Freedom of Choice: For those who believe in women’s freedom of choice about pregnancy, it’s time to think about women’s freedom of choice in birth. Though there are more birthing choices are available than ever before (hospital, birth center, midwives, home birth), there are 11 states where it is illegal for a midwife to attend a home birth and everywhere women are still regularly pressured into birthing in the hospital by partners, mothers, friends who do not trust that a woman can make the right individual choice for her body and her baby. Though a mother might feel more comfortable and in control at home, the prevailing ignorant thought is that if you don’t birth at a hospital, you are a bad mother putting your child at risk for the sake of your own comfort and preferences.
The medical community has a lot to say about why a hospital birth is safer but they have not officially published any comparative studies as to why it might be safer. Hospital birth is definitely safer for mothers who have had before-birth pregnancy complications and are considered High-Risk. However, there is no known added risk of birth complication if a normal low-risk mother births at home, and in fact many studies show that the risks decrease at home. Read the rest of this entry »