April 7, 2011

birth matters

I was just reading an interesting interview in Babble with the author of Birth Matters on "why America has such a weird birth culture." Ina May Gaskin is renown as "the mother of authentic midwifery" and her practice is noted for it's low rates of intervention, morbidity and mortality. In her book she explains why birth matters not just to women and babies but society as a whole. One statistic that had me completely aghast was that a woman giving birth today has a greater chance of dying then her mother did! This and the fact that the cesarean section rate is between 30 and 40% is crazy. The other fact that is so weird is that almost everyone is induced now. I had to be induced with my oldest daughter and it was so much more painful then the natural birth I had with my son. The other thing I don't get is why everyone is induced when they are just a week late. It wasn't that way when I had my children and the babies were fine. My middle daughter was 3 weeks late and the sky didn't fall down! It now seems like women getting to their due date is so extremely stressful and they demand to have their babies immediately. Most doctors are of no help either as they facilitate these practices for their own reasons. I don't know when things changed so much but the direction we are heading is not healthy for babies or moms and the statistics prove this out. This is an important and insightful book that all women who are pregnant or plan to have a child anytime in the future should read.

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