Numerous studies have shown that it makes a big difference to the laboring woman whether she has supportive birth attendants or not. For example, continuous support throughout labor greatly decreases the chance of a C-Section. However, most women don’t actually choose their birth attendants.
They may choose the doctor that will catch the baby, but the doctor normally doesn’t show up until you’re ready to give birth. In the meantime, the laboring woman is being cared for by a rotating staff of nurses. If you’re lucky, they’re supportive of what you want. If not, then your birth won’t be as rewarding as it could have been.
It’s time for women to choose their birth attendants. That doesn’t mean that you have to give birth at home, especially if you need the assistance of a doctor. You can still invite supportive people to your birth who can remain with you at all times, whether that’s a doula, the father, or a close friend of yours. But it’s important for them to know what you want ahead of time, so they can help you get it.
Of course, it’s easier to have the kind of birth you want when you change the provider, the location, or both. Midwives tend to be more supportive of natural births, especially the ones that work at a birth center or at homebirths. However, even if you have to choose a hospital birth for whatever reason, you can still be in charge of your birth. You just have to work a little harder for it.
Of course, you don’t have to have any birth attendants at all if you don’t want to. You can give birth at home, unassisted. There is no need for medical intervention in most natural births. That’s why a growing number of women choose to give birth that way. Of course, a lot of them still have supportive birth attendants, usually their partners or other family members. Just because they don’t hold a medical degree or certificate of some kind doesn’t mean they make bad birth attendants.