This from another list where the UC discussion is unfolding:
The topic is my seeing another viewpoint... that my saying that UC isn't safe is no different than a doctor saying he advocates homebirth, but... he has seen some dangerous things and just can't really suggest women do it. The woman wants me to see that perhaps I am not the best person to bring up UC even though I have had one.
There is absolutely no difficulty in my hearing your thoughts... at all. Things you have said are nothing new, of course, but bear repeating... and I am hear to listen. I know that the discussion we are having will help me formulate a fantastic workshop on As Midwifery As It Is vs. Midwifery As It Could Be. UC as a choice... especially as a feeling of forced choice... is imperative to what a midwife can do to wake-up and Be the caregiver a woman wants and needs her to be. Too many women are manipulated or coerced in birth and I acknowlege that and want to bop some midwives on the head to wake them up! I can't do it across the world personally, but I can sure try with my words in writing and speaking. You and others here and elsewhere (including the women in my past doula/midwife-life) are all spirits that help guide me to what I feel my true calling is... reminder of our perfection.
What I have to offer in that reminder, however, is that I am deeply rooted in the belief of technology in its place. My clients tell me that they know if they transport, they damn well needed to be in the hospital. I beam when I look at where I am as a midwife right now. Not that there isn't always room for growth, but I am reveling in my evolution today.
The woman prompts that the only essentials in birth are the woman and the baby and that anything... people, meds, things, etc. are "technology."
I often encounter the "Birth Is Natural and If We Left It Alone, It Would Be Perfect" discussion. This is often followed closely by "Our Bodies Instinctively Know What To Do." I agree in theory, BUT, these bodies aren't what they were 500 or 500 thousand years ago. The grand majority of these bodies in North America do not live like our bodies were made to live. I often use Dances With Wolves or my new analogy, Girl With The Pearl Earring, as examples of what our bodies were meant to do: walk to the river for water, make our dishes, plant our food, weed the garden, harvest miles from our home, cook everything from scratch, migrate twice a year across the continent, starve in winter, feast in summer, walk, Walk, WALK miles and miles a day. Sacagawea, at 14 years old with her newborn, walked with the Lewis & Clark Expedition an average of 16 miles a day!
Instead, most of us in this culture sit... at the computer, in front of the tv (in a recliner), in SUVs (in a too-reclined position)... walking to the end of the driveway for the paper is a complaining chore! Pregnant women especially get so little exercise it scares me. (I was one of them, please know that. I was over 300 pounds with each kidlet.) Our diets are dramatically different than our bodies were made to digest... fast food, processed food... even organic foods suffer from pollution, soil depletion, etc. We inhale toxins, eat toxins, sit on toxins that our ancestors couldn't have imagined in their worst nightmares! Evolution just doesn't happen that fast that we would have different birthing instincts from a foremother 1000 years ago.
I rarely saw posterior babies 20 years ago. Now, whole books are written on the subject and it is a common topic of discussion amongst pregnant women. If we cleaned animal skins on our hands and knees, gardened, picked veggies, etc. posterior babies wouldn't be nearly as common. But, we don't, so we have to simulate it with pillows and exaggerated sitting positions to try and avoid posterior babies.
Sometimes extra is horrible. I agree. Sometimes extra is fantastic! And yes, the indiscriminate use of technology SUCKS. The judicious use, however, can and does save lives. Seeing everyone as a potential tragedy is just as wrong as believing that every birth when left alone will go off without a hitch. Babies and mamas died without midwives way back-a-when. Midwives were only called when needed, but it was usually too late for one or the other of the birthing couple. It is how midwives began attending births during the labor, so they could catch a potential issue before someone died. Does it mean midwives have to be all in the space with hands in and on the mom? That is where my own walk is taking me and I shout a resounding NO! (There are, of course, the legal issues I haven't even touched on and that is a whole 'nother topic of Midwifery With the Law Hanging Over Your Head.)
The poster mentions mothers and babies that would have been alive or healthier had they been at home or left alone at home.
Oh, absolutely!!! Absolutely. From birthrape to infection to death... I have seen and heard all that you say. I do not discount that at all. You are absolutely right and that what you shared in that paragraph MUST be said in this hypothetical workshop I am writing... absolutely. You are more right than you know. I despise that the norm in birth is the hospital. I get sick to my stomach thinking of all those normal women lying like gutted fish in the infection and impersonal clanking, stinking hospital. I am totally on your page there.
Whew. Lots to say about this. I should write a book. laughing You all are great to listen. Thanks lots.
I actually would like to impart that UC as a forced non-option could be remedied by a midwife who was hands-off and who allowed things to unfold normally and be there only if needed or asked. The law, of course, is another matter altogether! Is this coming together as a topic for speaking or am I muddying the water considerably?