Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Women Improving Birth {Don't Hate, Let's Educate}

Birth is in shambles. What are we doing about it? Not much, really. Well, it's time for change. For the longest time I've thought "if only the system would change" or "if only I could change the system" but it's not going to happen that way. WE have to change. Women have to be the change.

The question arises - why are women continuing to go to OB's who misrepresent themselves, who have no respect for women and their birth choices, who make promises they have no intention of keeping?

It's because women have no clue.

I didn't with my first birth - and its sad - I SHOULD have known more. I was raised by an OB nurse who was deeply skeptical of the system - never took me to Drs, distrusted pharma and healed us with herbs my entire upbringing.

And yet when I got pregnant I hired an OB right off the bat...because "thats what you do."

My big concern? That she was a woman. I figured she would be more sympathetic and really know what she was doing since she had kids of her own. I didn't do research, I didn't worry about anything because I DID believe birth was natural and would happen naturally, BUT I also, very paradoxically, had hired a surgeon to attend my birth.

Looking back it doesn't make a bit of sense, but at the time it did; because the idea of there being other options simply didn't exist to me yet. When I got high BP in the last few weeks I wasn't concerned - but I was induced - I didn't even KNOW thats what was happening until a nurse told me. I had a 36 hour labor and both Ian and myself almost died. And everyone said WOW its a good thing you were at the hospital with all those doctors!! They SAVED YOUR LIFE. And I believed that for a long time. It's hard to opt out of that mindset - and most women haven't yet.

We need to be careful not to blame other women - because in most cases they just don't know better - and even when you start to know better its HARD to break out. It takes baby steps sometimes - and some women will never make it there. We can't spend our time being angry at each other for not "getting it." Its time to focus all our attention on education and on changing the system - so when my daughters find themselves looking at a pink plus sign their first thought doesn't have to be "lets go hire a surgeon". Should they have that right? Sure. But they should also know that they can chose a midwife or just trust THEMSELVES to birth their child.

And maybe we can never change the "system" but we can change the story for ourselves, and our children and maybe those around us. My first birth isn't the story I want to give my son - but there isn't any going back. We can however go forward and when you know better - do better.

Guest blog post written by Crystal Billington of Aniron Photography.  
Want to learn more about Improving Birth← Click here!
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and contact Guiding Angels Birth Services to find out what you can do to inspire change!

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Jennifer Valencia | Labor & Postpartum Doula | 928.300.1337


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