Do I have a choice?

Pregnant and scared. Usually that is what is to be expected of first time mothers. Who knows what is going on with your body. The last few generations of women have lived in this shrouded fear of birth. Birth is now scary and painful and awful. But was it always this way?


Have you chatted with your grandma or great grandma? I’m sure she will have a very different view on birth and her stories will be very different from those you see on TV. Back then birth wasn’t as scary. Sure there were complications but the view of birth was different. Birth was just as much of a part of life as death was. It was natural. Often had at home with a wise women or midwife in attendance with other women around to help.
Now don’t get me wrong medical advances have saved lives. Though sometimes you need to ask the question at what cost. Birth trauma runs rampant in our developed civilized North American culture. Pregnancy and birth is a disease that needs to be managed. Tests need to be taken scans need to be done, often with high false positive ratings.
With my first I signed on with a wonderful doctor team. They were really nice to me but my appointments were so rushed. Questions asked, requisitions forms handed to me not really knowing what they were looking for just told that I needed to get these test done ” for my baby’s safety”.  Blood pressure, fundal height fetal heart tones and away they ran. I had to have test redone because I didn’t know I was to fast before. Tests redone because they had a high false positive rating so they just had to make sure. I was young and while I knew I was going to refuse some testing ( amino, & genetic) the rest of these tests were never an option. I saw this doctor group again with my second child, very much the same process.

20 weeks

With my third I had moved and in a new area. I decided to try midwives. I was surprised, they asked for my consent before giving me any requisition forms for tests. we discussed what the tests were for and why they needed them done. Some tests they suggested on passing on due to no risk factors. It was a different experience for my prenatal. I felt like my opinion mattered, I was important.

Really it boiled down to respect. I felt like my midwives took time to respect me and the choices I had with my body and my baby. In the days of women stomping around shouting about freedom and choice it is amazing how many are not actually pushing for their choice. To know what is being decided about their body. Sure it could just be a blood test or a ultrasound, but WHY? Why is this test necessary? Is it even? What are the risks? With all sorts of odd studies coming out about different interventions and tests holding very damaging effects, we need to ask about our choices.


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