If Indie Mamas are free-thinking and independent (and so they are), there are many ways to have a baby. Unassisted, or “free birth” is one way and I have absolutely no problem with that. In fact, my next baby may very well happen that way. But because homebirth is my thing, both personally and professionally, here goes….
Honestly, I think the act of having your baby at home just really isn’t that genius. I mean, come on, women have been having babies for millions of years and the whole hospital routine is relatively new. So, there really isn’t anything out of the ordinary in that context.
The home, as a place for birth, is really natural and not necessarily special but normal. It wouldn’t have been an “indie” choice hundreds of years ago, it would not have been a necessarily educated or liberal choice but the only option.
But in the context of our rights as women (which in the big picture is also a new concept), our need to protect our babies and our bodies from the “powers that be” can be intense…and then homebirth is a very important, very amazing choice that is a political statement as well.
I like to call it the “Don’t tell me how, when, where or why I should birth my baby”. Home is safe, home is the natural place for birth and our babies’ entrance into this world. As I said, this has always been the case. But as doctors and hospitals have started the campaign to obliterate natural birth, it has been an act of protection, an act of defiance for some of us.
I feel very strongly about it- I choose and support homebirth, I educate women about homebirth because it is their right to birth confidently and safely, without strangers, without machines and technology, without a man in scrubs who has a lawsuit hanging over his head if the women’s body doesn’t perform like a predictable machine.
It is our right as birthing women to not think during birth, but to be in touch with our bodies and our babies and our instinctive selves.
It is our right to birth our babies in peace and love and without violence or interference (or drugs) of any kind, no matter how “minimal” they might be.
These have always been our rights, but our rights have never been so close to being obliterated as they are now. I struggle every day with who or what to blame, and I am not definitive on that one, or even if it is worth blaming anyone. I hate to blame- I’d rather encourage the OBS and medical doctors to get in touch with themselves and real birth, somehow. I think they have been desensitised, maybe rightfully so by working for the hospital business machine. But as long as money is involved, that is probably an idea that will never see the light of day.
More importantly, I’d like to inspire and encourage all women- the mamas, the mamas-to-be, the teenagers, the children- that we have power as women.
We are so strong, we are able to turn birth back into the normal thing it was (and still is) if we want that. If women got the education they need, and were able to get back to their instinctive mothering selves, there would be no need for hospital birth.
There would be NO need for normal birth to happen anywhere but home. Society would probably at first be shocked at learning what normal birth really is. And women would not have to put up the fight, emotionally and physically, to birth naturally. Babies would be born without violence, and would not be denied the instinctive bonding and nurturing that is their birthright.
It is vital that we support and fight for homebirth. Not because homebirth is anything but normal and almost ordinary, but because it symbolizes our rights and intense power as women.
Birth at home represents our ability to make our own decisions, and to connect with what we know is right for ourselves and our children.