I received the following letter this morning, and couldn't help but feel compelled to reply to this conscientious medical professional who reached out with what she thought perhaps was helpful advice for freebirthing women.
In the past 18 years, I have encouraged and supported thousands of women in their non-medical home births. Most of those women had been labeled “high risk”, and prohibited from even “natural birth” in the hospital (a contradiction in terms, really, but anyway)—and rejected from the privilege of a homebirth with licensed midwives. Many of these women have gone on to freebirth healthy babies ecstatically after multiple c-sections, at 43 and 44 weeks gestation, breech babies and in other scenarios that represent a pretext for the highest degree of medical meddling on the part of your crew. Not one baby or mother that I have been involved with has died, and my rate of transfer and c-section is 1% (because in the event that birth does require medical help, I’m very grateful for the existence of obstetricians). These stats have nothing to do with my being a fantastic birth consultant--much of birth, like life, is luck. But these numbers are representative of what the vast majority of births could look like, if birth weren’t routinely sabotaged by the obstetrics industry.
I hardly ever see, or hear of, excessive bleeding in the case of unassisted home birth or freebirth. That’s not to say it doesn’t occur. It’s just that it rarely happens when women are birthing away from people who are doing the very things that tend to produce that outcome—and yet nurses and obstetricians see PPH with great frequency! Hmmm. When women claim their power, and refuse to allow themselves to be manipulated and abused, birth tends to work. When women recognize that the most salient factors that will contribute to their birth process proceeding smoothly involves ensuring that they are in an environment that is familiar, quiet and dark; ensuring that a minimum of other people are present, and only among them who recognize the authority of the birthing woman herself, birth tends to work.