Sunday, January 20, 2013

Birth Choices

“For all of mothering history, women have learned from their mothers, aunts, sisters, and close friends what labor and birth are like. It’s not all sunshine and roses. The goal is not to read about women who didn’t feel pain, or women who had superhuman strength. We women are all different; we have different pain tolerances, different worldviews, different way we handle challenges. But after giving birth, we are all the same: we are mothers.” - Mayim Bialik


A friend of mine recently gave birth at home. (Congratulations and great job!) Before she did, she wanted to talk to me about my experience with home birth to get some insight and encouragement. Especially because most of the people she talked to had been negative about her birthing choice.

When I made the choice to birth my second child at home, I got everything from enthusiastic support to people who were horrified that I would put my child at such risk. (Obviously I didn't feel that I was putting my child at risk by making that choice--otherwise I wouldn't have made it.)

I don't wish a home birth or a natural birth for everyone. But what every woman deserves is informed choice in her birthing options (not to mention actual access to different birthing options) and to not have people who are not the child's parent tell them that they are making the wrong choice. 

I have talked with many women whose ideas about birth conflict with my own. I am open with the fact that I gave birth at home and I will share my experience with anyone who asks. But I am careful not to force my opinions on anyone who doesn't want to hear them. And no matter how they gave birth--from a planned C-section to a home water birth using hypnosis--in the end each one is a mother who carried and delivered her baby and made the first of many difficult decisions that she hopes is right for her child.

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