As a positive birth group, we think it’s important that women’s decisions and choices are paramount. We believe there’s no such thing as a perfect birth but rather a positive birth requires only that women be respected as the power holders in their own births.
We also believe in order to make the decisions they need to make about the care they receive during pregnancy, labour and birth they have the right to have all the information about the risks and benefits without bias.
We often find that women are not encouraged to ask questions of their care providers but rather to just go along with the usual procedures without question. We aim to gently and positively encourage women and their partners that it’s not only ok but actually a really good idea to ask questions and take responsibility for what they choose to accept or decline of what is on offer to them.
Here’s a few thoughts from Lucy’s blog to read more find it here
“…yeah, just ask for an epidural and all the drugs…………………I’m sure then it’ll be fine….”
I was standing in the queue at the parcel collection office, two women in their early 20s were chatting, and I overheard this snippet. It made me think. I know many women are fearful of labour and childbirth. What I question is why so many are fearful of a natural process, a beautiful journey that sees the interplay between mother and baby unfold so powerfully that it results in the birth of a new soul and the emergence of a mother. And yet, they are not fearful of accepting synthetic painkillers and accept epidurals without asking the risks involved. Many women ask for epidural in the belief it will make childbirth easier. What they are not told is that it can inhibit their production of oxytocin, which can reduce the effectiveness of uterine contractions, therefore making labour longer.
Women are afraid of the great unknown of labour & birth that has been the norm of human existence for thousands of years, and yet perfectly prepared to accept medical intervention that has existed for mere decades without realising they may not have all the information they need to make that decision.
It is time that we encouraged all mothers to know what medical interventions mean – not simply how they may *benefit* the mother, but how they may affect her in other ways.
Until we ensure that women are presented with the risks as well as the *benefits* of intervention, there is no such thing as freedom in birth, no such thing as informed choice for pregnant, labouring, birthing women.
Don’t be afraid of what we know – that women have survived & even relished labour and childbirth for millennia. Be afraid of what you don’t know when offered drugs that will make it *easier*.
Want to find out more – these are some good places to start…