Why is it that so many women rely on information from their family, friends and work colleagues about their choices for birth? I know of a 26yr old who is pregnant, who joined a private health fund 4 yrs. ago so she could have maximum benefits when she became pregnant. I do a lot of early consultations, walking couples through the medical maze that surrounds pregnancy and birth, so they are very clear about their options for caregiver, place to birth, pre-natal course, and doula. They find the information invaluable, and so this girl’s Mum, offered a consult as a gift. She declined, based on the fact that they have already paid a lot of money to the health fund, and now to an obstetrician (only met 1!) and have been told they are buying the best! This is such a common story. This uneducated decision making, which we know, inevitably leads to a cascade of medical interventions, just because they have been ill-informed and not understood their options. To understand that birth is a normal event, and does not need to be an expensive medical event, is to know that you are making these choices on behalf of your baby. Do not underestimate the importance of shopping around for all of the above. The Birth Right and Doulas book offers some amazing inside information about ‘how to shop around’, or book a consult.