A happy accident?

20 April 2010 at 3:03 pm Leave a comment

I was just reading this post on Slate’s XX Factor Blog (what ‘Women Really Think’ — or so they claim. In it KJ Dell’Antonia writes her response to Colleen Oakley’s Blog post wondering why she doesn’t get much support when she tells people she’s aiming for an intervention-free birth.

Dell’Antonia–an apparent birthing expert after four babies: one section and one natural birth courtesy of a midwife who “wouldn’t ante up the good stuff”–is amused by the notion of women thinking they can choose their birth experiences much like they order dinner from a restaurant menu.

I’ll grant her that birth can be unpredictable. Prepare as you do, you really don’t know precisely what your child’s entry into the world will be like until it happens. That said, I sure don’t feel like my son’s drug-free birth was based on luck alone. The choices you make during your pregnancy–from selecting your care provider to researching laboring techniques and understanding the huge variety in labor progressions–it all matters when your child’s birth day arrives.

Dell’Antonia professes to be enjoying her hard-earned wisdom. She’s apparently resigned herself to the claim that a healthy baby is all that matters She’s birthed, therefore she knows: prepare for disappointment.

My message to Oakley and women like her is that women who have given birth within our medical system have a lot to be cynical about. But it’s not them failing you by appearing skeptical, it’s the system failing all of us. My message to Dell’Antonia is that all moms value healthy babies above all else. Mom’s who choose to educate themselves know something you don’t: Being your own advocate makes a difference. You are not powerless. Until our healthcare system changes, educating yourself and advocating for yourself is the best birth choice we have.

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The wonders of breast milk Mass Midwifery Bill–URGENT Action Alert!

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