Rethinking Modern Birth – Part 2: Do Your Own Research!

Are you committed to having a better birth? Do your own research!

Don’t rely on your health care professional to tell you everything you need to know, because they won’t.

Not because they’re a jerk, or anything of the sort. It’s just that they don’t have the time to spend telling you things that aren’t medically necessary for you to know.

The medical community, on the whole, is trained to look for and deal with pathology–which a normal pregnancy and labor do not fall under.

Your OB might give you some handouts to read, or even give you a book to take home–but those information sources are going to be woefully incomplete.

There’s no such thing as an owner’s manual to a pregnant body–although that seems to be a very common misconception.

The most popular pregnancy books out there only tell you the very basics. They are written to tell what typically happens during pregnancy–“What to Expect”. (That book is the WORST, by the way. Toss it in a fire!)

It might be helpful to know what the standard of care is, but it’s not good when everyone pretends like the typical standard of care is what’s best for everyone.

All the tests and procedures that are typically performed are assumed to be 100% healthy and conducive to a positive outcome for your pregnancy–but that’s not always the case.

It’s worth noting here that 34% of babies in America are now born via C-section. That’s over one-third of pregnancies ending in major abdominal surgery!

A C-section can be a wonderful, life-saving procedure for some; however, I deeply question what passes for “normal” obstetric care when the C-section rate is as high as ours.

According to the World Health Organization, a C-section rate of between 10-15% is considered optimal–which indicates that over half of America’s C-sections may be unnecessary.

Knowledge is power: Educate yourSelf.

Enroll in a birth class–or maybe several. Talk to other women who have used your care providers, or have given birth where you plan to.

If you don’t fully understand something, start Googling, and question your sources!

Read at least several different books on pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and baby care.

To protect his or her own liabilities, your health care provider assumes that you are NOT well-informed, and his or her decisions are based on that assumption.

Informed mothers know that much of the standard protocol that her health care provider suggests is not always useful or necessary–and compassionate care providers are willing to be flexible and partner with their clients.

Better birth outcomes happen when moms are heard, respected, and encouraged to be active participants in their care.