Matt and I were flipping through Netflix on Saturday night and I found this saved in my queue.
We watched The Business of Being Born back at 11 weeks, and then this one, and we feel that both of them are majorly biased and overdramatized. The couple in this film spoke of OBs and hospitals as though they were against womankind. They chose the worst clips to share, and I felt this was a perfect example of biased media.
While I think it’s important to learn as much as one can about natural birth to understand the process (even if you’re planning an epidural), both of the films portray hospitals and doctors as pure evil. While I DO believe there are OBs and hospitals out there that might act more in an assembly line fashion, my gut says that most don’t have bad intentions. There is definitely a statistical trend toward c-sections and interventions in this country, and I do think that convenience often overpowers nature in many aspects of birth.
But what if you are in the small percentage that actually DOES need a c-section? Or your baby does end up needing emergency medical care? Are hospitals still evil then? I’d be pretty thankful for doctors. I’d like to see Ina May Gaskin make a documentary. I bet hers would be inspiring without being so critical.
I’ve read/listened to so many birth stories, and no matter how anti-hospital you are, doctors do save lives. And because of that, I wish these documentaries would portray them a little differently. One woman on Pregtastic had a baby in a birth center, but her baby had a collapsed lung. Thank goodness for hospitals. This story about a crunchy mom was determined to have a natural home birth was incredibly eye opening to me.
I think it’s important to be informed and flexible. Do your research on all options, interventions and natural birth alike. I would never want to have a hospital birth without an experienced doula at my side throughout the whole labor. Nor would I want to have a homebirth without being less than 5 minutes from a hospital. For me, the best plan is to bridge the two. I feel that bringing the natural into the hospital is easier than driving yourself and possibly a traumatized baby TO the hospital in an emergency. When the couple in the film had to do this, it made me wish they had just been there all along.
Luckily, it seems that our hospital and my group of doctors are not part of the “evil side” of medicine. My friends who birthed at Martha Jefferson had nothing but good things to say. And most of them did it naturally. I think I have heard an equal number of birth stories split between “My birth was awesome!” and “This and that went wrong and I went into a downward spiral.”
Matt says if he has learned anything from the two films it’s to be aware of the domino effect that induction –> pitocin –> epidurals –> c-section can bring. And the important role of oxytocin. But he is still glad we chose a hospital. For me, I’ve learned the importance of movement during labor. I want to be in all kinds of different positions. In the tub, walking, on a ball, on a birthing stool. We’ll see how it goes…
I am not anti-epidural. But I hope to labor without one. My tentative birth plan is to go natural unless my birth is extremely long OR I have something abnormal going on.
What is most important to me is to experience labor. I’ve been curious my entire life what it’s really like to have a contraction. How it feels to push a baby out. I admit I’ll be disappointed if I don’t get to experience either of those things. (A scheduled c-section would be my worst case scenario as far as birthing goes.) If I get a few hours into labor and decide I’ve experienced enough contractions to know what labor is like, I’ll consider an epidural, but my hope is still to be strong, focused and as athletic and mobile as possible.
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