Recently, a well known childbirth magazine published a question about birth in America and invited feedback from health care professionals and readers. The question: Why do women in America fear birth?
I immediately responded to this question because I believe we are in danger of losing the birth experience in America today.
Medical intervention during birth is at an all time high, with surgical birth rates (C-sections) at 33% (three times higher than recommended) and medicated births at over 80%. Despite medical intervention, still, America’s infant mortality rate is the 2nd highest of all industrialized nations. The truth is medical intervention birth does not automatically mean a safer or better birth.
Here is my answer to Midwifery Today:
Fear of birth is common, if not universal, among pregnant women. I believe the main reason women fear birth in this country is because there are not enough natural birth examples to guide expectant mothers.
As a health care professional and mother, I try to lead by example. However, in my own childbirth experiences, both personal and professional, there are two few women helping women give birth. There are too few mothers who give birth with women by their side, nurturing them, caring for them, and respecting their choices. There are too few examples of supportive, loving partners who learn pain management techniques to help their mate. And, there are even fewer examples of health care professionals who create a compassionate environment for a natural birth experience.