first son Liam.

It all started when a friend lent us the movie ” The Business of Being Born“. That movie definitely stirred most of our assumptions about giving birth. We were going to be parents for the first time, so we really did not know very well what to expect. And then, we got very confused! The movie led us to start reading everything that fell in our hands about pregnancy, birth alternatives, nutrition…etc. It was an amazing time of discovery and learning. Those ideas not only made our son’s birth an amazing experience, but also have been of great benefit in our lives ever since.  

So,  let me ask you. When you imagine a woman giving birth, what do you picture? Do words like these come to mind: pain, fear, emergency, risks…etc.? I bet you they do.

Due to an incredible and sad sucession of medical misconceptions from the past, boosted by the healthcare’s business bottom line, and the necessity of hospitals to cover their backs by implementing rigorous protocols, we have inherited a system that pushes women away from their own capabilities, and makes the safe, sacred, and incredible act of birth a medical emergency. I recommend you to watch any video on the history of birth that you find. You may find yourself thinking that the stuff they used to do in hospitals in the 50’s was ridiculuos. Well, that is what they will think of our time in 20-30 years.  

Our modern society has once again put up a wall between us and our roots, what we really are, our innate power, and knowledge. Women have been giving birth since the beginning of time, and believe me, there were no tubes, monitors, epidurals, and things like that few thousand years ago. Evolution or God, whichever you prefer, has done a magnificent job with our bodies. In fact, our bodies are of such a miraculous complexity that science still has not unveiled most of the mechanisms that make our bodies run with such perfection. Yet, we do not let the body do its job properly because we think we know better and need to intervene when is not really necessary. Women’s body is totally equiped with all it needs to give birth in a safety manner.

Ok. I am not totally crazy, vale? I think modern medicine, and science are wonderful and can save many lives. In fact, about 5% of pregnancies could be dangerous and therefore intervention is needed. Thanks goodness we have great technology! What I am talking about here is the abuse and misuse of technology, the excessive intervention of medicine in a situation that is not a medical emergency, but a perfectly normal function of the human body: giving birth. A healthy woman is very capable of giving birth without episiotomies, drugs…etc.

Just to give you some numbers. The rate of c-sections is already of 30% in America. That is outrageous!  A c-section is major abdominal surgery that can lead to important complications, not to mention the recovery…etc. In many occasions, is the very environment at the hospital that instills fear, and a great deal of stress in the mother. What this causes is her muscles to be tense while birthing, just the opposite of what she needs,  and also the inhibition of certain hormones that act as natural pain killer for the mother. Throw all that together, and the resulting cocktail is one of unbearable pain for the mother and/or the baby “not progressing”. Oh! I forgot. This is a good one! When we asked our doctor why we would need to deliver lying down on a bed (horizontal position). She simply said that is the most comfortable position for the doctor and nurses to do their job. Does the mother count here at all? Oh my! It turns out that lying on your back is the very worst position (except for upside down I guess) to deliver a baby. You could instead capitalize on this little thing called gravity to reduce the need to push to the minimum.

I could go on and on about all this…

There are very safe and rewarding alternatives to giving birth in a hospital in the midst of stress, drugs, and intervention. Believe me, babies prefer the comfort of your home than any hospital.

Our modern healthcare (that is in reality sick-care) focuses on the things that could go wrong with pregnancy and delivering a baby. And guess what? That is what they get most the times: emergencies, and c-sections. You might want to check out also this other movie ” Pregnant in America “.

Especially when it comes to your health, and that of your family, it is important to question everything we do, and not believe the first thing the doctor says. They are well intentioned people, but they simply do not know everything. They are not smarter than you, and their training could be very well outdated…etc.  Always ask and do your research, and in case of doubt, go with the alternative that is  more natural: less intervention, and less business. I encourage you to research what a real natural birth is and what a midwife can do for you (Mary the Midwife).

I am very glad we went through hours of learning and research. I have never witnessed an event so powerful and beautiful like the birth of our child Liam. What can I say? I was the coolest thing!

The magic of a home birth. The miracle of life.

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