When I am talking with a client about their birth preferences, I often hear “the most important thing is that we are all safe and healthy”. It saddens me as a birth worker, that in this day and age, our birthing people have to consider this as an “optional” outcome. Having a healthy mom and baby is BARE MINIMUM, it should be an expectation, not a preference.
In the USA, our maternity care is seriously lacking. This quote from mom-congress.com really hits home.
“The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of any high resource country—and it is the only country outside of Afghanistan and Sudan where the rate is rising. Black women are three times more likely to die in childbirth than white women in America.”
We have to start listening to women, to our pregnant people, to our BIPOC populations. We know our bodies best, we were made to do this. Birth is not a medical emergency or procedure and we should be allowed to have choices and a voice in our own births.
Again, a healthy mom and baby are an EXPECTATION.
We DESERVE to be heard. We DESERVE a birth where we are respected. We DESERVE to have a choice on how we birth, where we birth, and when we birth. We DESERVE a birth where we can walk away without trauma and with peace and love and joy.
Not all births are uncomplicated and not everyone will have all of their preferences met. Our providers and medical teams serve an important role to help us when emergencies do arise. But we all deserve respect and support.
Do not be afraid to ask questions, to ask the risks and benefits, to do your own research, to question a recommendation that doesn’t feel right. Do not feel bad about demanding a better birth