All Articles Tagged "home birth"
Since the birth of her son Sebastian, the most we’ve heard about Amber Rose and Wiz Khalifa as parents is that they believe in dressing their little boy in weed booties. But what we didn’t know was that Amber Rose took the job of bringing her son into the world very seriously. She had done a lot research including watching the Ricki Lake produced documentary, The Business of Being Born. In the film Ricki takes the audience on a very real, very graphic look into the at home water-birth.
After watching the film, Rose decided that she too wanted to have a water birth. But as you may know when you make plans for your children, they rarely go down the way you envision. Very late in her pregnancy, like 37 weeks, she learned that little Sebastian was breech. Still she was adamant about wanting to have her baby at home. In an interview with Ricki Lake she explained that she tried acupuncture and inversion where doctors attempt to manually move the baby. None of that worked and she ultimately had to have a c-section.
“It literally took me the whole time to prepare myself for a water birth that in an instant I was gonna get my abdomen cut open and major surgery. I’ve never had surgery before so I was really, really scared.”
Check out Rose’s entire interview with Ricki Lake on the next page.
You’re expecting. And if one of the biggest life changes you’ll ever experience wasn’t enough to stress you out, you’ll probably soon get an earful of hospital horror stories courtesy of the world-wide web and even some close friends. You’ll hear about the perilous pressure to have unnecessary C-sections and epidurals that caused more pain than they relieved. Throughout all this you may start to question your options and what kind of delivery will work best for you. Many women are choosing to forego the traditional hospital delivery altogether in exchange for a home birth with the assistance of a midwife and/or doula. But should you doula or is this experience a delivery-don’t for you?
In her article, “Why You Should Have Your Baby at Home, and Not at a Hospital” writer Charing Ball broke down how the expensive cost of hospital births, women’s increasing lack of medical coverage and expectant mothers’ high dependency on Medicaid funds have all led to more women seeking out alternative birthing options. Many women, like me, though can’t picture having a baby anywhere but a hospital. While I’d like to imagine the often portrayed natural bliss of giving birth to a baby in a tub of water surrounded by loving friends and family in the comfort of my home, I’m still terrified at the thought of, “What if?” And while medical technology definitely has its faults and biases, why not take advantage of something that many women in third world countries wish they had access to? It’s true, women’s bodies are simply doing what they were made to do since the beginning of time before episiotomies and epidurals. In the U.S., however, midwives and doulas lost their status at the end of the 1800′s, and doctors took over the reins. With knowledge about hygiene and the latest medical procedures, doctors had a higher success rate of keeping both mom and baby alive than midwives did. Yet in this day and age, you truly have to question whether your doctor is doing what’s best for the health of you and your baby or what’s more convenient for his/her schedule. Don’t be quick to assume that because you’re in a hospital with medical staff who have years of schooling behind them that you will have a safer more “professional” experience. Your choice of a midwife or doula doesn’t mean you’ll have a barefoot yogi chanting with candles either. Although, homebirths are viewed as more “natural” you can choose to have the procedure be as laid back or structured as you want it to be.
If you’re considering having a home birth with the assistance of a midwife or a doula (Midwives oversee the medical parts of the birth, including the actual delivery, while doulas provide constant emotional and physical support and comfort to the mom-to-be.) For example, you could choose to have the assistance of a doula even if you opt for a hospital birth since they are mostly present for emotional support, but a midwife is necessary if you choose to have a home birth with no doctor present.
All births are different, even for individual women, so even if a home birth was a positive experience for your first-born you may not feel the same way about your next pregnancy. The following pros and cons might help you decide works best for you:
Erykah Badu has long been an advocate of home birthing; she delivered all three of her children at home and has been a doula since since 2001. In a recent interview with Chika Oduah of The Grio, Erykah talked about getting her credentials to deliver babies, the increased rate of infant deaths in the black community, and how she even served as her own doula with her second child.
“It’s a very natural thing. It’s an ancient art. We have been doing this from the beginning of time,” she says.
While Erykah has mostly served as a doula to relatives, she said that people will tweet her about helping them have a home birth and if the timing works out she’s willing to do it. Could you imagine Erykah Badu delivering your baby?
Regardless of whether you decide to give birth the traditional way–which Erykah says is without medical intervention–or in a hospital, the main focus, she says, is to have a healthy mother and a healthy baby.
Check out her interview here and tell us your thoughts. Would you consider having a home birth?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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After hearing and reading so much about the birthing industry, I have come really question why women continue to elect to have children in a hospital setting? Giving birth is a natural act, not a medical condition. And in my opinion, the only reason why a woman should ever give birth in the hospital is if she is experiencing high-risk complications, which might put her or the baby in danger.
Healthy expecting women, particularly women of color, should stop giving birth in hospitals and opt for home-births.
Did you know that the reason why women are forced to lay on their backs during labor, particularly when it seems more perfectly natural and less physically stressful for them to squat, is because it’s easier for the doctors? Never mind the well-being of the mothers but just as long as the doctor is comfortable, right? Also, did you know that the national U.S. cesarean section rate was 4.5% in 1965 but as of 2007 that rate was at 31.8%, which translates into one in three mothers giving birth by cesarean section?
Because of the rising cost associated with the birthing industry, including the high medical malpractice premiums in this specialty and a rising dependence on Medicaid reimbursement, many hospitals across the country are closing their maternity care units. In my neck of the woods, Philadelphia and surrounding counties has seen 18 hospitals shut down their maternity care units. Because of it, more expecting moms are actively seeking out midwives, doulas and birthing centers as an alternative to the often crowded, cattle-driving-like atmosphere of the maternity ward units.
This shift to seek out more naturalized births options in the black and brown communities has been increasing but not at the rate of our white counterparts. The reason is two fold: first, there is the cost aspect of home births. The average birth-center fee is only $1,600, which might as well be a million dollars for some expecting moms. In particularly, for low-income expecting mothers, the idea of a more natural home birth may seem desirable however with their reliance on Medicaid and other government-sponsored insurance programs, they are unfortunately still firmly planted in the hospital maternity system. Current restrictions to Medicaid and other government sponsored insurance programs do not cover home births.
The second, and probably the most difficult obstacle to overcome is the stigmatization of what a homebirth really is. Prior to the medicalization, thus the industrialization, of birthing, it was common for women of color to give birth outside of hospitals due to things like cost and racial discrimination, which would prohibit women of color from entering hospitals all together. Because of it, the idea of giving birth at home signifies for many something that poor people in Third World countries do because of the lack of options. And the last thing that any aspirational Black person wants to do is associate themselves with poor people.
Yet a recent study by Amnesty International suggest that women in the USA have a greater lifetime risk of dying of pregnancy-related complications than women in 40 other countries. For example, the likelihood of a woman dying in childbirth in the USA is ﬁve- times greater than in Greece, four times greater than in Germany, and three times greater than in Spain. More than two women die every day in the USA from pregnancy-related causes. Likewise, African-American women are at especially high risk; they are nearly four times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than white women. In short, our modernized, First World health care system is actually failing women and their children.
Moreover, midwives and doulas have been, from the beginning of time, part of the original model of OB/GYN care and have a solid history of providing maternity services to the poor and the wealthy alike. And with more birthing centers opening around the country, with certified professional midwives as staff, more and more Medicaid and government insurance programs are beginning to cover non-traditional birthing options for women. Which is why I was so excited to learn that Aja Graydon from Kindred and the Family Soul opted for a homebirth for one of the clan’s six kids and that Erykah Badu recently announced that she is training to become a doula. While it probably wasn’t their intention, Graydon and Badu are helping to make natural, home births en vogue again. And that is a good thing.
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.
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