Don't tell women how to give birth

For further information, contact Melissa Maimann at Essential Birth Consulting. Link

How a woman gives birth provokes strong views, with impassioned arguments for normal births, and for Caesareans.

But ... the most important thing is for women to be able to choose.

The use of technology in birth - such as the development of epidurals for pain relief and Caesarean sections - has long been a cauldron into which divisive and conflicting issues and opinions have been poured.

... Women can be left deeply scarred by a birth which may have been physically safe but has ignored the emotional aspect of it

When the ... NICE was considering guidance on giving birth in the NHS, the large number of midwives who sent in comments were only too aware of how the home birth option was once again nearly lost.

They had to challenge the appropriateness and interpretation of the evidence being considered on the safety of place of birth.

There is a fundamental question needing to be asked here: why do some doctors and midwives devalue the choice of home birth, despite the lack of evidence against it?

... what women want at all times, is good and unbiased information from the health professionals caring for them, so that they can make the appropriate choice about how technology can help them.

One high-profile obstetrician recently relating the birth experience to the advances in agriculture, transport and energy production reminded us alarmingly of the language previously used in the "active management of labour", when women's bodies were viewed as machines that were frequently "inefficient" and in need of acceleration.

It has seemed that the health professionals that care for women today had largely moved on from this strange and controlling discourse, and it's disappointing this may not be the case.

The bottom line here is that what women want is to be able to make a real choice, for the health service to offer them that choice, and for that choice to be based on having all the information needed to make an informed decision ...

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448