It has become crystal clear to me in the last few days that birth professionals should, as one of their New Year Resolutions, market their profession and businesses more clearly, more often and more aggressively.
One of the biggest reasons why women are so afraid of childbirth is that they have been told for several decades that birth is a horrible event, one that is far beyond their capabilities. To reach their goal of a health baby, they NEED induction, they NEED medication and they NEED assistance from maternity care professionals. Ignore the fact that women have been having babies for centuries. Ignore the fact that, especially in the US, in spite of the fact that medical intervention percentages have skyrocketed, there has been NO reduction in the maternal mortality and mobidity or infant mortality and morbidity.
Pharmaceutical companies under the disguise of formula companies (or vice versa) continue to pour millions of dollars in the labor/delivery units and NICUs (neonatal intensive care units) in exchange for the distribution of "free" breastfeeding packets that contain samples of formula. Women continue to use epidural anesthesia regardless of the impact that such medications have on their infant and that baby's developing neuro-structure. And worse yet, women elect to have cesarean sections too early for the baby's lung development and then sing the praises of the NICU, where their baby is housed for several weeks due to preterm or near term delivery.
And while no one is looking, save for a few diligent professionals, the AMA and ACOG have published a resolution calling for legislation to govern by whom and where women can have their babies. If allowed to continue, women will have "given up" their rights to midwifery care or home birth without even knowing that right was in jeopardy.
These words may scare some, and inflame others by their harsh nature. However, all of the above is the truth. Women NEED information that is steeped in evidence and research so that they can make the best possible intelligent decision necessary.
In a climate where many professionals may be tempted to give up, DON'T. We need you too much.