Having just returned from the birth of an eleven pound baby boy, born at home and perfect in every way...I can't help but ponder some of the reasons why I am doing what I am doing. Homebirth is not for everyone, in fact, only 2% of the US population gives birth at home. However we can find common ground. If you look at the statistics, there is no doubt our country is in desperate need of maternity care overhaul! Visiting one of the websites I HATE (angry OB turned anti-homebirth and wants every one to know it!), I came across the following comment.
[and I felt like posting]
I might suggest that you join forces with a broader notion of maternal and infant health and well being and work alongside people like me who are trying to get educated about a more sane and balanced approach to childbirth that acknowledges the risks but also understands that many, many women truly need a more human-scale, compassionate and yes, for many, more natural and straightforward approach to birth. Hospitals and Birth Centers can accomplish these goals with no loss of safety for mother or baby. Home Birth can be made more safe by improved attention to educating and training midwives in recognizing and dealing with emergency situations. There are so many babies and women dying in childbirth in developing countries, and I truly think that more women would be willing to being open to a more balanced view of birth and parenting if that balance were PRESENTED. As it stands, everything here is extreme, polarized and seems to exist not to educate and inform, but to attack and encourage dissent and disunity. Why not try to find the common ground and grow from there? Sometimes, you have to meet people where they are to make any change.
If you believe that the current system of home birthing care is harming women and babies then stick to education and add a willingness to truly listen when young women come here to ask questions; listen and perhaps sit on your hands for a few minutes before deftly slicing her apart at the seams sending her away with nothing new except a belief that people in authority can't be trusted and that she is probably right when she concludes that Dr's are control freaks who don't care about women. If you don't want to grow the attitudes that encourage a certain sub set of NCB advocates to become extreme in their views and actions---don't feed it by giving them exactly what they think they're going to get. Show some kindness and hold your ground at the same time.
So, there are good things that can happen if you keep your eye on what you are trying to accomplish. If you want to change lives and minds, you have to give people information in a way that doesn't knock them off their own center. The battering ram/bullying approach only makes them withdraw; nothing changes.
I know this goes both ways. I will always do my best to respect WOMEN'S CHOICES, (no matter what those choices are), because I support a woman's right to choose. PERIOD.