“Are you crazy?”
“Are you having your baby in a bathtub?”
“Good luck with that! (sarcastically)”
“You have no idea what you are getting into!”
These are just a few of the responses I got to my plans to use midwives for the birth of my first child.
I am five weeks away from the birth of my first baby and I plan to have natural childbirth, use hypnobirthing techniques, and midwives. (possibly water birth if it’s available)
It might sound strange that I haven’t really talked to any one close to me about my plans to use midwives and natural childbirth methods. But not really. Would you talk to people about your childbirth plans if these were the responses you got?
I think it’s really sad that there are so many misconceptions in the U.S. about midwives and the role they can play in childbirth. But because I was met with such judgement, I found it easier to just not say anything at all rather than have it thrown back in my face. I also didn’t want people to think that I was belittling the way that they chose to give birth, through the choices I am making.
Reasons my husband and I chose midwifery:
1. Watching the movie “The Business of Being Born” : I highly recommend this to anyone newly pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or even thinking about getting pregnant. It was truly eyeopening about the “business” of childbirth in America’s hospitals. It helped us decide that midwives were aligned with our goals and hopes for childbirth.
2. Fears and Anxiety: I have had many phobias about hospitals, needles, and blood. The thought of pregnancy and childbirth scared me enough, that we kept it on the back burner for years. I liked the idea of a midwife being with me for the long haul of labor, and not for the 10 minutes before the baby’s arrival like a physician. This helped to quell some of my hospital fears.
3. Mothering approach: From my personal experience, midwives have a more nurturing approach to patient care and the childbirth process. From day one, I have felt comfortable telling them about my fears/anxieties, as well as goals/hopes for childbirth. I felt the opposite with my physician.
Now as I approach the arrival of my baby, I think maybe I should have been more vocal to friends, family, strangers about my choices for childbirth. I guess that’s why I am writing this now.
Maybe people would benefit from hearing about my plans. Maybe people would become more educated and informed about birthing options. Maybe people would become less judgmental. Maybe they will be supportive of my choices. Maybe they would understand.
Maybe… Until they hear about hynobirthing!