‘Free birthing’ or ‘unassisted birthing’ is the process of intentionally giving birth at home without the assistance of a midwife.
Many in society would be shocked to think that a woman would even consider this option because we have been so conditioned to believe and accept that a birth should happen in a hospital, and many also believe it should be with a doctor. There are still, today, many people who do not know or understand that having a midwife as a caregiver is an option – unfortunately not for all women in all parts of Australia.
A doctor is trained to diagnose and fix parts of the body that are broken – and for the most part they do that well, except there is nothing medically wrong with pregnancy and birth so what needs fixing? A midwife is specifically trained to care for normal pregnancies, normal labour and birth and to recognise when a problem arises and to refer to the appropriate specialist.
Problems in pregnancy and birthing are, of course, rare events – but once again that is not what our society has been conditioned to believe. Women are bombarded with horror birth stories from an early age, from their own mother and family, movies, books and the intense over-sharing social media – and so it becomes ‘the norm’!
Just to clarify that ‘free birth’ is not home birth. There are registered home birth midwives who provide an amazing service to women during their pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatally.
What makes women choose a ‘free birth’?
- Women who have experienced a very negative previous hospital birth that has been emotionally and physically devastating
- Women who have been abused in some way, emotionally, psychologically, verbally and sometimes physically – these women have NO trust in the system or the staff
- FEAR – this is the underlying reason for many of these choices. It is often not a conscious fear but one that has gained momentum, in the mind, over a long period of time. Extreme fear of hospitals (nosocomephobia). Fear of doctors (latrophobia), or fear of medical intervention (often from stories they have heard)
- A strong belief that birth is normal and does not require any medical monitoring. Interference in a birth comes with huge risks which happen only in hospitals.
- This last one is important and that is You don’t know what you don’t know! A midwife has many years of training and experience in recognising a problem which would benefit from medical attention. And whilst we have incredibly high medical intervention rates in this country, most of which are unnecessary, medical care and attention has its place.
HOW TO ENSURE A WOMAN FEELS SAFE, PROTECTED AND HAS CHOICE
Firstly the FEAR must be addressed. Hypnotherapy is a powerful tool for tapping into the fear in the unconscious mind and healing – quickly and easily https://birthright.com.au/#
Secondly helping women to truly explore their choices, and how to shop around for the ‘right’ midwife, for a homebirth or birth centre experience. Acknowledge and respect the midwife’s extraordinary training and skills.
Thirdly – employ a doula – the right doula who can provide a safe, respectful and dignified space for women to travel through their pregnancy, labour and birth in their own way, understanding the rights of the baby to enter the world gently, quietly and in his own time and SAFELY. One who knows how to advocate on behalf of the woman and her baby with respect. https://birthright.com.au/doulas/find-a-birth-right-doula/