Saturday, November 28, 2009

More Birth Crack



Yummy, I'm so addicted...
So this one is a MUST READ for anyone interested in obstetrics: Mom, This Means You (you can borrow my copy when I come up for Christmas)! It is VERY academic, footnoted numerous times on every page, with dozens of research studies quoted and much, much food for thought. It is written by a journalist, who interviews individuals all over the birth world spectrum, and witnesses births all over the U.S., all different kinds including a cesarean, 'managed' births, VBACs, hospital births, home births, and 'physiological' births. This book is astonishing. It is heavy on the facts, so it took me longer to read than Peggy's Baby Catcher, but the facts are balanced with stories and accounts and individual experiences and interviews, so it is not solely technical. Oh, it is amazing that birth culture is the way it is, and how it got to be the way it is, and all the different varieties therein.
It also made me re-examine my statement of two weeks ago regarding how significant the actual birth is; I'm not quite sure if beliefs about birth create obstetrical style, or if obstetrical style creates beliefs, but how we treat moms and babies is way out of balance in North America, and the idea that this may have far reaching consequences in our cultures strikes an intuitive chord in me. Not that individuals are irreparably imprinted by their births necessarily, because I believe in human flexibility and redemption, as you know, but rather that our culture has attitudes regarding pregnancy and birth which interfere with our ability to tap into our intuitive and instinctive natures, which affects how we parent and how we engage with community and family, and in turn affects our culture at large. This is an interesting idea that I have to chew further, I think.
Some of the stories in this book are appalling. Women forced by the courts to have cesareans while they are in labour trying for a VBAC and adamantly not consenting to surgery, parents having their children apprehended for having a home birth, a woman 26 weeks pregnant and dying, not wanting a cesarean because it would mean certain death for her and only a slight chance of survival for her baby, but being forced to by the courts: her baby died after 2 hours, and she died two days later as a direct result of the surgery....
And wonderful stories too, of courage and strength and empowering and women's rights and choice and bodily integrity....

I highly recommend this one!!

1 comment:

nancy said...

Yes, bring me your copy at christmas!(also the last Friends season)