The answer is “YES”.
Birth has become a political issue; in more ways than one. The government has taken over our birthing rights to allegedly “protect mothers and babies” and not many are questioning it; the mamas, the midwives, the doulas. Birth is a natural, human right-but it’s gotten to the point that, especially with licensing, it’s become a “privilege”.
Many women aren’t questioning the most crucial issues-from ultrasounds to inductions. No one is asking questions. Mothers, midwives and doulas all over are just subscribing to the substandard set of ideas and rules that have come to govern birth…without asking, “Why?”
Why does birth need to be governed, other than by the mama herself?
Why has the fear taken over in every capacity to the point that birth workers are afraid of “breaking the law” for simply educating their clients with the truth about interventions or the natural process? Where did we lose sight of our job, our mission? Which is, as I see it, the ability and commitment to educating women and supporting them about and through what is the physiological process of birth and mothering. If we find fear in speaking the truth, we cannot serve women effectively, if at all.
If our jobs have become just to appease the system, and the mothers in the system, what good are we really? If we’re just gonna stand by and support fearful choices that have no basis in science or reality, then what good are we?
Frankly, I am pretty mad about the whole thing. I have had enough of tiptoeing around what we think we are “supposed” to say when a woman asks about pharmaceutical induction, or any induction, or heck even breastfeeding or jaundice. We are supposed to err on the side of caution, not giving her any real information about the risks, protecting ourselves and forgetting that we ALL have the god-given right of birthing how we choose.
We are giving our inherent power as women and mothers away every time we don’t take the opportunity to remind women of the way our bodies are set up to do this. This does not mean that birth is perfect always or that every mom and baby will have a physiologial birth-that’s reality. But the chances of bringing birth back to it’s roots and preparing women to be instinctive mothers is that much easier, and that much rewarding, if we acknowledge the truth.
I’m not saying that all women can’t be treated without compassion, no matter what their choices are. We must find a way to understand the deeper reasons and rationale for why we are,collectively, where we are. But I think we owe it to ALL women to not pretend like it’s OK to accept anything less. To believe that we need to, without question, accept all the “rules” and false cultural assumptions around birth.
I am definitely concerned.
So, how do we politically UNcorrect birth? We stop putting up with the lies. When we are asked about interventive births, we speak the truth. We are honest, not nasty, but we get over having to make every woman feel “OK” about the choices she has made. It’s her choice to feel ok about them regardless of our opinion; all we can do, when asked, is to remind her about what we know about the way birth DOES work. But if we are choosing to be in a position of education or support, we have got to stop pretending.
It’s become all about a woman’s “choice” to induce or not, to consent to a repeat c/section because she’s had one before, or a million other examples. I won’t deny that there ARE choices, but a true choice cannot be made while ignoring the evidence for HOW and WHY physiological birth is preferable and desirable. When a woman learns or is taught the way the body works, the way the intricate hormones work, the way mama/baby are genetically interested in surviving, she then has a basis to make a choice.
Because there IS a way that birth is programmed to go. There IS a way that we are set up to birth and mother our babes, and I argue that it is not up for debate, opinion, or making any woman feel justified in uneducated choices. I have lost all tolerance for these scenarios, because without speaking the truth to all women, we are all becoming lost.