There’s a Way To Do it Better – Find It. Thomas A. Edison

I noticed my quote of the day “There’s a way to do it better – find it.” by¬†Thomas A. Edison and I thought about birth… and doulaing…

There are so many ways we have screwed up the natural birth process these days for the sake of a better way… I think what Ina May Gaskin said- “if you want to understand birth, watch the Animal Channel.” is so right. Do not watch the Birth Story shows- no Maternity Ward, no Deliver Me! The television has propagated the lies of what normal birth looks like.

In fact normal birth today has become one of inductions, pitocin, epidurals, and cesareans. That is not normal birth. In fact if you step into most hospitals today you will be hard pressed to see normal birth.

I understand why the home birth movement is on the rise. Women want to take back their births. It has been taken away from them in the hospital settings.

When a woman calls her doctor in what appears to be early labor it is suggested she come on to the hospital early to be checked out. Upon arrival, after doing the neccessary paperwork, she is shuffled into a room and asked to disrobe and put on a hospital gown. She may have been transported to the room in a wheel chair- although her legs may work perfectly fine. She is then instructed to pee in a cup. And then get in the bed for monitoring. Although she can be monitored while sitting up or standing, the easiest way for the staff is laying in the bed. After all it is about their ease, not the mom’s comfort!

She is then instructed to not eat any longer and may even be restricted on what to drink if anything. Lab work is done by drawing her blood. They may also “require” a small plastic catheter to remain in her arm just in case she needs IV fluids or medication and some “require” this to be done even if she does not plan on any medication.

So, the cascade of interventions have begun…

Soon someone may suggest breaking her water, starting her on synthetic oxytocin, getting her comfortable with an epidural and so forth…

I wonder if the medical establishment feels this is a way to do it better – and they feel they have found it. I personally am not sure they have. In fact as I reflect on my next birth being my 400th one as a doula, I am pretty sure this is not the better way for the normal, healthy woman of today.