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Women fight to take back natural childbirth
Is natural childbirth going the way of the dinosaur? Ask many new moms and a lot of doctors and midwives, and you may be surprised to find the answer is yes. Between increasing costs at hospitals, liability and the demand by insurance companies for medical professionals to take on more and more patients each year, thereby limiting the amount of time one can spend on an individual labor, the option for a natural childbirth seems to lessen by the day.
Instead of having a regular old labor, complete with the uncertainty of when the baby would arrive and lots of pushing and pain, more and more women--and their care providers--are getting C-sections. Celebrities like Posh Beckham have helped speed the plow in the C-section trend by making no bones about scheduling the birth of her three sons. The woman has a career to think of and I simply can't imagine her having ten extra minutes for her water to break, can you? Celebrities opting for this surgery--and, uhm, yeah, it's considered MAJOR SURGERY--have paved the way for making it a norm for regular folks too. Women are also opting to get epidurals to ease the pain of childbirth as their doctors increase the use of pitocin and other drugs to jump start a labor. Pitocin can increase the pain of childbirth, too, so when the doc gives one more often than not a woman gets an epidural too. Many feel this process causes problems which then leads to more C-sections.
Other celebrities, like Ricky Lake, are spearheading the movement of natural childbirth. Lake had her baby at home with the help of a midwife. And there are many women who prefer to go about it the non-medicalized way, without drugs or a scheduled C. Problem is, they're finding it harder and harder to do so. I don't want to get into a discussion of whether or not it's "right" to have a natural birth, a C-section or an epidural any more than I want to discuss whether expectant mothers should be playing Metallica or Brahms during labor. What I do think warrants discussion is how we as women can preserve the right to have our babies the way we want to have them, and not bowing to the demands of the insurance business or doctors who act out of fear of malpractice suits.