Monday, January 23, 2017

There Are No Wrong Choices In Birth

I love working with women in pregnancy. Supporting a woman’s pregnancy with chiropractic care offers tremendous benefits, both for mom’s overall health and comfort, but also for the health of the baby. It’s a pleasure to serve their quickly changing needs through the unpredictable 9 months. But taking care of their physical health is not the best part of working closely with women during their childbearing years.

The best part is that I get to hear and be a part of each woman’s story. What is the story about this pregnancy? Was it planned or a surprise? Did they struggle for years and now they’re ecstatic to be overcoming infertility? What has her pregnancy brought her - both good and not so good? Where is she birthing? What led her to that decision? What does she want for her birth? What are her fears, her expectations, her joys about this pregnancy?

Those who work with women during pregnancy and during the postpartum period love to hear these stories because no two stories are the same. No two births happen the same. Each family, woman, and baby is unique. Their stories are unique. Their births are unique. Their personalities are unique.

Which is why there is no one “type” of birth that is right for every woman and baby. Some women want to birth via cesarean. Some prefer to be home in a pool set up in their living rooms. Some fall in between those in terms of their medical preferences.

And that is ok.

The last several years has seen a growth in the number of home births here in the US. There are many who live and practice in a holistic way who tend to demonize hospital births and OB’s because they practice medicine on a natural process that doesn’t usually need to be interfered with. They seem to think home birth is what every woman should choose, on the basis that “medicine is bad.”

I think home birth is great, but not because I think every woman should have a home birth. I think it’s great because it gives a woman one more option, and one more safe approach to consider as she prepares for birth. I agree that home birth offers many advantages and is safe for the majority of birthing women when they are attended by a midwife. Home birth can be wonderful.

But I believe that home birth is not for everybody. Then again, neither is hospital birth. What IS for everyone is options, choices, and the ability to choose what fits a woman and her pregnancy the best. What a woman chooses for her birth is acceptable, period. If it matters to her, it matters.

There are no wrong choices in birth. There are only uniformed ones. Know all of your options and choose what is best for you because your birthing situation is totally unique to you. Happy birthing!

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