It's raining today, cloudy and just plain dreary outside. But with Spring on the horizon I feel inspired to share with you why I'm so driven to help educate women of their birth options and to support women through their labor and birth. What truly inspired me to write today was a video I watched about a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). It is called My Journey to a VBAC. It's about 15 minutes long and such an amazing and inspiring story about one woman's strength and determination to not only have her best birth experience but to help other women as well. The birth statistics in America today are astounding. It is slowly getting to the point where more women are induced than going into labor when their bodies and their babies are ready. It's frightening. And if you really want to dig deep into the issues we have with interventions in America - let's think about mammals adapting to their surroundings. Obviously over time everything adapts to it's surroundings or if it can't adapt, it dies off, right? Pregnant women are mammals that are being given drugs to induce their labors, to speed their labors up and/or to completely numb their bodies - preventing their body from doing what nature created it to do. Preventing crucial hormones to be released. Hormones that are needed for a number of reasons, some of those reasons are to labor and deliver a baby safely, to help a woman recover from childbirth, to help a newborn baby take it's first breathe upon entering the world and to also help a Mama bond with her new baby. Every woman holds not only the hormones to labor and deliver her baby safely and naturally but the strength, both inner and physical, to become one with her body while allowing nature to take her on a journey that will surely change her life forever. But what happens when drugs interfere? Our bodies get confused. They stop releasing those crucial natural hormones. Everything God created within us is stopped by a brick wall. To put it into perspective, think about your children. Think about everything that comes naturally to them as they grow. They learn to eat solid food, they learn to crawl, they learn to walk, they learn to talk, all important milestones and in a healthy child all completely normal and natural occurrences. Would you as a parent ever intervene with any of these milestones? Would you ever give your child a drug to "help" them learn to chew their food? Would you consider putting your child in some crazy contraption to help them stand up-right just so they could learn to walk? I highly doubt any parent in their right mind would ever do such thing to a healthy, growing child. Now I know it's hard to compare simple childhood milestones to the pain of labor and birth, they are very different. The point I'm trying to make is that these milestones are just as normal and natural as giving birth. That any parent would never interfere by using UN-approved drugs to help their child learn and/or grow faster. So why would you want to do this to your body and to your baby when in labor and giving birth? Let's delve really deep into both of these thoughts here. Earlier I talked about mammals adapting to their surroundings. This is strictly hypothetical, but what if we continued down this road of interventions in childbirth and what if our bodies eventually adapted to needing the drugs and interventions in order to give birth? I can't even begin to describe the fright and pain I feel when even imagining this as a possibility. I'm not a scientist (far from it!) so maybe this isn't even possible, but it's an extremely scary thought. Let's take it a step further. What if parents started giving their children drugs to help them grow and learn, what if it became the norm (like interventions in birth are today in the U.S.) and what if our children slowly over the years adapted to needing these things in order to do what their bodies tell them to do naturally? Scary. Not to mention mind-boggling. While we're at it - unfathomable!!! (is this even a word!? laughing at myself now!!:)
Sadly, most obstetricians in the U.S. today practice out of fear. Fear of being sued for malpractice. Does anyone know how much an obstetrician pays in one year for malpractice insurance? Upwards of of $100,000 or more. I am not joking. I can't blame them for practicing out of fear, if I had to pay that much a year for insurance alone, unfortunately, I'd probably do the same thing. What this causes is most obstetricians to treat each and every pregnant patient as "high risk". I don't know the exact statistics, but the large majority of pregnant women are not high risk. However being treated as such creates a sense of fear and a sense of panic. Women have begun to think that pre-natal testing is needed to ensure their baby's health and safety. It has also led women in today's society to feel as though their bodies simply don't have what it takes to grow a life inside of them without the help of a doctor and/or drugs and a whole array of tests. This breaks my heart into a million pieces. I literally lose sleep at night thinking about the millions of women in our country who aren't taking that extra step to educate themselves on pregnancy, labor and birth. Who just "go with the flow" and think that being induced is "normal". Who think that getting the epidural is "normal". And who trust that these drugs their doctors are giving them have been researched and APPROVED. I think about how shocked I was when I became pregnant and learned that none of this is the case. That obstetric maternity care in the U.S. today is Not Evidence Based! If you can't believe it either, then I challenge you to find out the truth. Read, research and ask questions. Educate yourself on how your body works. Know how and why your body goes into labor naturally and why it's crucial this happens so your baby gets the hormones it needs to be delivered healthy. Take classes on natural childbirth. Watch movies about birth stories, both good and bad. Most of all I want women to believe in themselves. We are one of the main components in bringing new life into this world. We hold our families together. We love with every ounce of being within us. Use that love to believe in yourself, to believe in your strength and to believe that your body will take you on a journey, while creating a life, a soul inside of you.
I will continue to advocate for education in labor and delivery for women in America. I am starting small but I will do everything I can to touch as many women as possible. To share that feeling of empowerment and to help women experience the most amazing, best birth they could imagine.
Love and peace to you all.