A woman came across one of my unassisted birth advocacy posts on my personal social media page. She stated that by sharing the article, I was suggesting all women should birth unassisted. I guess my stating the US infant-mortality rate, and sharing what the third leading cause of death is, made her feel some sort of way. She isn’t alone in her assumption, many individuals have reached out to me assuming the same. I am not sure what leads others to believe I feel all women should birth unassisted. So, I wanted to clear one thing up – that is not and never will be my message.
After my own unassisted birth, I wondered why others would not take this route.
Why wouldn’t everyone want this experience? It did not take long, after I began speaking with women in regards to birth, for me to realize that unassisted birth is not for everyone. I will never suggest all women should birth unassisted. There are definitely components that might make a woman a poor candidate for planned unassisted birth, in my opinion.
Who Shouldn’t Birth Unassisted?
Of course, biologically, most women can deliver a baby from their womb without medical assistance or complication. If a baby is ready to make way earth side, they will not wait for a provider to be present. Unplanned unassisted births happen daily! So, while I understand and agree that (almost) any woman can biologically deliver without assistance, I do not suggest that all women are candidates for a planned unassisted birth. Here’s why:
Some women may not be the best candidate for unassisted birth if they are not in the best health. A few situations that might make a woman unfit would be:
- A woman who has past history of epileptic episodes during labor.
- A woman who becomes ill with unmanageable Preeclampsia.
- A woman who has true placenta previa at term.
- A woman who is carrying a baby with a diagnosis needing immediate surgery after delivery.
- A woman with known blood clotting issues
These are a few medical complications during pregnancy and labor that may make a woman a poor candidate for unassisted birth. A medical provider would throw many more situations into the category of ‘unfit’ such as weight, age, and how many births one has had. I personally do not agree with any of those being of concern based on completed studies. Diet plays a larger role than many realize. Diet can cause one to be ‘medically unfit’; and with a change in diet, they may see a change in health.
Mentality and Energy
Not all women come with a full deck, if you understand what I am saying. Not all women can use common sense or think logically. If an emergency or complication would arise during labor, some might not respond appropriately if they are lacking these basic skills. This could lead to a traumatic outcome if a woman is incapable of making rational choices.
Having a mentality of fear surrounding birth is another dangerous factor that has no place in a planned unassisted birth. The primary cause of fear is lack of knowledge. Acquired knowledge conquers fear. Some women have fear they refuse to replace with knowledge – this can be toxic in an unassisted birth setting. Many women have fears surrounding birth such as cord around the neck, baby being breech, baby not breathing right away, a knot in the cord, and other various conditions that are not actual concerns. They are not educated on these topics so they fear these things, rightfully so! I find that where there is fear, there is likely ignorance. Fear and doubt will manifest, often leading to poor outcomes and unnecessary transfer (which can lead to medical abuse). If a woman is fearful or doubtful of her body’s abilities, she may not be the best candidate for unassisted birth.
Mindset leads into energy. Energy in a birth space is critical to outcome. I would assume that majority of the population has no idea what “energy” means or how it could possibly affect birth. The human mind is one of the largest contributors to energy levels. Having positive high levels of mental energy emanates happiness, confidence, focus, and increased determination, and motivation. This would be beneficial in labor and contribute to a healthy and positive outcome. If the mind is permeated with fear and doubt, the energy will reflect. As explained, thoughts in the mind control the energy that determines outcome. Think “Law of Attraction”, what you speak will manifest. One who speaks with self-doubt and fear might not be the best candidate for unassisted birth.
This is all merely my opinion. I’ve seen uneducated women, unhealthy women, and women that had ample amounts of self-doubt deliver unassisted. I have also seen the harm that can arise when a woman is not physically/mentally prepared for birth. This being said, I would never suggest that a planned freebirth is for everyone. It is an option for everyone and this is what I advocate, woman’s choice and ability. “Everyone should birth unassisted” is never my message when advocating for a woman’s choice.