According to reports, the number of DIY births, or unattended births at home are rising. The National Center for Health...
According to reports, the number of DIY births, or unattended births at home are rising. The National Center for Health Statistics notes that the amount of women who had unassisted births jumped by nearly 10 percent between 2004 and 2006, from 7,607 unassisted births to 8,347 births. How safe is it? The issue here is that no one can know. With an uncomplicated labor and birth an unassisted delivery could be perfectly safe. With a labor or birth that gets complicated, it's likely to be unsafe for both mama and baby. IF every single woman on the planet had an identical birth experience, then maybe we could say unassisted birth is safe or not, but the truth is, no two births are the same. Medical folks - doctors, midwives, nurses, and more all seem to agree on one thing - if you have an unassisted birth, there is the possibility for very real complications to occur, and some could be deadly for you, your baby, or both of you. On the flip side, just by going to a hospital women are often setting themselves up for interventions that also aren't safe and can be deadly. The only difference here is that in a hospital when something goes wrong quickly there's someone around to help try to solve the problem. Pros? Women who have had successful unassisted births comment about the birth being powerful, empowering, and amazingly special. You can better avoid unnecessary labor interventions. Most births aren't complicated by nature. Women who are healthy do tend, on average, to have a healthy labor and birth. Women with complicated births often have other health issue already in the mix - ALTHOUGH this is not across the board. I had a healthy pregnancy, did everything I should, and wanted a home birth. However complications that no one saw coming came. I ended up in the hospital and had I not been in a hospital it would have been very dangerous for both my son and me. Note that the above did not change my perspective on birth. I still feel birth is safe and should be a natural process when possible; just because I had complications does not mean I would again, and it certainly doesn't mean another woman will. Should you have an unassisted birth? Technically unassisted childbirth is legal, so it's your decision. As with any birth plan I can't personally suggest you do or don't do anything. You need to listen to your body, heart, and mind plus get prenatal care and know all your options. Do I think all women should have safer birth options that don't involve unnecessary interventions - heck yeah, and unassisted birth is one way that women are empowered to have fewer (to no) interventions. However, there is not one ideal birth situation. The best thing to do is carefully research all your options (see links below) before making any final decision and you should also know that no matter how carefully you plan, your birth plan may change; sometimes at the last minute. Would I have an unassisted birth? No, because I know my body well enough to know that I liked the support I got during my first birth. Also, I did, as noted above, have complications with my son, so ideally if I had another baby I'd want a home water birth with a midwife and doula but I'd also want to be close to a hospital just in case. Resources for making your birth plan decisions:

Tags: birth alone birth safety choose a midwife do-it-yourself birth homebirth safety midwife safety unassisted birth water birth

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