Thursday, August 9, 2012

On Midwifery: Or, The Lion, the Witch and the Birthing Center

This is not what a midwife looks like:

I'll get you, my Pretty.  And your little baby too.

Just so we're clear.  

My wife and I decided right when she got pregnant that we were going to a midwife to deliver the baby.  I'm not going to soapbox about why we made the decision, but it was (and is) the right one for us.

People immediately freak out when you tell them this.  I try to remind them that this has been the model for centuries and oh, by the way, most of Europe (who has far better rates of healthy, natural childbirth) still operates this way.

To blatantly steal from Jim Gaffigan's most recent special, Mr. Universe, why would I want my wife to deliver our child while wearing the gown a person died in the night before?  Hospitals are where sick people go to get better.  Pregnancy is not a state of illness so why go to a guy who specializes in cutting people open for a living?

I have nothing against OBGYNs, whatsoever.  They serve an important purpose and save lives under the most dire of circumstances.  But most pregnancies don't require the skills of a surgeon.  Women have been delivering babies for ages without the help of a trained surgeon.

And before anyone starts freaking out, the Birthing Center we are attending is directly across the street from one of the best hospitals in our area.  If something were to go wrong, it's directly across the street.  And in the company of the Midwife is a trained RN.

We aren't winging it.  We've done a ton of research on the subject.  And I find it really strange that people try to dissuade us from using the birthing center.  People spend more time researching the next car they are going to buy than what they dedicate to the facility where they will deliver their baby.  

If you are interested in a crash course about midwifery (and they primarily focus on home birth in this movie, buy you have lot of options) I highly recommend The Business of Being Born.

It may be a bit crunchy-granola-breath for some, but so is the whole midwife thing.  If you are squeamish, the most unpleasant parts of it are during the C-section, so avert your eyes if you see a scalpel.  But it is a great source of info for anyone interested in options outside of the typical hospital environment.

My favorite part of the movie is when this one

Beware if your midwife has a spinning wheel anywhere nearby.
turns into a dragon.

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