It seems that birth can be a very contentious battlefield. That birth choices would cause arguing, even among women, of the sort that leaves our society tearing each other down is more alarming than the state of maternity care in America today.  That’s the smoke and mirrors approach: the success of the medical birth model in dividing women and the attempt to remove the focus from health care to hide behind the red fish of ‘women’s choice.

‘Then there’s the either/or argument: the sense of a competition to scare the newly expecting mother with the most scariest birth experience birth mothers can tell or sensing anxiety that if they don’t have a spontaneous, unmedicated, vaginal birth over an intact perineum then they have somehow failed the class or will be ridiculed by friends and family with the “I told you sos…”.

Mothers are looking for a place where everyone is supportive of her desire to not only inform herself but also to have a birth that does not blindly follow the majority of births today which is in a hospital, medicated and with technology to bring the baby from mother’s body.

Mothers share how her pleas to turn off the pitocin were ignored, their desire to birth naturally met with scorn “Why do you want to suffer?” in birth forums, independent birth classes (you can bet most hospital birth educators will be quick to shut that conversation down).

Where is the support for these mother’s choices?  If you really claim to preserve women’s choice then these choices need to be respected and protected as well.  Unless you’ve been to a birth class where the emphasis was on credible information, sources were cited and the information was presented as educational, not a marketing tool for one option over another then you haven’t been to an independent birth class.  In a manner of healthcare speaking, an Independent Childbirth class provides you with the ultimate preservation of personal, individual choice:  the information you need to give informed consent OR informed refusal.  Two options clearly protected by patient rights.

Maternity care should be no different than any other field of health care.  Informed consent should be a given and parents need to know that not every physician is comfortable with their skills in obtaining informed consent.  It doesn’t make them a bad physician.  It makes them human like you or me and like any other field they need practice and they know it.

Exploring birth education shouldn’t be confusing or feared. To quote a birth book “A Good Birth, A Safe Birth“: ‘ ‘if you don’t know your options you don’t have any.’Br/>
Perception is reality.

Take charge. Create your reality! Put the blame for birth outcomes where it belongs: those who let their own agenda overpower yours.

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