intensely trivial

Sunday-morning midwifery musings

Since beginning studies with AAMI, I’ve had more opportunities than usual to examine what I believe about birth. I’ve needed this time to process, and I haven’t come near boiling it all down into something coherent, but here are some of the main things. (Heartfelt thanks to Carla Hartley and other people, mostly women, who have articulated these things before me and have a much wider-ranging view of the whole issue.)
1. Birth is a normal physiological event that, 95 percent of the time, works best when it’s not messed with. It doesn’t belong to experts.
2. I see God’s hand ALL OVER the process of birth — in the stunning design of women’s bodies, the intricate forming of babies, from sperm and egg to embryo to fetus to baby functioning on his own, the ingenious placenta interface between mothers and babies. As a Christian, I never again want to worship technology more than I worship the Creator.
3. Birth belongs to mothers and babies — not to men, nor to medical people, nor to midwives, nor to government, nor to anyone else on earth.
4. Parents have the ultimate responsibility for the choices they make regarding the birth of their children. (You readily assume responsibility when you make decisions about their education and safety *after* the birth; what makes you give up control to anyone else at the birth?)
5. More than anything else, midwives (and, in my dreams, medical workers) should facilitate parents’ taking responsibility for making informed choices. This is especially possible in our modern day, with so much information available in print, online, and through knowledgeable people.
6. Women should give birth where and with whom they want to, not where anyone tells them to. I realize most people in our society will choose the hospital as a birthplace, but in time I hope more and more mothers choose to give birth elsewhere, where normal birth for mom and baby is more likely. I support women’s choice to give birth anywhere, including at a freestanding birth center, at home, with a doctor, with a nurse-midwife, with a direct-entry midwife, with a credentialed or uncredentialed midwife, or with no trained birth attendant present. When parents truly take responsibility for their bodies, their babies, and their births, they will make the right choice.
Yep, so that’s where I am right now.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * carla says:

    THANKS SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted 7 years, 6 months ago
  2. * manhattandoula says:

    No, Carla, thank you.

    Posted 7 years, 6 months ago

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