Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The way we arrive...

Although I don't plan on ever giving birth, this is a topic that is important to me as a woman. The film examines possible reasons why our country has one of the worst infant mortality birthrates in the developed world - I think it is the second highest. It looks at the way our western medical perspective can encourage pregnant women and their families to feel that birth is a medical catastrophe waiting to happen. In countries with low infant mortality birthrates, use of midwives, doulas, etc. is very high (approx. 80%) and home births are much more acceptable. My desire in writing about this topic is not to say that every woman has to have a home birth. Like most other women's issues, I really just want women to be informed about all the choices available to them and then make the decision that is right for them. I was privileged and honored to attend the birth of a dear friend who was very thoughtful in her delivery choices. Since she was an "older" woman her pregnancy was considered "high risk." Her insurance would not cover any aspect of a home birth. So she and her husband came up with a combination of a hospital delivery attended by a midwife, doula and a supportive friend (me). It ended up being exactly the right choice for them. The delivery was awesome and they welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world. Afterward there was some difficulty in delivering the afterbirth and it was necessary for my friend to have additional medical care at which point we were all grateful to be in the hospital under the expert care of the doctors and nurses. Almost eight months later she and baby are thriving. Although this is a women's issue, it is actually something that we all experience in one form or another. We all have to come through that birth canal and that first ride should be the best of experiences.

No comments: