I love birth but some aspects of birth are very triggering to me, it literally makes my skin crawl.
I support women’s choice to birth wherever they feel most comfortable. The woods? I’m with that. Your house? Call me, I’ll show up! Birthing center? I support it, but you won’t be hiring me. The hospital? I support that choice too! – but I, physically cannot support you there. I have nothing to offer a woman that chooses a medicalized birth. Be it a birthing center, hospital, or any other assisted setting.
If a woman births in these locations, she is literally signing her birth over to the provider’s power and discretion. If the provider feels mom needs an episiotomy, forceps use, a cesarean, etc., she will endure this and it will be legal, even if she is screaming “NO”. She can sue, but from what I see, she will not win. How can I support a woman with zero rights, who legally, cannot support herself? I’d be happy to explain, feel free to ask.
The trauma that occurs in these facilities is not worth any set dollar amount for me to endure witnessing. I’m not down with the secondary trauma involved in assisted birth. Some women are strong enough to watch this all play out, and sleep at night – I cannot.
Here’s something many people do not know; I have never attended in support at a hospital birth. This does not mean I have not seen hospital birth. Don’t get it twisted, sistah. I am triggered in this setting – it is hard for me to watch all that a hospital birth has to offer, play out. Even in social media shared videos or photos – I won’t look, I do not want to see that. In fact, I will not step foot into a facility unless there is a case of an emergency. In this case, I would be the most fierce guard dog for mom. This has not been necessary thus far. I personally will only attend births where the mother is 100% in control of her birth and choices being made.
When I see assisted birth photos or videos, the items listed below are what make me cringe. I literally want to throw up when I see these things. I wasn’t always this way! Only after learning what birth could be for women, do I cringe at the sight of anything less.
The room itself, the setup, the equipment, the tubes and cords, the bed, the baby table, the hazardous waste bin, and the privacy curtain.
The needle in mom’s arm, taped to her with cords and tubes.
The crowd of people in the room, most being random strangers mom has never met before, and the excessive energy that will impact mom.
The harmful constant fetal monitoring bands on moms’ belly, penetrating baby constantly.
The unnecessary interventions being performed by the medically mined provider.
Mom confined on her back, like a helpless victim.
Mom’s positioning during birth and there immediately after – often, legs spread, up in the air, with a light shining right on the women’s vagina. Very degrading and disempowering.
The provider pulling baby from the vagina or interfering manually in any unnecessary sense.
The Placenta being pulled/tugged only an hour or less after birth as if they cannot wait for the woman’s body to release it.
The bracelets on mom. Plastic rubbing against laboring women’s skin.
The horrid hospital gowns, making one look like an unwell patient of illness.
Gloved hands being the hands welcoming baby earth side.
The immediate wiping off of the baby.
The separation of mom and baby immediately postpartum.
The suctioning of baby’s mouth and unnecessary handling of baby.
The staff uniforms, from the shirt to the shoes.
The gloves and masks worn by people present, as if it is a toxic event.
The rough handling of baby after birth.
The plastic bands placed on the newborn’s arms and legs after arrival.
The ointment in baby’s eyes, interfering with physiological bonding and wiping out all good flora/bacteria.
The band aids on baby’s legs from the injections they snuck in almost immediately postpartum.
The unnecessary and hindering hat placed on the newborn baby.
The hustle and bustle immediately postpartum
The PURE lacking of autonomy and biological normality’s in labor, birth, and postpartum.
I could go on but it is impeding my energy.
Nothing about any of the above or the actions occurring in this setting are physiological. It starts out medicalized from the second mom walks in. Putting plastic bands on her arms, needle in her arm, monitoring bands on her belly, and whatever else they can deem necessary. Almost as if there is some sort of emergency occurring, not a biological function.
I am not comfortable with this, and that’s okay! Many women aren’t comfortable with unassisted birth either, I’m sure. Seeing something I know is often better off untouched, being touched and turned into a medicalized event, brings me so much anxiety. I stay away from settings that can contort my view of birth, give me anxiety, or are likely to leave me with secondary trauma and stress. The medicalized birth setting is not for me, I simply am not best fit to serve in this setting. It literally makes my skin crawl.
*NOTE: This is simply my perspective and feelings surrounding hospital birth. I do not need your agreement or understanding to make them valid. I also know that not all of the list above occurs in all facility birth, no need to point out the obvious.