I had a friend from high school share her birth story with me tonight. It was nothing less than traumatic. Although she probably doesn't know this yet, it is the typical c-section birth story. Mom's not progressing fast enough, epidural not working, labor taking too long, mom freaking out so baby stresses and you need a c-section.
A lot of people would look at a birth story like this (and there are many like this) and say, "Oh well? Mom and baby are healthy, and my gosh! At least they got the baby out before something bad happened. It doesn't matter how the baby got here as long as it is healthy". While I'm all for healthy babies, IT DOES MATTER HOW THE BABY GOT HERE! For the rest of her life this mom will look back on the day her son was born as the most traumatic, overwhelming, lonely and helpless experience of her life. All because someone wasn't there to tell her it's ok and that she was strong enough and capable of birthing her own son. All because doctors want mom in bed on her back because it is convenient for them, but not the best position for the baby or mother. Or maybe they just don't know the right positions, which I'm not sure is any better.
A woman will remember the day her child was born forever. It's a memory that needs to be protected not thrown away like she is just another patient. The family unit, specifically during labor, needs to be protected, respected and cherished. A couple (more specifically the mother) will either come away from birth feeling empowered, taken care of and at peace or feeling out of control and forgotten. There are a lot of women walking around today feeling like the day they gave birth was the day they lost all control of their body and handed it over to a sharp knife on an operating table. And the majority is because of lazy practices and a misunderstanding of the birthing process.
It was reaffirmed to me tonight why I am becoming a doula. Women deserve a better birth story than my friend's. A baby's birth day should be the best day of the mother's lives, in every way. Hopefully, through education, doulas and competent midwives, we can begin to heal the broken labor practices in this country. And through this, heal the women who have fallen victim to them.
Alive not Dead: an Adventure through Life
1 year ago