I just read another amazing article by Gloria Lemay in which she talks about the dangers of induction. But it was a quote at the end of the article, coming from Linda Hessel, that brought to mind my post from earlier this week on the difficulties of choosing a homebirth midwife. Here is the quote by Hessel, via Lemay’s blog:
We all want to see women empowered to make truly informed choices about their care. Unfortunately, most birthing women tend to simply trust that their birth attendant will know what is best for them. The danger of this occurring in a homebirth environment is no less than in a hospital setting and may in fact be more insidious, because while so many of us distrust the obstetrician’s medicalized approach, the homebirth midwife is regarded as especially wise in the ways of birth, as well as unintrusive and noninterventive.
This is exactly the problem I think I encountered in my last homebirth, and which I discuss a little in my last blog (link above). I almost hate to bring this whole thing up because I think it is so important to make homebirth an option for more women in America. Overall, I do think that for normal, healthy women, midwives often do provide superior care and far less interventions than an OB managed birth. But I also believe that in the US, even midwifery has a long way to go. I’ve experienced one pregnancy in which I was ejected from care in a birthing center for what I view as an inconsequential health issue. I believe this was done simply due to malpractice insurance pressures. So basically, due to fear of litigation, I was forced into one huge intervention – that of needlessly giving birth in a hospital. During my second birth, I went through some pretty destructive emotional abuse and coercion (coming from my midwives) after the birth of my son, which resulted in breastfeeding being unnecessarily delayed. Yes, I’m angry about these things occuring. But I’ve learned, and I’m determined to be the decision maker in this coming birth. I may not be a doctor of midwife, but I’m smart and capable of understanding things and making decisions. Here’s my mantra for this coming birth: I will be empowered!