Isn’t It Dangerous to Give Birth Unassisted?
When I talk to people about unassisted childbirth, their first comment is usually:
“But isn’t that dangerous? What if something happens?”
It makes me sad to think that most people view childbirth as dangerous. Yet, that seems to be the way most people consider the act of giving birth. It’s as if we were still living in the dark ages…
Giving birth unassisted is no more dangerous than giving birth any other way. In fact, it’s probably less dangerous. After all, more people die after a C-section than after having a natural birth. And while childbirth is not without risks, nothing in life is. But the risks of childbirth have been greatly overplayed.
You Should Be Prepared
Even though giving birth is not any more dangerous than crossing the street, you should probably be prepared for it ahead of time. A first-time mother is very vulnerable to other people’s advice, good and bad. It’s hard not to listen to what other people tell you when you’re not sure yourself. Therefore, learn as much as you can before the actual event.
Preparing for childbirth doesn’t mean reading “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. While that book is still a bestseller, it definitely doesn’t focus on natural childbirth. Instead, it tells you what could happen to you. If you want to be in charge of your birth, then you should read books like The Unassisted Baby instead.
What You Need to Know
If you’re new to childbirth or don’t remember much from your birth experience, start with the basics. For example, how does a normal labor progress, when can you expect your water to break, etc. etc. After that, you need to read up specifics. For example, how does the placenta get delivered? When should you cut the cord? What happens if your baby is breech?
None of these questions are difficult to answer, but most women never even look into it, because that thought doesn’t occur to them. But even if you hire a midwife to come to your birth, you might want to be more prepared. After all, what will you do if she doesn’t make it on time?
It’s Not as Difficult as It Sounds
Giving birth is not really difficult. In fact, your body already knows what to do even if you have never given birth before. Your body also knows how to grow your baby safely in your uterus, even if you have no idea what’s happening in there. So why shouldn’t you trust it to take care of the delivery as well?
Giving birth is not dangerous. Of course, things can go wrong, but if you’re prepared, you can handle them. And in the end, having a peaceful birth the way you want to is totally worth it.
Is It Safe to Have an Unassisted Pregnancy and Childbirth?
Many people won’t even realize it’s possible to have an unassisted pregnancy and childbirth. Therefore, most people would answer this question with a resounding “No”. Pregnancy and childbirth are as safe as they have ever been. Unfortunately, medical interventions actually cause more problems and end up in unnecessary C-sections. However, on the plus side, medical help makes it possible to save lives even in childbirth.
It Depends on Who You’re Asking
If you ask an OB/GYN the above question, his answers is probably not going to be in defense of an unassisted childbirth. His very livelihood depends on your belief that you need assistance giving birth. The same is true for most midwives. Some medical professionals won’t even recommend a homebirth to their clients because they believe it to be unsafe.
If you ask someone like Laura Shanley, then you’ll get an entirely different answer. She may be the most well-known woman who has given birth to all of her children without medical help. And while you may not agree with some of her philosophies on life, it’s hard to argue with the facts. In her book, she has thoroughly discredited most routine interventions. Instead of being helpful, they hinder a natural birth.
You Should Use Common Sense
If you want to find proof that unassisted childbirth is dangerous, then you can find it. If you want proof that homebirths and unassisted births are safe, then you can find that as well. You can find proof for every controversial opinion if you look hard enough. I am not here to give you another source to evaluate. Instead, I am asking you to use common sense.
Is childbirth dangerous? It can be. Women and babies have died during childbirth. But, and here is the clincher, it’s really unlikely for that to happen. Besides, mothers and babies can die at the hospital, too, and sometimes they do. Sometimes, modern medicine can save your life. However, for a normal, healthy pregnancy, modern medicine will probably do more harm than good.
Childbirth Isn’t Dangerous
Childbirth is not inherently dangerous. In fact, there is a reason childbirth is rarely fatal. It wouldn’t really help humanity survive if it were. Of course, there is always the potential of something going wrong. But you take that risk with everything else, too.
While I haven’t done the research, I’ll wager it’s more likely that you’ll get hurt in a car accident than for you to have serious childbirth complications. But that won’t stop you or anyone else from driving, will it? Whether you believe if an unassisted pregnancy in childbirth is safe is something you need to figure out for yourself. However, if you use common sense, you’ll probably reach the conclusion that it isn’t.
How to Talk to Your Partner about Unassisted Childbirth
It’s quite possible that you’re entertaining the idea of an unassisted childbirth, but you’re not sure how to talk to your partner about it. First, you need to realize that your partner is concerned about your well-being and the well-being of your child. Therefore, it’s important to address his concerns in a way that allows him to appreciate your point.
Unassisted Childbirth Is Not Dangerous
While not every woman is cut out to give birth unassisted, having an unassisted birth is neither a stupid nor a dangerous thing to do. In fact, giving birth naturally actually reduces the likelihood that there will be problems. In a hospital setting, the process of childbirth is significantly interfered with. This often leads to a cascade of interventions.
Your best option is to educate your partner about the dangers of these interventions and why it’s best to leave well enough alone. If childbirth were so risky, then humankind would no longer be around.
After all, every other mammal gives birth without having a doctor in attendance.
Believe it or not, your body is meant to give birth without help. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone.
Address Specific Fears
Even if you try to get the point across that giving birth is not dangerous, your partner may still dislike the idea of an unassisted birth. After all, he doesn’t see the harm in going to the hospital, just in case. You probably already know that’s not the right answer. However, in order to convince your partner and get him on board, you’re going to need to address his specific fears.
What exactly is he worried about? Hemorrhage? A breech baby? It’s easier to deal with specific fears than with a general unease. You can both find solutions together in order to put his mind at ease. For example, if you’re worried that the baby isn’t breathing at birth (as I did when I was pregnant), find out what you would do in that situation. If it helps, you can take a CPR course that teaches you how to help infants.
Don’t Let Fear Take Over
It’s quite natural to be nervous. However, you shouldn’t let your fears take over. The bottom line is that nobody is forcing you to give birth unassisted. If something is wrong, your intuition will let you know. And while you may not want to go to the hospital to give birth, your intuition may lead you to do so. Most of all, trust yourself. You know what’s best for your baby.
Why You’re Responsible for Your Birth and Your Baby
When you’re looking for birth stories online or elsewhere, you can easily find encouraging and discouraging stories, depending on what you’re looking for. For some women, birth turns out to be a very satisfying and exhilarating event. For others, childbirth becomes a big disappointment. Then there are sad stories that ended badly for the mother or the baby. There are two things that you should know about childbirth:
- Nobody can guarantee a perfect outcome.
2. You are responsible for your birth and your baby.
How You Give Birth Matters
It’s important for mothers-to-be to take responsibility for their birth experience. Unfortunately, there are too many women who get coaxed into doing things they didn’t really want to do, for example, getting an epidural, having a C-section, getting induced, etc.
The best way to prevent someone from messing with the process of childbirth is to educate yourself. While it’s perfectly fine to have a caregiver that you can trust (and why would you want a caregiver that you can’t trust?), you need to be part of the process.
Childbirth isn’t something that happens to you. You are the one that makes it happen.
While your doctor or midwife may say that they delivered the baby, you should know that you’re the one who gave birth.
What Happens Afterwards Matters, Too
Childbirth is not over when the baby is put in your arms. And I’m not talking about the birth of the placenta, although that’s certainly something you should be aware of. Your childbirth experience includes the days after your baby is born. Babies and mothers do best when they get the chance to bond early and often. If you want to hold your baby 24/7, go right ahead.
You can’t spoil a baby. Therefore, when you educate yourself about childbirth, don’t forget to learn about caring for your newborn. You may also want to read up on the postpartum period. If you don’t know much, then you will end up having lots of questions and concerns.
You Can’t Abdicate Your Responsibility
As you mature, you realize that you can’t abdicate your responsibility ever. Although you might send your child to school, you are still responsible for his education. And even though you may take your child to regular well-visits, you are responsible for his or her health.
When it comes to childbirth, you are responsible for your baby.
You can certainly engage a medical professional to help you during labor and childbirth. But letting them make the decisions for you is not the answer. In the end, you will be better off when you prepare yourself. Incidentally, the same is true for every other aspect of your child’s life. As a parent, you’re responsible until they’re old enough to decide for themselves.
Are You Interested in Having a Homebirth?
The Unassisted Baby is THE comprehensive guide every woman needs to give birth on her own. It includes information about prenatal care, pregnancy concerns, how to have a homebirth, a homebirth supply checklist, signs of labor, stages of labor and birth, potential complications, and even a guide for fathers. Get your copy of this invaluable resource today!