Happy New Year!
I have been intentionally quiet and sitting with my thoughts, for the last 10 or so months, pondering if this topic would make waves in the birth community. Would people be mad at me for these thoughts, would people question who I am as a birth professional, or why I do this work? I have to admit, there were many times over this last year (YES, with everything going on), where I thought, uggggh, if I see one more person saying something about a medical professional and that we need to “take back our power” and focus on home birth, I was going to lose it. Those conversations, many of them, completely turned me off and made me want to push back from this work almost completely. Why? You might ask. How can wanting people to return to what we know is safe, effective, birth management, natural, physiologic birth, a problem? It’s not. I support, encourage and WANT for people, all people, but especially POC, to return to our essence and unlearn all of the fear surrounding birth.
Birth is beautiful and exhilirating and when you get to witness it in its purest form, you get to see how powerful and life changing, undisturbed, supported, out-of-hospital births can be. They are life-altering, and soul shifting, on a cellular level. Every birth has changed me. My disdain has everything to do with the fact that birth work is supposed to be inclusive. Birth workers preach and preach about inclusion, however, there is an entire community of people who will NEVER get to experience that beautiful, life altering birth experience. A community of high-risk pregnant people, who won’t get to have that mystical, mythical, and magical birth you speak of or (here’s a thought) don’t want that type of experience. And, as a community we have been placing judgement, blame and lumping an entire demographic of people (medical providers), labeling them the “enemy”, based on the experiences of a few — sound familiar?
I guess for me, for a long time, seeing it felt personal and also very exclusionary. I am high-risk (Diabetic), had 3 over medicalized births, unnecessary interventions and those feelings left me feeling like I was an outsider, in this big beautiful world of pregnancy and birth. But, it’s not only me who felt/feels this way. You see, I do A LOT of research, all the…