On air: Should all births be natural?

WHYS regular Lydia in Canada got in touch with a great talking point idea. I asked her to write a blog post which is faithfully reproduced below… 

Should home births be banned? Should elective Caesarian-sections be outlawed?

When it comes to giving birth, how do we best balance the wishes of the mother and the preference of medical personnel?

The World Health Organization states that no region in the world should have a C-section rate greater than 10 or 15%, yet the C-section rate in the UK is approximately 23% and in Canada and the U.S. it is even higher.

Whether these rising rates are due to mums who are “too posh to push” or doctors who want to move onto the next patient, it is a problem that needs to be addressed.

While Canadian doctors are calling for a “return to basics” when it comes to child birth, physicians in the U.S. are actually seeking to ban home births.

When pregnant with our first baby, I opted for midwives rather than doctors and was planning a home birth rather than a hospital birth. I came under attack from family and friends – even perfect strangers – for my choices. This, despite 25 years of research confirming that home births are just as safe as hospital births in low-risk pregnancies.

How are births typically handled in your country and how much say should women have when it comes to their birth plan? Are women expecting too much from their delivery, with some choosing to have elective c-sections rather than going into a natural labour? Should all births in fact be natural, at home, as is the case in many countries?

83 Responses to “On air: Should all births be natural?”

  1. 1 Mohammed Ali
    July 30, 2008 at 22:22

    Banning home birth in Liberia is an utter impossibility. More than 75% of the population can’t afford to go to hospital to give birth. With that in mind, UN has trained hundreds of traditional maid wives to attend to those who give birth at home.

  2. July 30, 2008 at 22:34

    To think about banning home birth in Liberia is to think of banning the poor from giving birth. With all the implications that may be attached to home birth, it is actually serving the purpose of the Liberian people.

  3. 3 Dennis
    July 30, 2008 at 22:45

    Hi Priya

    Thanks to Lydia in Canada, for her excellent point….

    I have to agree with Mohammed Ali point of view….

    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  4. 4 steve
    July 30, 2008 at 23:15

    I’m curious, how have humans for 10s of thousands of years managed to give birth without hospitals and now suddenly home birth is a problem?

  5. July 31, 2008 at 00:02

    I think the AMA (American Medical Association) felt threatened by Ricki Lake’s documentary, “The Business of Being Born.” In the documentary, Lake exposes the excessive rates of inducement, episiotimies, epidurals and C-sections in American hospitals.

    For most women, giving birth is a normal and natural process. High-risk pregnancies can be handled by doctors in hospitals. But for low-risk pregnancies, women should be allowed the option of midwives and home births.

    The AMA is being absolutely absurd.

  6. 6 nelsoni
    July 31, 2008 at 00:32

    Allowing home births will likely increase maternal and infant mortality rates which every responsible Government is trying to reduce.

  7. July 31, 2008 at 00:49

    @nelsoni, like steve said, home birth is a practice that dates back 10s of thousands of years. Banning it is not the solution to reducing infant and maternal mortality. I think the real solution is adequate training for midwives.

  8. July 31, 2008 at 00:55


    Where is the evidence? 25 years of research shows that home births are just as safe as hospital births in low-risk pregnancies.

    In fact, with diseases such as SARS, C diff, and Norwalk, it may even be safer to have a home birth.

  9. 9 Will Rhodes
    July 31, 2008 at 01:11

    Lydia –

    Did your site designer use both Firefox and Internet explorer to check how it looks?

    (Totally off topic but…)

    Re: Home births.

    Home births are just as safe but you don’t have the access to the emergency treatment [should] anything go wrong – even with safe births there is the possibility. If you have a properly trained midwife on hand that would be best for mum and baby – but I think I would prefer my wife to have our children in hospital.

  10. 10 nelsoni
    July 31, 2008 at 01:14

    @ Mohammed Ali and Lydia Lovric

    For now, I do not have the figures but compare the infant and mortality rates of the developed world (where incidences of home births are not necessarily high) and that of the developing world (home births are slightly higher), you will find that out the infant mortality rates of the developing world is higher than that of the developed world. Let me give you an example. In Nigeria, where I currently reside, all State governments offer free medical services to pregnant women.This is already working with impressive results because pregnant women who would have opted for traditional mid-wives can now access safe modern health care, thereby greatly increasing the chances of survival of mother and baby, which in turn reduces the mortality rates.

  11. 11 Shaun in Halifax
    July 31, 2008 at 02:10

    As near as I can figure, going to a hospital to be born is the new trend. The midwife is an institution that goes way back. As a matter of fact, in Canada, midwives are A Part of our Heritage. I can’t understand why midwives would be banned….

    As an aside: I remember hearing a couple years back that some charitable group or medical group was looking at establishing a home birth kit specifically for low income Africans. For something like $1.75 midwives would get a package containing a piece of plastic for the ground, a sterile razor blade, a blanket and some other incidentals. Apparently just those simple tools would have decreased infant mortality rates significantly. Does anybody remember this? Was it ever put into practice?

  12. 12 nelsoni
    July 31, 2008 at 02:23

    @ Shaun in Halifax. You have made some decent points and I’d like to ask. During the home birth, what happens when something goes terribly wrong? Agreed that home births are not always necessarily dangerous but I still don’t think it’s really worth the gamble in the 21st century.

  13. 13 Venessa
    July 31, 2008 at 02:24

    It should be left up to the individual having the child if they prefer a midwife. As far as I know having babies in hospitals is a fairly recent thing in light of the number of year’s man has been around. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with home birth…. Unless you lose a profit as a result.

  14. July 31, 2008 at 03:06

    From the British Medical Journal website:

    “Planned home birth for low risk women in North America using certified professional midwives was associated with lower rates of medical intervention but similar intrapartum and neonatal mortality to that of low risk hospital births in the United States.”

    I can only speak to the Canadian experience, but midwives here are highly trained and make use of the same diagnostic tools as doctors. Pregnant women are regularly and thoroughly examined and assessed throughout the entire pregnancy (including heart beat monitoring, ultrasounds, blood tests, etc.). If problems arise that cause concern and move the pregnancy from low-risk to high-risk, mothers are not permitted to have a home birth.

    When my sister went into labour (at the hospital, with an OBGYN) she was told not to push (even though it was time) because the doctor was busy with other births. Only when the baby went into distress did the doctor arrive in the room. This was a first-class, Toronto hospital.

    I’ve heard similar stories from other women.

    Midwives, on the other hand, focus entirely on mom and baby and do everything in their power to make the birthing experience a positive one.

  15. 15 Pangolin-California
    July 31, 2008 at 03:44

    I am the father of two children born at home in the US. In both cases our midwives were very well trained, very attentive and fully prepared to seek any necessary medical interventions should they be required. They are very healthy 12 and 15 year olds now.

    The US medical system has long ago turned from a means of providing care to a means of extracting money from the population for vested elites. Since the M.D.’s have absolutely no proof that attended home births are more dangerous, or result in higher infant or maternal mortality they must resort to ghost stories.

    This is simply rent-seeking on the part of doctors and hospitals; no more.

  16. 16 Amy
    July 31, 2008 at 06:00

    I think the more important issue should be ensuring access good prenatal care. In most cases, if a woman gets good care during her pregnancy AND takes care of herself, a low risk delivery usually follows. Having that delivery where ever the mother feels most comfortable, as long as the risk is low, should be the mother’s choice. If she chooses to stay at home, more power to her. I wish that had been an option for me. Both of my pregnancies were high risk. I would have loved to have been able to stay at home but that was just not possible.

  17. 17 Bob in Queensland
    July 31, 2008 at 06:12

    In the UK most births, even in hospital, are handled by midwives with doctors only being called in as required.

    My first child was born in a hospital but, for my second, we opted for a home birth and I can say it was by far the better experience. As posts above have pointed out, the risk of homebirths is no higher than deliveries in hospitals. This is in part due to the training and qualifications of the midwives involved but also down to careful screening of homebirth candidates before the birth. Any mother and child though to be at risk are moved to hospital.

    Here in Australia the midwife system is similar to the UK. However, on difference is that medicare (at least here in Queensland) doesn’t cover home births and parents have to find and employ a midwife directly. Still, many do and the statistics still show it to be as safe as most hospital births.

    I should state a vested interest here. My wife, though retired now, used to work as a “midwife practitioner” (sort of a senior midwife) and specialised in home births.

  18. July 31, 2008 at 07:39

    Hey all, i am surmising that this ban will work effectively in developed countries. Like Mohammed Ali said, it will be of impossibility. In least developed countries, midwifery is done right in homes. People cannot afford the huge fees charged by hospitality. That being said, I think in this modern age, least developed countries to focus more healthcare delivery in order to reduce mortality rate associated with primitive healthcare methods.

  19. 19 Katharina in Ghent
    July 31, 2008 at 08:33


    my son was born in Canada and, because I was not familiar with the system, I really made what some would call a “steeple chase”. First I was with a resident, who I had very little confidence in, then an obstetrician, who spent a maximum of 5 minutes with me and finally, 7 months pregnant, I managed to get a midwife. The midwife was highly professional, spent as much time with me as I felt necessary and was with me during the entire labor, while the doctor said that “if my son was born on a Tuesday or Thursday, then there would be a 60% chance that he was around, otherwise not”. What a joke.

    My son was born in the hospital, because after more than 20 hours of labor I strongly felt the need of a “break”, and the epidural could provide me this, but still, having had the midwife was the best experience that I could have.

    I have a friend in Vienna, who gave birth recently. She had an uncomplicated pregnancy but then had serious complications just before birth and needed an emergency C-section, again it was her midwife who detected her precarious condition and took care of everything necessary.

    I strongly suspect that what other people on this blog wrote is true: it’s all about the money, and hospital births are more expensive, hence let’s outlaw home births.

  20. 20 Lubna
    July 31, 2008 at 10:12

    Hi Lydia darling… As an Iraqi medical student who’s hoping to become a pediatrician after graduation Inshallah, I do really wish if all mothers would give birth to their babies at the hospital, not at home… After all, you can never guarantee what would happen during labor… In my Iraq (and in many of the developing countries in general as I assume), the rate of the attendance of the pregnant ladies to the antenatal care clinic is generally poor because of so many complicated reasons the most important of which is the lack of health awareness… So in so many cases you can never detect whether the pregnancy is high risk or low risk, and that will obviously put the lives of both the mother and her baby in great danger… Health care in Iraq is for free in public hospitals, so when it comes to my Iraq (and I don’t know about other places in the world), I strongly recomment that ALL HOME BIRTHS SHOULD BE BANNED AND CONSIDERED TO BE AN ILLEGAL ACT… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  21. 21 Alicia, The Netherlands
    July 31, 2008 at 12:44

    Fully agree with Lubna…There are SO many things that can go wrong during the delivery (even if pregnancy was low-risk)…if you deliver at home, by the time the complications are detected it can be to late for the baby or yourself. Why take the risk?

  22. 22 Bob in Queensland
    July 31, 2008 at 12:53

    @ Lubna

    With the utmost respect, you’re studying to become a paediatrician so you come to this issue with a doctor’s point of view.

    ALL the evidence from research, much of it over 25 years, is that home births do not present any additional risk to mother or child.

    Something I meant to say earlier: we mustn’t forget the giving birth is not a sickness or “medical condition”. It is a natural part of life. With a properly trained midwife to oversee the process, home birth is safe–and far more stress-free than a hospital delivery suite for mother and child.

  23. 23 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 31, 2008 at 12:56

    I think the parents should make the decision that works for them. I know I would never want a natural birth. I want to be extremely medicated. I still get sick when I see women give birth. Some women would perfer giving birth at home because it is more stress free, as Bob stated, than a hospital.

  24. 24 Caer, Australia
    July 31, 2008 at 13:25

    As a Midwife Practitioner, in Australia at least, it’s a bit like a game of “Cowboys and Indians”. The Doctors’ prefer not to have outside Midwives involved and keep the birth process totally Hospital Based, whereas a CERTIFIED Midwife Practitioner is in some ways actually better trained to cope if it becomes less than a textbook birth.

    A woman giving birth, as bob in Qld. has stated, is NOT a Medical Condition and going to hospital for many women is totally unnecessary, also it’s far more calming for the mother-to-be to remain in a place where she feels both safe and in controll. The unborn child is by far subjected to less stress during a homebirth especially as the mother does not have to undergo being driven to, or atmitted to a Hospital, and all that entails.

    I’ve published an interview in an Australian Magazine now out of print, with the (then) Homebirth specialist from the World Health Orginisation and they too believe that in all cases possible in an ideal world, birth should happen at home.

  25. 25 hbacmama
    July 31, 2008 at 14:31

    I had a cesarean with my first child… warranted, but certainly NOT wanted.
    For my subsequent births I had my children at home with competent, supportive midwives.
    I can guarantee that if I’d been under a medical model of care, I would have had a second cesarean. Which would have led to not having more children.
    What people don’t seem to understand, sometimes staying away from the ‘help’ and ‘access to the emergency medical interventions’… is best.
    I did have a medically emergent situation with my last child.
    The paramedics (Canada) did NOT have the training or equipment to do a damn thing. Useless lumps of human flesh. My midwives had more training and three sets of proper equipment than all six of those paramedics. I’m still angry about that. USELESS,
    In answer to the question as to what happens with a medically emergent situation.
    IF you live in Canada, you transfer to hospital and have a shorter wait for a c/s than if you are on one of their floors (transfers are called in and staff are waiting and ready for you in the few minutes it takes to get you there). In the United States you transfer and hope (pray if you are so inclined) that you have staff that don’t treat you worse because you are ‘one of those ones’.

    All in all… it is about money money money… and lets face it, since the US started in on this whole hospital is BEST ideal… maternal and infant mortality is still the same. Seriously! For a ‘first world country, the stats are HORRIFYING!
    I’d NEVER step foot in a hospital to give birth under the medical model of care… midwifery…maybe. Never with a doctor and the ‘protocols’ and the need to mess with womens bodies.
    I can count on seven women who have died from their perfectly ‘safe’ hospital birth and all the fun and games that come with a hospital birth…. this is from media alone. Met a family who lost their mother after her ‘huge baby’ you need a cesarean.
    baby was less than 6 lbs… three children don’t have a mother now.
    See anything wrong with this? I do.

  26. 26 Melanie Chassen
    July 31, 2008 at 14:35

    I do not see anything wrong with home births and using midwives. True, there is always the chance of complications (regardless if in a hospital or in one’s home) but assuming the woman who is pregnant understands that, I think it should be her choice. She knows the stakes just as well as anyone else. However, women that have had difficult pregnancies might find the hospital option more appealing and reassuring, especially if their condition is potentially life threatening to the mother or the baby. As for elective C-sections? I’m personally a big believer in the “no pain, no gain”. And I know enough about C-sections to know that they are higher risk with each subsequent birth. I also heard somewhere that once you have a C-section once that you can’t have a natural birth with subsequent children. Anyone know if this is correct?

  27. 27 Shaun in Halifax
    July 31, 2008 at 14:50

    @ nelsoni

    I’m not really sure what happens when something goes terribly wrong, however I do know that our population density is very low, and that there are still quite a few remote areas in the country that are difficult (if not impossible) to get to without a plane. Travelling to a hospital is near impossible or prohibitivley expensive for these people, so they are left without a choice.

    The fact that midwives do not have an M.D. after their name doesn’t mean that they are any less qualified to deliver a child and handle emergency situations in childbirth. As a matter of fact, I would suspect that they are in fact more qualified precicely BECAUSE they specialize in childbirth and can provide the type of personalized care a new mother or expecting mother needs. Plus, I’m pretty sure there is midwife school… I believe in Canada at least it is a licensed profession.

  28. 28 Lubna
    July 31, 2008 at 14:52

    My dearest Bob in Queensland : Hi… During my fourth year in medical school Obstetrics was included in the curiculum, both in theory and at our hospital, so hopefully I know exactly what I’m talking about, Inshallah… From their past professional experiences in practicing medicine (specifically OB) in our Iraq, almost all of our senior obstetricians at our hospital promote the goldstandard rule that birth at the hospital should ALWAYS be considered superior to birth at home… But we also mustn’t forget the fact that each country has its own experiences and practices in this regard, and what applies to our Iraq doesn’t necessarily apply to other countries .. In my previous comment I talked about the Iraqi experience in this regard, and stated that I don’t know about other countries… Birth is an absolutely amazing process, but at the same time it’s a huge ordeal for both the mother and her baby, and it’s our moral duty as doctors and health care workers to make that ordeal as tolerable as possible for both of them… I’m not an adventurous woman Bob, and I don’t like taking risks at all, especially if those risks (no matter how minimal they are) were about the lives of a lady who’s going to be a mum and a little precious angel who’s so eager to make his/her way through into this world… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  29. 29 John in Salem
    July 31, 2008 at 14:58

    After a lifetime in the medical industry I believe that home birth should always be considered the first option as long as the midwife knows her limitations and there is a hospital available should problems arise.
    As others have pointed out, we didn’t get to the top of the food chain because of gynecologists and delivery rooms.

  30. 30 Andrew
    July 31, 2008 at 14:58

    You make a persuasive case Lubna.. hello and wishing you safe travels.

    My two cents at a recent gathering in Singapore where I met up with friends – 6 women in all – talking about kids and such. When I suggested natural childbirth, let’s say it wasn’t a popular thought. No way was the basic answer as it was much more convenient, time efficient and painless to book into hospital for a specific date and time, a quick cut and then can be off later that day! Almost. As long as people think thusly, then it won’t change people’s minds. It might be a fine sentiment, but childbirth although having been done for a few years now, can present with problems and the message I get from female friends is that it is best to be somewhere whereby if a problem does arise, then it can be dealt with by more than a midwife.

  31. July 31, 2008 at 15:10

    Should all births be natural?

    I am looking at the topic as it is worded and forgive me but I find it a little strange. As if there are births taking place that the infant resides outside the womb of a mother. Do you have knowledge or is it just a suspicion your not voicing?

  32. July 31, 2008 at 15:34

    In answer to the question posed, the fact is that the vast majority of women do not want to give birth naturally (as their ancestors had to); they choose to give birth in a hospital with the availability of 24-hour emergency medical care to accommodate the unpredictable nature of vaginal delivery. Even with the UK government now actively promoting ‘natural delivery at home’ as a birth choice, the numbers of women who actively make that choice are small: Wales 3.53%, England 2.69%, Scotland 1.36% and Northern Ireland 0.39%.

    In contrast, the percentage of women requesting cesarean delivery (a choice that sits at the other end of the spectrum of birth choices) is rising. In 2004, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence estimated that women request a cesarean in 5% of all births and many doctors believe that this number is on the increase. Planned cesarean delivery at confirmed 39-40 weeks gestation for a woman planning a small family is now recognized in the U.S. as ethically justified, even in a healthy pregnancy where there is no medical indication for surgery (read statements by The National Institutes of Health in 2006 and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 2003 and 2007). This situation has come about because it is now clear that the risks of an emergency cesarean (and indeed a planned cesarean for medical reasons) are greater than a planned cesarean in a healthy pregnancy. In fact, the risks associated with an emergency cesarean are more likely to occur as an outcome of a planned vaginal delivery.

    That is not to say that a cesarean delivery is risk-free; birth is an inherently risky process, however you plan to do it. Women and babies can (and have) died giving birth both vaginally and surgically. Ideally, in consultation with their doctor, women should be allowed to evaluate the set of risks and benefits associated with each possible birth plan and decide which one they feel most comfortable with – because in the end, it is the individual woman who must live with the consequences of any resulting morbidity.

    Pauline McDonagh Hull
    Editor, http://www.electivecesarean.com
    Blog, http://www.electivecesarean.blogspot.com

  33. 33 Caer, Australia
    July 31, 2008 at 15:42

    To add a little more information, Lubna herself states that she wasn’t introduced to Obstetrics until her 4th year of Medical study – thus, during an emergency where students are called to the A&E (Accident and Emergency) Dept. any student below ?months into their 5th year could not help a woman in childbirth.

    A Midwife Practitioner is trained ESPECIALLY in maternity, birth and after. They are trained (although not ideal) to cope with a TRUELY Emergency C-section at home, and have experience of abdominal surgery etc. rarely is this the case for Obstetricians or Gynocologists.
    Postpartum depression is statistically lower in births solely attended by a Midwife Prac. and lower again for those of Homebirths.

    I personally have had seven children, five in hospital (4+1) leaving me with an unnecessary forceps delivery (withot pain relief), 5 episiotomies for 4 children – 1 was so bad they had to cut it again and resew… 1 of the episiotomies was cut WITH SCISSORS after I’d requested not to have one.
    (A tear is along the weakest point and heals easily, a cut is often through muscle and blood vessles – A Midwife prides herself on not tearing the vagina.)
    Then I had homebirths, and as a multi-para woman I was not in the low risk catagory, but had no complications for mother or baby at all.
    My last child was planned to be born at home, but as my dates didn’t agre with the hospital (in the U.K.) I was subjected to 2 days of tampering, and in the end ordering my own C-section, which I could tell (by feotal heartbeat etc.) was in need, but grudgingly allowed to have one because ‘I wanted it’ – I’d waited less than 10mins. from signing the papers for the procedure to the Dr’s and the hospital deciding it was an Emergency to which they acted, if anything, too fast.

    My children are all healthy and all but the last is grown but I remember the physical insults to my body more than the pain with the hospital births.
    Lubna dear, Birth is not to be Tolerated, it’s a “Right of Passage” and I’m afraid until you also experience the joy of bringing life into the world, you won’t truely understand what I mean.

    I’ve seen a homebirth of a woman who had her first FIVE children via C-section but still birthed happily with a very healthy outcome for both mother and child.

  34. 34 Caer, Australia
    July 31, 2008 at 15:46

    For those seeking stistics, please see: http://www.joyousbirth.info/articles/homebirth-studies.html

  35. 35 selena
    July 31, 2008 at 15:53

    Speaking as someone who delivered on average a baby a day, in hospital, (for how many years? Never mind, it was so long ago I can’t remember), there is something to be said for not choosing a medical model for something as natural as childbirth.

    (Actually the hierarchy that made everything an illness was one of the reasons I changed professions.)

    Midwives and gynecologists are merely human and no amount of education and experience can make a person perfect. Some will understandably be better than others because of natural talent.

    And, sometimes with the best of intentions things can go wrong. Some midwives are better than many doctors I have seen but not all. So, in my estimation, and in a revised opinion, it is probably better to be in a situation where there is more than one consult readily available.

    The best of both worlds would be delivery by midwife in an ordinary room in a hospital.

  36. 36 Maria
    July 31, 2008 at 16:02

    Yeah, childbirth is “natural”. What was the rate of deaths at childbirth before widespread hospitalized deliveries? This neonatal mortality was “natural” as well.

    Women should be free to decide how they want to deliver, with no attempts to shame them for their choice by either doctors or midwives. They should just be advised of the risks. If everything goes smoothly, homebirth is perfectly safe (if quite painful). If anything goes wrong, you will want to be in or near to a hospital. I know I’ll choose to be safe. If someone wants to choose homebirth, let her.

    Lastly, a lot of this opposition to cesarean sections is driven by deeming women to be weak who do not want to experience the pain of childbirth. It usually also applies to women who choose epidurals. This shaming of women for wanting to be in charge of their bodies is immoral. “Rite of Passage”? Passage where, exactly? And why are men excluded from it? Maybe it’s not as necessary as some people think.

  37. 37 Bob in Queensland
    July 31, 2008 at 16:14

    I wonder if it might have been a mistake to change the question on this topic from being specifically about homebirths to mention “natural” childbirth instead.

    Nowhere was Caer, Australia (if you haven’t guessed yet, she’s my wife) advocating totally natural childbirth. In a homebirth situation, as a midwife practitioner she was licensed to administer analgesia (entonox or pethedine) and certainly used modern foetal monitors etc. About the only thing she couldn’t do was use an epidural.

    As for the death rate at childbirth, looking through the various links posted shows that, for normal low risk deliveries, there is NO DIFFERENCE in the risk whether hospital or home is chosen…but home birth have a far lower rate of medical intervention and a far lower rate of post natal depression. Although the site linked is partisan in favour of homebirths, the quotes are all from respected medical journals.

  38. 38 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 31, 2008 at 16:33

    @Bob and Caer

    Are the analgesia that a midwife may use safer than an epidural? I have heard that a lot of people experience several problems after having an epidural.

  39. 39 Rashid Patch
    July 31, 2008 at 16:35

    This issue comes up in cycles in the U.S. It was a “hot button” in the early 1970s.

    The AMA – possibly the most eggregiously venal organization in history – has tried incessantly to comidify every bodily process possible, and then sell our bodily functions back to us as “professional services”; and it expects very great deference and thanks for this.

    The fact is, that women gave birth successfully (and, in general, entirely safely) for tens of thousands of generations before doctors were invented has to be ignored in order to sell pregnancy and birth as “medical conditions” requiring “professional supervision” – and, of course, extremely high fees.

    Yes, there are occasional complications in childbirth. They are rare – if the mother has had good nourishment, avoided exposure to chemicals and drugs, taken reasonable exercise, and avoided unnecessary stress (like invasive medical procedures). There is justification for hospital deliveries – even for caesarian deliveries – in a very small percentage of cases. But – the absurdly high incidence of caesarian deliveries in the U.S. is a clear measure of the pathological greed of doctors, and the degree to which women are victimized by that greed.

    The so-called physicians who propose to ban home births aim, in fact, to ensure that all human bodies must be theirs alone to control – and to charge fees for. They are trapped in the mentality of slave owners; they see their patients as mere chattels. People with such mentalities should not be allowed to apply a sticking-plaster to farm animals, let alone practice medicine on humans. They are about as far from being healers as anyone not a professional “interrogator” can get.

  40. 40 Venessa
    July 31, 2008 at 16:47

    Why is it the everyone feels the need to tell people what medical care they need to seek? There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a child at home versus a hospital. People were doing it for thousands of years before the money making industry was a around.

    I could expand this question to all medical treatment (a bit off topic) but I can’t help but think about that poor child that no longer wanted treatement for her cancer. Let people make their own decisions. The option is there; it shouldn’t be required!

  41. 41 selena
    July 31, 2008 at 16:52

    @ Vanessa

    Why is it the everyone feels the need to tell people what medical care they need to seek?

    Excellent question!

  42. 42 savane, nairobi
    July 31, 2008 at 17:20

    My 70-year old mum’s a midwife. She’s still very busy, albeit at the birth of calves, kids and lambs, since she retired and became a dairy farmer!

    When she was worked for the Nairobi City Council, she was in-charge of maternal and child healthcare. She always says Kenya’s mother and child death rates at birth have escalated over the years, and in her day, that was a major scandal that was always investigated. Sadly, this hasn’t been a Government priority for too many years.

    There are more home births than hospital births in Kenya, mainly with Traditional Birth Attendants or Midwives in attendance. Proper care and managment are not monitored closely. We don’t know what the real maternal and child death rates are, and what we are told they are, are too high!

    I had my babies by C-section in hospital because my pregnancies are challenging. The chapter in pregnancy books on complications must have been written because of me – I’ve had most!

    The child deaths or disabilities by natural childbirth in hospital that I know of were all due to negligence – no one checked if the babies’ umbilical cords weren’t wrapped around baby’s neck once it crowned, which is rule number one!

    Mum and baby must come first! Alive! Whichever delivery method is preferred.

    What I don’t understand is the new increasing trend of voluntary C-sections by the younger generation. Apparently, the healing’s faster, and mum can get back to skinny quicker! Really? Where can I get one? Still haven’t met an OB/GYN who swears they can do that!

  43. 43 Caer, Australia
    July 31, 2008 at 17:26

    Reply to Angela in Washington. DC.

    Personally, I’m one of the first to call for Pethadine when in childbirth, but like all things, it depends on the circumstance.

    Entonox (Laughing gas) is the least invasive and dangerous for both mother and child and can be used during the second and even third stages of Labor.

    Pethadine, usually given intramuscularly is helpful to cope with pain during the first stage of Labor, but if given too close to the head crowning it can be dangerous to the baby (it will be unresponsive due to the drug) and can mask a women’s ‘need’ to push…

    Epidurals are naturally a more specialist form of pain relief as it requires an injection into the space surrounding the spinal chord without actually nicking it. This is why my husband mentioned that it WOULD NOT be something any competant Homebirth Attendant would consider. In a hospital situation, once again you need to weigh-up the pro’s and con’s of any such analgesia. An epidural in place of a General Anesthetic for the purpose of a C-section would rate it well, but for general pain relief it may be a risk.
    Ultimately the choice should always be that of the Mother/Parents-to-be.

  44. 44 Dennis
    July 31, 2008 at 17:51

    NO, Because not all ladies are able to have the regular birthing techniques…We all know how!

    Syracuse, NY

  45. 45 Brett
    July 31, 2008 at 18:12

    So just out of curiosity… Any ladies out there who are pro-choice with the argument “Keep your hands off my body” but also in favor of limiting birth methods?

    This situation reminds me of the “low carb craze” where hundreds of thousands of people instantly thought “No bread, bread is bad!” Despite the fact that humans have been eating it for thousands of years. Birth as it is is fine, no need to limit it.

  46. 46 Jens
    July 31, 2008 at 18:25

    i think we should regulate a humans life even before conception. how about babies are only allowed to be made in the missonary position and only after at least 3 minutes of intercourse.

    the world is getting insane with all these rules and regulations.

  47. July 31, 2008 at 18:26

    I have been working for 30 years to keep normal childbirth an option for all women. Waterbirth International continues to spread the word about the gentle option of waterbirth for home, hospital or birth center. The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services, of which Waterbirth International was a founding member works constantly to reduce the need for medical intervention in normal healthy pregnant women. Birth is NOT an illness, should not be subjected to medical procedures and is best when handled by midwives as the gatekeepers. Yes, problems do arise and that is why we need to work together with a good team of healthcare providers.

    It is a myth that women are driving the increase in cesarean section, as documented by the Listening to Mother’s Survey I &II. The increase in cesareans is a practice change in the physician response to all conditions and all age groups across the board. Did you know that most cesareans are done Monday through Friday 7am – 5pm?

    Women, arm yourself with knowledge and acceptance that birth is a physiological, animal response to an intricate hormonal balance within the body. Women do not have to struggle to give birth. They can and do “let their babies out” in a healthy, happy and sometimes even “orgasmic” way.

    For more information go to http://www.waterbirth.org
    Barbara Harper
    mother of two adult water born children
    founder of Waterbirth International
    author of Gentle Birth Choices book and DVD

  48. 48 Jermaine
    July 31, 2008 at 18:35

    For scheduled deliveries, I see nothing wrong with home births. There was a time in America when doctors made house visits. Now it’s as if they’re too important to do anything outside of their office. You’d think it would be safer to have the delivery at home rather than having the mother travel while in labor. When it boils down to it, it should be at the parent’s discretion. Why should hospital fees be paid and beds be taken when it’s not needed?

  49. July 31, 2008 at 18:47

    Great topic. I have had three children two in the 1980’s and one two years ago. All were natural births in the hospital – no drugs. In the 80’s the medical community and maternity support organizations advocated and supported “natural childbirth” meaning not using pain medication, controlling pain through breathing and focus methods. This is known as the Lamaze method.

    Today, the medical community pushes drugs and willingly arranges C-sections for schedule convenience of the doctor and/or the mother. I noted that moms-to-be today greatly fear childbirth pain and often say they don’t want to feel anything during the birth. I think this is because we have gotten so far understanding the natural process of childbirth and how the mother’s body can assist in it if not drugged.

    Birth is a natural function and being alert and undrugged can greatly assist the birth process. I think the medical community needs to get back to the natural aspects of birth. And mothers need to schedule medical birth issues around “gestation and baby development time” versus the hectic world schedule.

    If you have to squeeze the birth of your baby into your schedule will you have time to fit proper attention and care for your child on a daily basis?

    Susan Reed

  50. July 31, 2008 at 18:50

    I live in the US and had a home birth. My birthing process was overseen by naturopathic physicians with training as midwives, basically doctors of natural medicine who also have special training in home births. They are equipped with emergency medical supplies. If their equipment was not enough, as in the case of when a C-section becomes mandatory to save the life of the mother or baby, then hospital transport is an option.

    Home births are as safe, and cheaper, than hospital births. A woman has more say in her care at home than in a hospital. Allopathic physicians should not be deciding how women should be having babies. There are naturopathic physicians in the US who fully support and perform home births.


  51. 51 Mrs Giles
    July 31, 2008 at 18:51

    Pregnancy should not be treated as an illness, as Western Medicine so often does so. Every woman should be able to decide how & where to give birth as long as a trained midwife and/or doctor supports sound mind & body.
    I home-birthed my 2 children and would not have had it any other way, unless my health could not have supported the choice.
    With my 1st, home midwifes were not legal, and I feel this affected my midwife in a negative way. She was nervous and perhaps under-trained because of it.
    With my 2nd, home midwifes were mostly supported by area doctors, where-ins they agreed to be a backup doctor when needed. This offered me prenatal doctor office visits, as well, as more frequent midwife prenatal visits. This was absolutely ideal.
    Especially because the midwife & doctor could engage in dialogue. And even spoke just after the birth to discuss any questions my midwife had.
    In my experience, highly trained midwifes (most of which are women) are much more qualified than doctors (most of which are men), when it comes to assisting with natural childbirth. A hospital or birthing center can never be as calming and nurturing as the home environment. When a home birth plan includes love, support, emergency plans, and rest; no hospital can compare, unless the mother is not a good candidate for home birth. Often women who are taught to fear birthing, natural productive pain, and even responsibility of the health of one’s own child, turn out to suffer from depression, and lack in parental talents.

  52. 52 Kim, Richmond, CA USA
    July 31, 2008 at 18:54

    Sister women of the world, why do we keep putting up with suggestions that we should experience more pain in childbirth? I had an epidural in a hospital ten years ago. Boy, did it wreck my kid. She’s only a straight-A student, who recently appeared in six dance performances where she bent over backwards and put her hands flat on the floor. If men gave birth, they would demand safer, more effective pain medication. Why don’t we ladies show a little self respect?

  53. 53 Ana Milena, Colombia
    July 31, 2008 at 18:55

    Hi! 🙂
    I think natural birth is a free decision from mothers. I’d agree with the fact that natural briths are much better because of the implications for the baby and the mom, but some moms are afraid of that, so what can we do?
    Also, in some cases, caesarian sections are necessary.

    Let me share with you the case of my mom, when was giving birth to my sister… She thought it was a boy.

    The doctor said, “Congratulations! You’ve gor a gorgeous girl.”
    “What?! A girl?!”
    “Oh, don’t worry, ma’am! The next twin’s coming.”
    “What?!!! A twin?!!!!

    Of course she was shocked! That’s why a caesarian section was necessary and, after 30 minutes, I arrived. 😉

    … And this is one of many cases in which caesaria IS necessary.
    Cheers! 😉

  54. 54 Asad_Babyl
    July 31, 2008 at 18:56

    They just had to bring someone in from some african country. Why are we discussing medical issues with people who are still using shamans to summon the gods of child birth?

  55. 55 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 31, 2008 at 18:57


    Your comment was amusing

  56. 56 Kaisha Jaques
    July 31, 2008 at 18:58

    I have found that there are arrogant zealots on both sides of the argument. I tried to have a home birth and ended up being rushed to the hospital for an emergency cesarean. I attempted a “natural” in hospital birth with my second child and still ended up with a cesarean. I know 4 other women in my town who tried home births and ended up in the hospital with varying degrees of stress to themselves and their babies, and all 5 of us were under 25, healthy, outdoors types; the perfect candidates for homebirths. The truth is there is just no telling how birth will turn out, and women should not be guilted into attempting home births or scared into having hospital births. If it is really about the choice stop bullying women one way or the other.

  57. 57 Gale
    July 31, 2008 at 18:59

    I have moved from the US to Germany and am currently pregnant. It is the norm here in Germany for women to give births with midwives. What I find very wonderful about the whole birthing process here is that pregnancy and birth is NOT a medical problem or situation but a NATURAL part of being a woman — which I do not find to be in the US.

    I am also skeptical about the insurance payouts for cesarians (in the US) that factor into doctors’ decisions to push these through.

  58. 58 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 31, 2008 at 19:01


    Thank you for the information.

  59. 59 Jens
    July 31, 2008 at 19:08


    thank you. i am trying to combat insanity with humor…..

  60. 60 Gale
    July 31, 2008 at 19:09


    I have moved from the US to Germany and am currently pregnant. It is a major difference the way pregnancies are handled here. It is the norm for women to give birth with midwives. In fact both of my energetic step-sons were born at home.

    What I find very wonderful about the whole pregnancy/birthing process here in Germany is that it is NOT a medical problem or situation but a NATURAL part of being a woman — which I do not find to be the case in the US. I am also skeptical about the insurance payouts for cesarians that factor into doctors’ (in the US) decision to push this type of operations. We must not forget that the AMA is also a political organisation.

    Finally, I have read (and know of two women) who find less personal immediate bond with their infant after having delivered through a cesarian. I think in the US society — and I can personally attest to this having lived in the US and now away from there — life has become a commodity for the medical profession. I am excited to have a baby in Germany and have it be the most amazing and natural thing I as a woman can do ON MY OWN.

  61. July 31, 2008 at 19:10

    Since our bodies are made to give birth naturally, this form of birth should be given equal respect as the newer hospital births. Unfortunately, most women do not know enough about how their own bodies work to adequately prepare for childbirth. Instead of banning home births we should educate women about how their bodies function in labor (aside from hospital childbirth classes which mostly teach how the hospitals intend to intervene).

  62. 62 Caer, Australia
    July 31, 2008 at 19:16

    @ Angela

    You’re most welcome…

  63. 63 Mrs Giles
    July 31, 2008 at 19:27

    Interesting that childbirth uses up resources like most things.
    Most of us can choose to have a low impact, or high impact.
    There are reasons to believe women who CHOOSE epidurals, C-sections, or certain designer births, are also the women who have a large carbon footprint.
    When one believes they should have MORE, due to their birthright, it takes away from anyone in the world who has few resources & choices.
    This imbalance is common and mirrors the worlds problems.
    The US spends more on healthcare per capita, than any other country, even though many people do not even have healthcare.
    I see similarities in the “privileged” when I hear women aggressively defend their right for pain medications & C-sections.
    The woman above who sarcastically said her daughter was affected by her epidural by having straight As and 6 dance recitals, sounds like she has a chip on her shoulder. Perhaps she is tired of trying to justify her privileged lifestyle and large carbon footprint from driving back & forth to & from all those dance recitals.

  64. 64 Beth
    July 31, 2008 at 20:08

    I had all four of my children without any medications at all and I think doctors interfere way too much with mothers now. I think c-sections should only be used in emergency…

  65. 65 Sunny
    July 31, 2008 at 20:10

    I wanted a natural birth but due to many complications and being very overdue I passed out during the birth and my baby’s heartbeat instantly grew weak. I was rushed in for emergency section. I felt and still feel like a failure as a woman and felt guilty for not being strong enough to give my baby the benefits of a natural birth. BUT if it was not for the emergency section we both would not be here today. So as she is 2 years old this weekend the intervention is very much something I thank god for everyday but I as a mother and woman do question more so if the modern working woman’s attitude and treatment of the body is not effecting the fact that less and less women do seem to be having sections even when they could have a natural birth. I think this will have an evolutionary effect on the woman’s body in a negative manner, certain functions in time becoming redundant after many generations of not using body natural mechanisms of giving birth when can. As a back-up when really necessary in emergency I think c-section is required now but I also think it intefers with the bonding time of mother and baby. The adrenalin and process of emotions is not there and I did have a period of time where I felt she was not my child, the connection and love is very much there but I still belive not in the same was as if I had a natural birth.

  66. 66 Fiona Crack
    July 31, 2008 at 20:21

    I only wish that we had more time to do this subject. I’m afraid we didn’t do it justice in the 20 minutes it did have. Often when we broach a subject we’re sad to leave it early and this was one for me. But this is the other 23 hours of our programme, here on our blog……so at least we can carry on now…..

  67. 67 Venessa
    July 31, 2008 at 20:32

    @Kim, Richmond, CA USA

    “Sister women of the world, why do we keep putting up with suggestions that we should experience more pain in childbirth? I had an epidural in a hospital ten years ago… Why don’t we ladies show a little self respect?”

    Um, just because it’s convenient doesn’t make it right.

    It was your choice to have the epidural and it should very much be someone else’s choice to give birth in the manner they think is best for them and their child. Questioning self respect of someone’s choice on how they choose to experience giving birth is a bit inequitable don’t you think?

  68. 68 Valentine
    July 31, 2008 at 20:40


    Interesting, our curosity will oneday lead us to the end or destruction of this world. I have been asking myself what humans are realy up to!!! If you do not want births to be natural, then how should it be?

    Anyway, I am an african and i will have enough for me and my future family.

  69. July 31, 2008 at 20:42

    We really need to talk about “responsible choices” when it comes to child birth – not just choices.

    When a woman is pregnant and gives birth, there is another individual involved, not just the mother.

    And if she lives in a country with free health care, it is the taxpayers who are paying for the labour and delivery, so I think it’s unfair to ask taxpayers to pay for elective C-sections where there is no medical justification.

    Recent data (2007) out of Canada shows that the health risks to the mother is three times greater in planned C-sections vs. vaginal births (note that these are planned C-sections – not emergency C-sections).

    Unfortunately, I think celebrities have a lot to do with the huge rise in C-section births. Obviously not for all women, but we’d be rather naive to discount the impact celebrity has on society.

  70. 70 Kim Fogel
    July 31, 2008 at 20:55

    Mrs. Giles, You’re right in one way about me. I used to have a more privileged lifestyle and I’d really like to get it back. Your idea is fascinating, as was the discussion among women from other countries. No way is it right to ban home births. But if we’re concerned about carbon footprints I think we have better targets than women in childbirth. When it comes to pain, yes I do have chip on my shoulder.

    Chronic pain set in shortly after my baby was born. I can’t describe the misery that spoiled her first eight years for me, partly because doctors blame you and withhold pain medication based on myths. I’ll never forget the first moment I was tossing a ball around with her and suddenly noticed I wasn’t acting joyful, I felt that way. The “natural” treatment – a warm pool (91F) in a local high school where people from every walk of life support each other in recovery, is also under attack because we’re in the way of construction plans. How does denying pain relief make the world a better place?

    If I may, it seems you have a chip on your shoulder too. There must be a reason. What’s your story?

  71. 71 Venessa
    July 31, 2008 at 20:57

    Lydia ~

    My observation has been that celebrity does play a big part in acceptance of things that otherwise might be questionable to most people. Look at trendy cosmetic surgery and one not need look further. Unfortunately the reality is that it is human nature to be vain. I suspect vanity is a motivator for some women for their birthing choices and should not be condoned but if you have money you get what you want. That’s how the world works.

    Absolutely safety should be first and a woman should not be forced to use a physician when a midwife is just as capable.

  72. 72 Mrs Giles
    July 31, 2008 at 22:36

    Yes, bonding with our children is always preferable over the alternative.
    When natural childbirth is not possible, some birthing centers are starting to allow the mother to hold baby just after birth. But breast-feeding is not possible until the drugs wear off.
    Women need a great deal of support in any birthing situation, especially difficult births. Our culture teaches fear of childbirth.
    I have worked very hard to educate my children about many things our culture neglects. My teen assumes she will have natural childbirth one day. She simply did not learn the fear in the 1st place.
    In my years of teaching elementary school, I could see many children that lack nurturing parents. Anything we can all do to encourage healthy families, should be 1st priority of any country.
    Complex issues are usually made so, while our innate abilities beckon.

  73. August 1, 2008 at 00:58

    My concern is that hospitals in developed countries are failing to provide optimal care for women during child birth. I think some doctors could learn a thing or two from midwives.

    For example:

    1. Hospitals do not generally allow water births (at least in Canada). Some may allow women to labour in the water, but they do not allow women to actually give birth in the water, despite the fact that water is a natural stress and pain reliever.

    2. Olive oil and massage vs. episiotomy. How often do doctors give women this choice?

    3. How many hospital births involve the woman laying flat on her back…one of the worst possible positions for giving birth. Midwives encourage women to give birth in whatever position feels most comfortable to them…not the position that is easiest on the doctor/midwife.

    I’m not saying that child birth must be 100% natural, but I do think we need to take a step back from the direction we’ve been heading (elective C-sections, skyrocketing inducements and epidurals, etc.).

    It is utterly absurd for the AMA to try to ban home births when there is no research evidence to suggest that home births are inherently dangerous when carried out by trained midwives in low-risk pregnancies.

  74. August 1, 2008 at 03:52

    I’d like to address your comment regarding “responsible choices”. First of all, I think we can all agree that our baby’s health is of paramount importance to all of us, whatever our preferred delivery method. I trust that by my pointing out some of the protective maternal health benefits of a cesarean, you are not suggesting that I (and women like me) have not first prioritized my baby’s safety.

    As for living in a country with free health care and making women accountable for their birth choices, do you therefore propose a ‘pay as you go’ scheme, and if so, where do you draw the line at what is and isn’t a lifestyle choice? For example, if a woman chooses a home birth against doctors’ advice (or ACOG’s in this case) and subsequently, emergency ambulatory transfer to hospital is required (which occurs in approx 11-15% of cases according to two studies) should she be charged for these expenses? Similarly, do you propose charging a fee for women who choose to have an epidural rather than delivering without pain relief? Also, how much do you think it costs for two qualified midwives to be in attendance for an unpredictable amount of time during a vaginal delivery while a fully staffed operating theater stands by 24 hours-a-day in case of emergency?

    You mention in particular, that cesareans “where there is no medical justification” are unfair to the taxpayer, but I would stress here that you are only comparing the short-term costs attributable to a planned cesarean delivery (PCD) and a planned vaginal delivery (PVD). Bearing in mind that many costs associated with vaginal delivery (e.g. those with emergency cesarean outcomes, plus the long-term costs of pelvic floor repair, incontinence treatment, counseling following a traumatic experience, as well as any long-term infant care following birth injury) are not applied in traditional cost models – and worse, (largely unrelated) emergency cesarean costs are pooled with planned surgery costs – I have limited faith in the argument that overall, PCD costs considerably more than PVD. That said, I’m sure many women would be willing to pay the difference in price in order to secure their birth choice – but they might also justifiably ask whether other public tax-payers are being held accountable for their ‘lifestyle’ health choices too (for example, the smoker with lung cancer). I think you’ll agree that this is not a straightforward issue.

    I can’t be sure because you haven’t written the full name of the research paper, but I believe that the data you refer to showing greater health risks to the mother in planned cesareans is not applicable to deliveries at 39 weeks gestation (the delivery date advised by ACOG, NIH, NICE and others). Instead, the research looks at all ‘full-term births’, defined here as 37-40 weeks gestation. This favors PVD in two ways. First, PCD prior to 39 weeks gestation is more dangerous for the baby, and with maternal request cesareans, doctors will advise waiting until full lung development before delivery (which is what I did). Secondly, by excluding PVDs that continue past 40 weeks (which happens in natural birth), any associated morbidity and mortality is also excluded from the comparative data. In fact in April this year, the UK’s Birth Trauma Association uncovered data (from the CEMACH report) showing that women giving in birth in 2003-05 were actually ‘less likely’ to die following a planned cesarean delivery than other births.

    You state that celebrity has an impact on society – referring to the rising cesarean rate – but if you believe that of one set of women making a birth choice (cesarean), then you must also be suggesting that it is true of another set too (those choosing home birth)?

    I do not understand why you choose to address the perceived lack of choice in the area of home birth and ‘unwanted’ cesarean deliveries by trying to obstruct accessibility to cesareans that are ‘wanted’. Surely we should be working together to support safe and positive psychological birth outcomes in ALL births? Finally, I’d like to add a link to ACOG’s actual statement on home birth. There is no mention of the word ‘ban’; rather, ‘opposition to’ and ‘does not support’.

  75. 75 Janet
    August 1, 2008 at 15:38

    Are these people who want to ban women from doing what is natural the modern day colonialists? Oh I forgot, it is Liberian (African) women and by implication those who advocate caesarean or high tech births have a warped perception that giving birth in one’s environment – the home – or even giving birth naturally is backward and uncivilised.

    Many women in that part of the world consider birth to be a normal event and as such home is the most appropriate place. In addition, are we saying that we should export our western ways of giving birth to the African diasporas? Most people would say that they are concenred – if so why not let Liberian women articulate their immediate needs and support them to meet those needs; be it childbirth, cutural or economic ones. All women, regardless of where they live should not be the recipients of care but be in a position to determine how they give birth.

    When one looks at North America; the USA in particular, they spend an awful lot of money on maternity care, yet they have very poor outcomes because of the high rates of interventions which leave women with long term health problems. The evidence on home births speaks for itself, there are those who would like to put a differnt interpretation to it of course.

  76. 76 jamily5
    August 1, 2008 at 17:58

    There are hospitals which want to similate homebirths.
    they offer an apartment style place to birth these children. Midwives and doulas are also part of the process. But, of course, this does take money from the pediatricians etc.
    In the USA, many insurance companies do not support midwives, so the money has to come directly from the person’s pocket. And, some medications are accepted, while others (especially those that are considered more natural) are not. So, some women would like to have a homebirth and midwife, but can’t.Some ob/gyn are willing to consider a birthing plan. In that plan, if you choose no pain meds or a certain kind of birthing techniques, they should comply. I never did understand those stirups. And, that is just one way that the medical profession tries to make it easy for them, despite common sense or the comfort of the women. so, I understand skepticism.
    How women see birthing and child care has certainly changed. since women have more choices about their careers (and I am not saying that they shouldn’t), they are also becoming more challenged in attempting to balance career and childcare: caring for one’s self and others etc.
    We could talk about home births,
    formula feeding,
    24hour child care,
    and even nursing homes,
    I know homeopathic, natural birthing, nursing midwives who preach the concepts, but spend so much time browbeating those formula feeding mothers that they forget to seriously bond with their children.
    I know women who spend so much time “satisfying themselves — because they have the right to do what they want), that their families suffer.

    Maybe the question should be:
    (and I guess I am always changing the question),
    “If you call yourself a family man/woman or portray yourself as family oriented: what actions do you take to demonstrate your values?”

  77. 77 Jennifer
    August 2, 2008 at 21:05

    I believe that each woman should have the option of having her children at home. I know alot of people believe that it is safer and less risk for mother and baby if they are in a hospital setting. However, I believe that mid-wifes are trained to discern problems so that they can be addressed before they become a problem. From what I have read about them they are very much centered on ensuring that both mother and child are safe during labor and delivery. There is no place more comfortable than home and it allows for a more personal and intimate experience. I also believe that home births are more centered on making the most of the experience as opposed to the hospital setting where women are mushed in and out as quickly as possible.

    Before listening to this podcast I had never heard of being too posh to push. I think that’s a good way of looking at it. I don’t believe that women should have elective c-sections, but if there are reasons where it is medically necessary then go for it.

  78. 78 Emile Barre
    August 3, 2008 at 14:25

    As long as the delivery is in a medically approved and safe environment acceptable to normal health standards, I do not see a problem if the woman does not. Survivable births are more important.

  79. August 4, 2008 at 11:09

    for natural human beings,most births should come out from where those that fertilised the ova entered through.but births that have been predicted by prophets,like JESUS,miraculous births could come out either way that we cant even imagine.

  80. 80 David
    August 4, 2008 at 17:03

    I a man and I would be really stupid to comment on this one.

  81. 81 Kim Fogel
    August 4, 2008 at 21:48

    Vanessa, I get your comment, and accept my choice of words may have given the wrong impression. Of course I support women’s choices, and I don’t malign the self respect of any of them. I’m just talking back to those who would attack my choice, and still feel we could have better choices. I wish you all the best for yourselves and your families, whatever personal choice you make.

  82. 82 kannan
    August 15, 2008 at 15:35


    this is kannan from chennai want to become an one army in our organisation,is this possible & kindly do the needful tips

    with regards

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