PLErs- what do you think of freebirthing

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2003
PLErs- what do you think of freebirthing
56
Tue, 05-22-2007 - 8:44pm

and holding women liable legally and financially for manslaughter and damages in the event of injury or death?

Freebirthers dismiss fear and bring babies home

By Kate Kelland 1 hour, 20 minutes ago

LONDON (Reuters) - They insist they're no superwomen, they have no special powers, and are certainly not pain or adrenaline junkies.
ADVERTISEMENT

But 'freebirthers' choose to go through what some call the most painful and potentially frightening experience of a woman's life with no drugs, no midwife and no medical help.

Delivering their own babies at home, often alone, they dismiss what they say is "fearmongering" by doctors and midwives and confidently catch their offspring as they leave the womb.

"Birthing uses the same hormones as lovemaking -- so why would you want anyone poking and prodding you, observing you and putting you under a spotlight?," said Veronika Robinson, an Australian based in Britain who sees growing interest in freebirth among readers of international magazine, "The Mother."

Her comment is echoed by many in online discussion groups about freebirth, where women insist having a baby is as intimate an experience as having sex.

"We were the only people there when she was conceived, and it felt absolutely 100 percent right that we were the only people there when she was born," writes Laura Fields from the United States.

Robinson says medical establishments in Britain and across other westernized nations have for years been "taking something that's natural and making it into a disease," and now, with freebirthing, "women are taking their power back."

Free- or unassisted birth means having a baby with no medical or professional help. In Britain, as in North America, where its popularity is growing, it is legal as long as delivery is not "assisted" by an unqualified partner, friend or husband.

To some, like new mum Janet Sears, the idea of giving birth alone, with no-one around to help if things go wrong, is little short of madness: "It's my idea of hell," she told Reuters.

INTERVENTION AND FEAR

But one of its most prominent supporters, Laura Shanley, an author on childbirth, is now mother to four children -- all of whom were born at home without the help of doctors or midwives.

Shanley, who lives in Colorado in the United States, says that in essence birth is only problematic because of three main factors -- poverty, intervention and fear.

As long as clean water and reasonable living standards are available -- as they are to many women in the west -- then the task is to eliminate the other two factors and a natural birth will be as safe as it can be.

"As I began to understand how fear affects the body, and that birth is not inherently dangerous provided we don't trigger the fight-flight response and shut down labor, then to me it was natural to want to just trust myself," she told Reuters.

"It didn't make sense to me that something that ensures the continuation of the race would be a dangerous and scary event."

Diana Drescher, a Dutch freebirthing enthusiast who lives in Britain and wants a fourth baby with her German partner, agrees.

"We've been giving birth for thousands of years and we're still in this world. If it was that dangerous we wouldn't be here," she told Reuters.

Coming from the Netherlands, where there is a more relaxed attitude to birth, Diana finds British medical authorities far too quick to intervene and is determined to have her next baby here with no professional presence.

She says she will also avoid being in her partner's native Germany where she says freebirth is virtually impossible without fear of the authorities finding out and intervening.

"I do know some people who have had unassisted births in Germany, but they will not talk about it. It's a very close community that does it and they have to be very careful."

"THE MOST DANGEROUS THING"

Britain's Department of Health frowns on the practice of freebirthing and says every woman should have a midwife.

"The safety of mothers and their babies is our top priority," a spokesman told Reuters. "Midwives are the experts in normal pregnancy and birth and have the skills to refer to and coordinate between specialist services. Every woman needs the care of a midwife in labor and birth and those women with more complex pregnancies may need a doctor too."

And some doctors, as well as some friends and relatives of those who chose to go it alone when they go into labor, are fiercely critical of what they see as a selfish, reckless, even irresponsible approach to childbirth.

"Dr Crippen," a British National Health Service doctor who writes an award-winning blog on the Internet, has reacted angrily to growing interest in freebirth, saying babies born this way should have a right to legal recourse later in life.

He says "giving birth is the most dangerous thing that most woman will do during their life," and argues:

"Does a mother not owe a duty of care to her baby? Should a mother not take reasonable care to protect the baby when she gives birth? And if she does not take reasonable care -- and the standard should be objective not subjective -- why should a baby who has sustained avoidable brain damage due to the mother's negligence not take action against his mother?"

If a baby were to die during a freebirth, Dr Crippen argues the mother should be prosecuted for manslaughter.

Mary Siever, a mother of three who lives in Alberta, Canada, said she has experienced the wrath of those around her when they learned she had a baby on her own.

"There are people who are horrified when they find out that an unassisted birth has taken place," she told Reuters.

"I can't claim to know why they feel this way, but my belief is that the majority of them -- doctors and health authorities -- truly do not think women are intellectually capable of making their own decisions when it comes to birth."
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070522/hl_nm/birth_britain_freebirth_dc_1

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2007
Tue, 05-22-2007 - 8:54pm
Well, 100 years ago, this was how all women gave birth. At home with the midwife. No doctor, no medicine, no hospital.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2004
Wed, 05-23-2007 - 4:14am
I agree that British medicos can be far too quick to interfere and ignore the mother's wishes, but I also think that giving birth completely alone is unnatural and very irresponsible. If a woman chooses not to have medical assistance, she should at the very least give birth with at least one family member or friend in attendance.
baby siggy
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2004
Wed, 05-23-2007 - 4:15am

At home with the midwife isn't what they're suggesting. That would be 'medical involvement'.

baby siggy
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2007
Wed, 05-23-2007 - 9:33am

The vegan couple who were just charged with killing their newborn infant did this, if I remember correctly.

My husband and I are planning a Bradley birth, no unnecessary medical intervention although we will be giving birth in a hospital. Our doctor is very much in tune with our requests and expectations and in the next few weeks we'll have a birth plan on paper. We feel very comfortable with things as they stand and would not consider having medical intervention available should the need arise.

Having said that, I don't know that I would tell another woman what she can and can't do when it comes to the birth of her own child. Childbirth is a very natural thing and if done properly can be an incredibly exciting experience, especially if the mother and the child are not pumped full of drugs. If a woman feels confident having her child at home with no medical personel available then who am I to tell her she cannot?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2003
Wed, 05-23-2007 - 10:22am

quote: If a woman feels confident having her child at home with no medical personel available then who am I to tell her she cannot?
/emd quote

i agree. and why should anyone be permitted to FORCE medical interventions she does not want? does she still not have rights over her own body? even when those prove detrimental to the fetus- does she have authority over medical procedures she undergoes or not?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-13-2003
Wed, 05-23-2007 - 10:45am

>>I agree that British medicos can be far too quick to interfere and ignore the mother's wishes, but I also think that giving birth completely alone is unnatural and very irresponsible. If a woman chooses not to have medical assistance, she should at the very least give birth with at least one family member or friend in attendance. <<


how is it unnatural? this is how women years ago gave birth. i wouldn't do it but i wouldn't call it unnatural.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket






Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2007
Wed, 05-23-2007 - 10:48am

I think a lot of it boils down to people not educating themselves and just giving complete control to doctors and other professionals. Episiotomies, especially a while back used to be the norm and even still are today for some doctors. However I believe the female body is built to give birth so why are we cutting women who don't need it? We forget that even though they are doctors, they are human beings and make mistakes so why shouldn't we as non doctors educate ourselves as much as possible?

I think sometimes the government tries way too hard to not allow nature to take it's course with a lot of things.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2004
Wed, 05-23-2007 - 10:51am
As I said, giving birth *completely alone* is unnatural. Women of times past and in less developed countries gave/give birth surrounded by sisters, mother, cousins and friends. THAT is natural and what women did for thousands of years.
baby siggy
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Wed, 05-23-2007 - 12:01pm

This is fine and good if and only if the woman has no complications. We all know women who during childbirth had complications, many of which cannot be determined without medical monitoring devices. In my friend's case, her child's heartbeat was faltering, and it turned out that the umblical cord was wrapped dangerously around his neck. Had she given birth at home, alone, he would have died.

I see nothing wrong with insisting that all a medical professional can do is monitor the situation, but I do think that monitoring should be required. Since the ultimate goal of childbirth is live birth, I do think it is OK to make monitoring a requirement.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-07-2007
Thu, 05-24-2007 - 10:46am

I honestly don't know how I feel about this. If I had done that, both DD and I would be dead. It really makes it difficult for me to be objective about it.

T

*************************************************

"You're cute. I like you."

"What you se

Pages