Why I chose to freebirth
Updated: Dec 26, 2022
· undermined by the midwife’s attitude at first booking appointment and the resulting ongoing witch hunt by Children’s, Mental Health and so-called Health Services.
· refusal of the service to give me what I requested in a birth attendant (quiet watchful waiting) and instead an insistence on interfering with me and baby during labour. If I agreed to invite a midwife into my birth space it was made clear that I would have to submit to regular auscultation of fetal heart rate, temperature checks, vaginal exams, blood pressure readings and in all likelihood a frightened, fear-mongering midwife who was hellbent on getting me transferred into the hospital.
· experience of women and baby’s being held in hospital postnatally over tenuous concerns for baby. This places the expertise of doctors and other health care professionals above a woman’s knowing and intuition and begins the gradual erosion of her confidence in her ability to parent.
· NHS philosophy of birth at odds with my own - England, like many other countries in the world, has embraced a risk-averse, technocratic stance resulting in high rates of Caesarean sections (higher than the 15% threshold advised by the WHO - closer to 40% at my local trust) and instrumental deliveries (cutting your perineum and sucking or pulling your baby out of your vagina🤮)
· as any mammal who is birthing I knew I’d need to be alone in a familiar place to focus on getting through the intensity of labour and birth
· the fact that the recent apparent failure of women’s bodies to give birth naturally has coincided with birth being brought into the hospital under a technocratic industrio-medical system (I don’t believe in coincidences)
· paying a professional doula (somewhere between £500 and £2,000 GBP) felt wrong and exploitative. Whilst I know the value of doulas (I am one) I couldn’t find one in Jamaica who would attend me without a midwife present and to me that is NOT a doula. You are actually enforcing and upholding the medical model of birth when you refuse to support women who’ve made the (perfectly legal) choice to opt out of mainstream maternity care. Do better Jamaican doulas!