Educating Women to Avoid Tyrannical Oppression in Birth

Likely a very unpopular opinion, that’s okay though! It’s mine and I own it.

✊We should be educating women on healthy lifestyles, diets, etcetera to help them have a healthy pregnancy, so she is not needing emergency/high risk services.

✊We should be teaching women about each aspect of physiological birth, dispelling all the typical myths society established surrounding pregnancy and birth. We should be making her educated and confident.

✊We should be teaching women how to efficiently interview and choose a midwife/provider/support person, to ensure her birth is what she is looking for.

✊We should be educating them on what happens in captive birthing facilities. They should be taught the many unnecessary cascade of events that occur in this setting.

✊Iatrogenic care, the 3rd leading cause of death, infant and maternal mortality rates, and unnecessary interventions should all be discussed with all women in their childbearing years. We should be informing them the best we can to ensure their birth leaves them empowered, not traumatized.

It is no secret what happens in captive birthing facilities. It is no secret that more often than not, the services offered are a disservice (to say the least). It is also no secret that we cannot really support someone who cannot support themselves.

Once a woman signs her birth over to the hands of a medical provider, her autonomy is out the window. If the provider sees something as ‘medically necessary’, it will likely happen no matter how loud she screams “NO”. She can sue – but she likely will not win. She is no longer in charge and that birth plan of hers is nothing shy of a request. Nothing on her plan is guaranteed now that she isn’t in control. It is at the discretion of the provider even if it was discussed prior or notarized.

How can one support and protect a mother in this setting when she literally signed her autonomy away? Imagine this, real scenario for ya – Mom is about to give birth to her baby (confined on her back with some gloved individual between her legs with a bright light). Her provider says, “Oh, you need an episiotomy, I’m going to cut you now” Mom screams “NO I want to tear naturally.” Doula/Attendant/Birthkeeper standing next to her reiterates moms request to provider. Provider disregards everyone and cuts her anyway. There was no way to protect her, no one could have saved her at that point – she had no autonomy, she willingly signed it away.

There are so many situations like this in captive birthing facilities. I’d like to claim it is rare, but I’m here to tell you it is insanely common for a provider to disregard a birth plan or moms requests. Yet people still choose to birth there, wanting to hire someone to advocate for them/help them advocate for themselves. There is nothing I can do in that setting to protect a woman who has signed her autonomy away. Whatever the provider dishes out is her fate, she is at their discretion.

I’d be standing there with my hands tied behind my back, witnessing the tyrannical oppression. I’d go home with secondary trauma and my energy all over the place. Not all births will be bad, but is it worth the risk of secondary trauma when I can’t really protect her, anyway? HELL NO. Not worth a single dollar amount to witness the things that occur there.

I reached out to birth workers that I know are versed on physiological birth. I asked them how they could handle attending hospital births knowing what they know about physiological birth. Almost all of them said they disassociate. THEY HAVE TO DISSACOCIATE! Disconnect from what is occurring and become numb to the acts occurring, in order to cope with what they witness.

Why are we doing this? Why are we encouraging low risk women to birth in this setting knowing how terrible the mortality rates are being produced there? Why are we suggesting women go here for this life changing event when we know most leave traumatized, or abused and unaware. Why aren’t we educating women on how to protect their births and stay in complete control?

This is just my opinion, but I feel we shouldn’t be standing next to them while they experience this trauma. We should be teaching them how to avoid it. Controversial and triggering, I’m sure.

Just to cover a few points

– I know not everyone can birth outside of a facility, I am speaking for the majority.
– I support all women’s choices to birth wherever and however they choose. I support her autonomy to choose – absolutely. I will not physically support or stand in the presence of all birth choices, though. I choose to protect my own mentality, energy, and peace.
– I know you *can* have a trauma free birth in a hospital- I had one and know how incredibly lucky I am. I also know you cannot know until that day if your experience will be traumatic or empowering because the birthing mother is not in charge. It is a straight gamble, at the providers discretion.
– These are MY feelings on the topic, it doesn’t have to coincide with yours to make mine valid.

If this resonates with you, join us at Join the revolution! Be the change in the birth field! ❤

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