Tuesday, October 24, 2006

From a doula...

"At age 50, I am writing my first piece of fan mail. I have been a childbirth educator, doula and doula trainer for 20 years, but more importantly, I have loved birth all of my life. I’m sure you’ve encountered women like me in your research – women who, for all kinds of reasons, or no reason at all, simply just love birth, breastfeeding and women’s bodies. And lately, with the c-section rate climbing to nearly 40% in my area hospitals, I’ve needed to defend my views on the normalcy of birth to almost everyone. I thought my knowledge of birthing history was relatively extensive. Until now.

When I first read the New York Times review of your book, I said to myself: “just what the world doesn’t need – more ammunition for the public to use about the horrors of birth.” Never the less, I couldn’t get to the bookstore fast enough. And I certainly couldn’t read your book fast enough. I reread parts of it. What I was most impressed with was your ongoing message that we, in most cases in the past and present, should just leave birth alone. I loved your support of midwives and doulas and women’s ancient wisdom and how men, to put it politely, changed everything. You made it very clear that it was usually interference (and ignorance) that made birth so dangerous (and that is certainly still the case today.) I so appreciate your balanced views.

As a doula trainer, I have already made your book required reading for my workshops and I’ve been quoting you extensively.

You are wrong about one thing, though. Those of us who choose homebirth are not brave – we’re chickens. Hospital birthers are the brave ones for putting themselves on that slippery slope of intervention the minute they walk into the institution. Talk to fellow Bostonian Nancy Wainer about supporting you for a VBAC!

My best wishes to you, not only as a young mother but certainly, as the excellent author that you are."

4 comments:

reticulatedmama said...

"You are wrong about one thing, though. Those of us who choose homebirth are not brave – we’re chickens. Hospital birthers are the brave ones for putting themselves on that slippery slope of intervention the minute they walk into the institution."
i second this having had one in the hospital and one at home i would be very scared to have a hospital birth again... and my hospital birth went well. i am a doula, childbirth educator and active in my homebirth community. i have not read your book but i am looking forward to doing so. i listened to your fresh air interview and was interested in the response you received about what would have happened 500 years ago. i am curious if in your research you talked to homebirth midwives about the ancient art of midwifery and the tricks of the trade for such situations and others that are not used or known about in the history of obstetrics and hospital birth.

reticulatedmama said...

just another thought... as a witness to birth in hospitals as a doula. i think many issues with birth go beyond just the birth and to proper prenatal care- nutrition, adquately approaching the emotional side of birth and continuity of care just to name a few points.
i strongly feel that my first labor which was posterior and 46 hours could have possibly been avoided if my emotional needs were met prenatally and i was told what i could do to prevent a posterior baby.
it is the system and protocols that are in place to handle large volumes of women throughout pregnancy and birth. a system that is dictated by the incidence of lawsuits and malpractice insurance.
i will stop ranting now since i have not read you book yet.... as you have realized i am sure it is a passionate topic for some folks.
thank you,
kate

Tina Cassidy said...

This might be a good time and place to discuss why there seems to be so many posterior babies. Anyone?

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