Saturday, September 28, 2013
Politics of Birth
I'm sitting here typing as my little Fox naps with his head resting on my leg. Gotta love naptime!
A photo of little Fox and I were recently included in an article by Rebecca Dekker on her blog Evidence Based Birth. There is so much great information compiled here, and in such an easy to understand format. I recommend her site to all of my pregnant friends.
After our highly medical conception, Mr Fox and I decided we plan a home birth. We switched from our OB to a Licensed Midwife at 20 weeks, but as we approached 43 weeks decided to switch back to an OB for a hospital induction. I consider myself very educated about pregnancy and birth - if only through osmosis as I grew up watching my mom in her work as a childbirth educator, doula, lactation consultant, and parent educator. Regardless, it has been an interesting process for me to look back at our birth and review all of the decisions that we made along the way.
The more I learn and reflect on my own experience, the more I realize just how political birth is. There is very little respect for 'informed consent' and much more talk about what a doctor will 'let' a pregnant woman do or not do. It makes me angry, and it makes me feel like I have a responsibility to change things.
I honestly don't care how or where a women births her children, but I absolutely believe that women should be fully informed about and empowered to make their own choices. I also firmly believe that if a women wants to defer to her doctor for those decisions that she should be confident that her doctor is providing her with the evidence-based care that is best for her and her baby.
I find myself wanting to be more involved in organizations that are working to influence change at the political level, but seeing that there are many more organizations who are working to educate women one-at-a-time so that they can demand change. California Families for Access to Midwives is doing political work that I want to be a part of. Until I am in a place to make a more formal commitment of time I find myself working around the edges, trying to support the work that is being done, but unable to take on the bigger projects that are so necessary to really make a difference.
Maintaining limits that I've set for myself is critical to my sanity. But someday in the future, I will do more. I will.