Birthing women need to be respected
No matter the location or who attends a birth, women need to feel valued, dignified, and empowered, especially when it comes to making decisions about how her child comes into the world. Even if the mom has an unwanted c-section, this can be an empowering experience if she is treated with respect and support.
Women need to birth where they choose
Women have the right to make an informed decision as to where they wish to give birth. Birthing a baby is an intense, emotional, spiritual event that is hindered by fears and insecurities. To birth normally, women need to feel completely safe. Hospital, birthing center, or home birth is not for everyone. For example, some women who have had complications in the past may feel more comfortable in a hospital because of their own fears and circumstances. In the reverse, some women may have had either an average or totally demeaning hospital birth who have opted for a birth center or home birth the next time.
Both the Medical and Midwives model of care needs to coexist
I think everyone can agree that the world needs OBs. For high risk women or complications where interventions and/or a c-section is warranted there is no doubt that OBs save lives. OBs are first and foremost trained surgeons specialized in abnormal birth. The World Health Organization states that the c-section rate should be around 8-10%. If the number dips below around 5%, more mothers start dying at or around the time of birth (but also they found that if the c-section rate goes ABOVE around 15%, more mothers die at or around the time of birth).
The world needs midwives just as much, if not more! The Midwives Model of Care treats pregnancy and birth as a normal, natural part of a woman’s sexual cycle, not an illness or a catastrophe waiting to happen. With low-risk women they can be essential to empowering the woman mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Women need choice in care providers
In addition to the above, I think women need to go to the provider that they feel the most comfortable with. Trust in your provider is key. If you have an OB it’s important you trust that he’s going to have your best interest in mind, not his malpractice insurance, not convenience. You need to be able to trust that you won’t have unnecessary things done to you with limited and biased informed consent.
With home or birthing center birth, midwives are extensively trained in normal birth. I mean this to dispel the myth that out-of-hospital midwives won’t know if something’s wrong until it’s too late. Since they know what normal birth looks like, they know if you’re doing well or if you need assistance or transfer. You need to completely trust their judgment with these issues. If you do not trust your midwives, it’s very hard to open yourself up to birth and be relaxed like you need to be.
Women have the right to make informed decisions
Women need to be presented with all the information about pregnancy, birth, and afterwards in a calm, loving, non-judgmental way and be respected for the choices they make, whatever the reasons. Women should not be bullied into whatever the medical professional thinks should happen, and along with informed consent comes informed refusal.