Ep. 90 - Beyond the Hospital: Reclaiming Birth Autonomy with Dr. Stuart Fischbein

“Midwives are trained that pregnancy is a normal function of the human body, it’s wellness that occasionally goes wrong, as opposed to the doctors who think it’s an illness that occasionally goes right.” —Dr. Stuart Fischbein


At times, the medicalized, one-size-fits-all model can fall short. For far too long, childbirth has been dominated by rigid medical protocols that prioritize efficiency over empowering each woman’s unique needs. However, true safety lies in respecting birth as a natural process and supporting each mother’s physical and emotional well-being. By embracing uncertainty and honoring a woman’s innate wisdom, the system can shift from fear to trust— empowering all who bring new life into this world. 


This week, Debra sits with Dr. Stuart Fischbein to share an insightful look at shifting from a fear-based model of childbirth to one that is truly woman-centered. For over 40 years, Dr. Stuart Fischbein practiced obstetrics within a medicalized system, only to realize it fell short of empowering women and honoring birth as a natural process. Through his collaboration with midwives and experiences attending home births, Dr. Fischbein underwent a profound transformation in his approach. 

In this candid discussion, he draws from his unique perspective within both the medical and midwifery worlds to shed light on how interventions are too often prioritized over informed consent. Join in as Debra and Dr. Stu discuss the differences between midwifery and physician training, limitations of the modern hospital system, criticisms of home birth safety, the role of doctors and midwives in medicalized birth, the issue around disregard for individualized care, unnecessary medical interventions, and finding a good team for an empowered birth experience.  


Episode Highlights:

03:06 Transitioning to Midwifery Model 

06:12 The Limitations of Hospital Births 

15:07 Midwifery vs Medical Model in Childbirth

20:58 Home Birth Safety vs Hospital Birth Safety

23:25 Informed Consent in Childbirth

28:38 Natural Birth Practices and Challenges

34:05 Women Deserve All Reasonable Options   

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Connect with Dr. Stu:

Stuart J. Fischbein MD is a community-based obstetrician and an Associate of the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology, published author of the book “Fearless Pregnancy, Wisdom & Reassurance from a Doctor, A Midwife and A Mom” and peer-reviewed papers Homebirth with an Obstetrician, A Series of 135 Out of Hospital Births and Breech birth at home: outcomes of 60 breech and 109 cephalic planned home and birth center births. After completing his residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA, Dr. Stu spent 24 years assisting women with hospital birthing and, for the last 13 years, has been a home birth obstetrician who works directly with midwives. Since retiring from attending home births in 2022 Dr. Stu has turned his focus to consulting and traveling around the world as a lecturer and advocate for reteaching breech & twin birth skills, respect for the normalcy of birth and honoring informed consent. He hosts a weekly podcast with his co-host Midwife Blyss Young, together they offer hope, reassurance and safe, honest evidence supported choices for those women who understand pregnancy is a normal bodily function not to be feared. 

Visit Dr. Stu’s Website if you would like to connect with him for a consultation. 


He can also be found on the following platforms:


Birthing Instincts Podcast





DONA Birth Doula Training May 2024


All times are in ET (New York) time zone


  • April 24, 4:00 – 6:00 PM ET | Welcome Session and Anti-racism + Birth Equity
  • May 2, 2024, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET | VIRTUAL Introduction to Childbirth Part I
  • May 3, 2024, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET | Introduction to Childbirth Part II & DONA Birth Doula Part I


  • May 8, 2024, 9:00 AM – 9:30 AM ET | Arrival + Check-in 
  • May 8, 2024, 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM ET | DONA Birth Doula Part I 
  • May 9, 2024, 8:30 – 9:30 AM ET | OPTIONAL Beach Yoga
  • May 9, 2024, 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM ET | DONA Birth Doula Part III 
  • May 10, 2024, 9:00 – 11:00 AM ET | DONA Birth Doula Part IV & How to Support Pleasure and Love in Childbirth
  • May 10, 2024, 11:30 AM ET | Check-out


  • May 30, 4:00-5:30 PM ET | DONA Certification and Birth Biz Q & A |