Nice To Meet You- I Need To See Your Vagina

Nice to meet you, eh?

Sounds crazy and rude as a blog title but this happens in hospitals across the country every single day.  

One very common fear I notice among birthing moms is the fear of who will actually attend their birth.  Generally today doctors and even midwives in the hospital work rotating shift work. That means even if you have met with the same person for your whole pregnancy, when you go in to have your baby, you get whoever happens to be there.

I could talk all day about the problems facing birthing women today, form avoiding vaginal exams to the evils of induction and fetal monitoring.  And you could know everything there is to know about all of these subjects and many more and it still would not change the fact that you may very well not even know the care provider who will be there at the birth of your baby.  (And yes, they will probably see your vagina and even put their hands in it.)

I don't know if we have any real idea about what this does to a laboring woman.  Dr Bradley extensively talked about birthing like animals.  What did they do?  They made their nest, they looked like they were asleep, and they HID.  They went to a private place.  They were alone.  If they were interrupted, labor would stop and they would move and try again later.

Is it any wonder that even without all the interventions so common today that woman have a hard time simply laboring normally while surrounded by strangers.  When I look at it this way I am surprised that any of us give birth normally and naturally. 

The fact that so many American woman approach one of life's most sacred acts surrounded by strangers and in a strange place is one of the unspoken cruelties of modern birth.  It probably causes far more complications and fetal distress than we can even imagine.

Change birth.  Change the place.  Choose the people.  


Unknown said…
This greatly disturbs me, as well. Birth is an intimate as sex or a bowel movement. If you wouldn't be comfortable with strangers watching you do those things, I don't understand having a room full of strangers at your birth. I wasn't even sold on my midwife's apprentice being at my homebirth. I'd just birth with my husband and my mother, if she lived closer.
JanelleH said…
I completely agree, I would rather birth in the privacy of my own home with maybe a midwife waiting in another room! But for this birth I am going to a birth center and hopefully I will know the nurse and of course be very familiar with the midwife by then. I am hoping they leave me be most of the time ;)