In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"Freebirthers"--A New Kind of Mom

It's challenging to type with my mouth hanging open. Give me a minute. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around this new mommy phenomena.
"Freebirthers" are women who want to deliver their babies all by themselves, thank you very much.
They don't want drugs. They don't need a midwife or an OB-GYN or family physician or any kind of medical help whatsoever.
According to a Reuters article, freebirthing is legal in Britain and North America so long as the delivery is not assisted by an unqualified partner, friend, or husband.
I don't know whether to applaud or laugh.
Could we be taking the "I'll do it myself" attitude a wee bit too far?
Yes, I was the one doing the huffing and puffing and pushing when I delived all four of my children. Even so, I appreciated the help of my husband. I appreciated the expertise of the nurses and my doctors. I seriously doubt I would have been able to perform the physical gymnastics needed to catch my baby in my own shaking hands--much less cut the umbilical cord.
And what if something had gone wrong? To bear that responsibility all by myself? No thank you.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Labor and delivery is risky business. Why do some insist on making it even riskier?


At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow!! That's incredible! I can't relate to wanting to do that...I was scared enough that something would go wrong even in the hospital! - Stacey

At 12:55 AM, Blogger Carol said...

The story certainly is incredible.Its been almost 24 years since the birth of my last child, and there would have been no way that I would have ever considered not having any of my children in hospital..My first child was born with a whole lot of complications, I thank God I had a wonderful medical team, to not only look after the needs of my child but also attend to the emotional needs of both my husband and myself..

At 7:59 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

I keep trying to have an open mind about this. I keep telling myself, "This is their choice."
But I gotta' admit it just sounds so risky to me. Have these women really thought out all the what-ifs? What if something goes wrong and a woman's baby needs immediate medical care--and it's not available?
Even with a homebirth, you have someone there who knows when to intervene if a woman needs help--and when to let a woman labor naturally.

At 8:34 PM, Blogger Tanya said...

Beth, I agree with you. This is taking independence a bit too far. It's risking the health of mother and child. Yeah, it's not for me --- I'm considered "high risk" anyway, so I couldn't do it even if I wanted to! :)

At 6:16 PM, Blogger The Mama of the House said...

Okay, I don't mind having a bit of a different voice.

I'm okay with mothers wanting to do give birth alone. They obviously have that right. And they have the right to live with the consequences of their actions afterwards. Our bodies are, afterall, made by God and created to do the work of laboring and birthing.

Morally and biblically, however,the 10 Commandments still apply! Moms don't have the right to abort a baby nor do they have the right to willfully endanger their unborn children. That just means that they ought to know that they are very low risk (I fall in that category) and that there is a Plan B that can fall back on immediately. For example, giving birth in a hut in the middle of the woods is not responsible ONLY because God has also given us exceptional technologies to care for mothers and babies. To recklessly ignore the gifts of medical advances is tantamount to killing a baby should there be a serious problem.

And I do use a fantastic midwife whom I love dearly. My home is my favorite place to be and I love laboring all alone with just me and my little in utero baby. And I will continue to use her as long as my body functions properly. However, if there is even a hint of a serious problem, then off to the doctor I go! My independent and free spirit may not and must not kill or harm my children.

At 12:16 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Well, this topic of freebirthing certainly got some talk going!
If you haven't already, click on the hotlink for the Reuters article and read it. It's an interesting take on both sides of the issue.
Mama in the House, you make some valid points. Just realize that by having a midwife with you, you are not, by definition, freebirthing. And, in my book, you are a more responsible mom! (Applause, applause!)
Here's another thought: There is more than the mom involved in a birth. There is, of course, the baby. And often there is the dad, although I realize not all women have the father of their child with them.
So, when making the decision about how to birth a baby, why is it all about what the woman wants? Why shouldn't it also be about what the baby needs? Or what the dad might want?


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