Today’s Midwife: Social Pressures

Battling stereotypes of uneducated women providing unsafe practices at home, has become the number one reason why more women do not choose A Certified Professional Midwife’s services.

Friends and Family

In the USA, most people opt to have their babies in a hospital. The incorrect perception that “hospital births are safer” is one of the reasons for this. The other is that women believe there is no risk to epidural medication (though there are many studies that call this assumption into question), and that they would not be able to handle the pain of natural childbirth. (Natural Childbirth Advocates would say that a woman’s body is designed to handle the sensations of childbirth, and that she is much stronger than she thinks she is.) If a woman chooses a home birth, she must be sure of the choice, and be knowledgeable about the issues in order to help set others around her at ease. She can be her own advocate by providing good information to friends and family.  We suggest that couples watch and share with thier families a fairly new documentary,  “The Business of Being Born”.   This documentary can be rented on Netflix.   Couples being informed can help them relax about the decision, but sometimes, the only thing that changes a person’s mind is a good outcome. Social pressure may keep them from fully embracing the choice until that time.

Medical Personnel

Also, a person planning a home birth may encounter negative feelings about this choice from a Doctor or Nurse whom she knows. This is likely because transports are the only home births they ever see. The vast majority of home births that go very well are never encountered by hospital staff. This, along with misunderstanding about a midwife’s level of skill, can easily skew a perspective with regard to home births in a negative direction. In spite of that fact, the research is clear that in most cases, home birth with a CPM-TN is a safe and reasonable option for women who are considered low risk.