I am not saying we all should give birth at home, although for some people with a skilled midwife, homebirth is a wonderful and safe option. I hope one day soon we will have hospitals that provide homebirth like experiences for labor and delivery. Women deserve all of the above even in a hospital, and for the practices and philosophy to welcome and encourage birth as a natural part of our life. I imagine a hospital with providers and caregivers acting more as lifeguards – there only when needed, instead of responding in fear, over-treating, disturbing and intervening. Instead of responding with gentle, appropriate and evidence-based care only when it is needed.
We are learning that the over-medicalization of childbirth is negatively affecting women’s ability to give birth and negatively affecting our memories and experiences.
The recent WHO recommendations on intrapartum care for a positive childbirth experience and the International Childbirth Initiative, ICI: 12 Steps to Safe and Respectful MotherBaby-Family Maternity Care [of which I am Co-Chair], along with other incredible reports and initiatives, are beginning to really shine a light on the need for change. But change does take time.
Review my ten tips above and think about their importance for you to be able to open to birth. Birth is intimate and requires the same hormones to flow as when we are opening to orgasm. Things that will disturb your intimacy will disturb you when you are laboring and giving birth to your baby, can also make birth longer and more painful. Talk to your partner about your feelings, hire a doula and consider taking our online Pleasurable Birth Labor Essentials class to help you expand your Comfort and Pleasure kit, release your fears, and gain the confidence to create the birth your desire in any location with our tips and secrets to a birth filled with pleasure and love.