My dad wrote me an email today, asking if I’ve hooked up with a gynecologist/pediatrician yet. I realized that maybe I hadn’t been clear about my intentions with the birth. Here’s what I wrote back:

I have a meeting with a midwife this week, kind of like an interview. I’ll be meeting with a few others, as well, and then choosing who I like best. She’ll be my main source of biological support, and then I’ll get blood tests at a doctor’s office (to check my iron and hemoglobin levels, among other things). I have a lot of herbal support from friends and my own knowledge — I’m drinking my raspberry/nettle/alfalpha/oatstraw/red clover tea every day!

It’s important to me that you know I’m following a non-medical model of pregnancy and childbirth. There are many reasons why, and I look forward to talking with you about it all! Something that isn’t well-publicized is that homebirths with midwives result in fewer complications/infections/deaths than deliveries in hospitals with drugs, forceps, vaccums, and doctors.

Beyond that, I have a deep belief that giving birth is as natural of a process as breathing. My body knows how to do it — I just need to take care of myself during these 9 months and have the support and wisdom of a midwife, who will know how to tell if something is out of the ordinary.

There are many resources available that talk about the problems associated with hospital births and the medicalization of preganancy. I haven’t read this one, but Free reccomends it; it’s a book by a French doctor called “Entering the World: The Demedicalization of Childbirth” by Michel Odent. Another book that a friend of mine from Twin Oaks suggested to me (she’s reading it now) is called “Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born”, by Tina Cassidy. That book just came out last year.

I hope I don’t sound too defensive or preachy. I just know so many women who weren’t supported by their families in their choice to have a natural homebirth with a midwife, and I want us to be on the same page about it.