The Myths About Birth

Sara Oakley | August 28, 2019


An example of how what was a perfectly natural and normal birth would have ended up as an unnecessary c-section had she chosen to give birth in a hospital:

Last night at my parents-to-be group meeting at the birthing center, the midwives had a couple come in to share their natural birth experience they had at the center 5 weeks ago.

Her labor (starting from when her water broke) lasted for 36 hours total.

The urge to push lasted for the last 6 hours. 😱

The midwives noticed the baby’s head (which was abnormally large compared to the average baby) coming out just a little and retreating back inside between each push. It seemed like he was never going to come out.

The mother was exhausted, but her vital signs were great. The baby maintained a steady heartbeat. There was no reason to rush her, so they allowed her to follow her body’s perfect wisdom, and eventually an almost-9lb, large-headed baby was born without a single vaginal tear.

Mom and dad went home to rest just four hours after the birth.

After she shared her positive birth story, my OB/GYN who runs the birthing center along with the midwives told us that had this mother chosen to birth in the hospital, upon seeing the way the baby would come out and then go back in, they would have told her she had to have a c-section within two to three hours of pushing. (Along with “failure to progress,” she used another medical term they would have given her to tell her it’s impossible to birth her baby naturally, but I can’t remember what it is).

This mother would have been forced into an unnecessary c-section, but she would have complied because “doctor knows best” and she never would have known that her body could have done it naturally.

My point of sharing this story is not to c-section shame. I’ve said it again and again—c-sections are not the problem. They can be absolutely necessary. But unnecessary c-sections because of the lack of proper education on the birthing process IS a problem, and we need to be talking about it so women can educate themselves.

My point of my posts is to share information on natural birthing because right now only 2% of American women choose to have a natural birth out of a hospital, and the rest of the population thinks it’s dangerous, reckless, or “crunchy” because we’ve been conditioned to believe birth is a dangerous process since the renaissance era...even though natural birth is common all around the world.

(If it’s so safe to birth in a hospital, and the majority of the population here chooses to birth in a hospital, then we shouldn’t have one of the highest infant/mother mortality rates...)

Natural birthing is heavily misunderstood, and we need to be talking about why our c-section rates are so high in this country when there are cases like the one I’ve just shared that would have been completely unnecessary.

My doctor worked in the hospital for over 2 decades until she witnessed her first natural home birth...then she had the humility to admit that perhaps she had been miseducated about birth.

There are so many reasons intervention becomes necessary when the hospital is the chosen environment for birthing, but that’s another post for another day...

EDIT: to save myself time in the comments just in case people misinterpret this post...I’m not saying hospital births can’t be beautiful—I’m saying that risk of intervention increases. Women need to birth where they feel most comfortable, whether that’s at home, at a birthing center, or in a hospital. But we also need to be educated. This is why I share information on the natural birthing realm because this information is not in the mainstream.

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