Just in case you haven’t heard, the word on the street in homebirthland is this: The (in)famous Dr. Phil is supposedly having a show that explores homebirth, and is asking for experienced women to write in and possibly appear on the show. But here’s the clincher: he and his “medical staff” supposedly plan to crucify the entire idea of homebirth, focusing only on the women that have had “homebirths go wrong.”
(Would you expect anything else?)
Of course, these stories may or may not have anything to actually do with real homebirth, but they will contribute to furthering the idea that homebirth is weird and dangerous.
Let’s face it, stories of the weird and dangerous sell.
But, I venture to ask, who cares about Dr. Phil?
Why waste any time and energy on Dr. Phil of all people and things?
He’s selling the sensational to America…
I’m not selling anything.
I’m talking to women who are ready to claim the power they already know (at some level) that they have.
So don’t we have real work to do for this cause? Don’t we have real stories to tell and thousands of people that may actually want to hear what we are saying?
I know we do.
We are not going to change the face of homebirth, or validly educate women about their birth options, with either a positive (or negative) spin of homebirth on the Dr. Phil show.
Perhaps if all us proud homebirthing mamas, midwives and birth activists had absolutely NO other way or venue to communicate our message and nothing else to do with our time, then maybe we should be lobbying to get a spot next to Dr. Phil.
But we do have other ways to communicate. More effective ways of reaching women to educate them about homebirth.
We simply need to use them.
I’d say right now, one of the lowest priorities on my list is to reach mainstream America spouting the virtues of homebirth.
Why speak to someone who probably isn’t ready to listen? Especially when so many other women are ready to listen?
Ricki Lake may be able to do it, and I thank her for it. But I’m not trying to convince anyone to have a homebirth. For me, the effort worth expending is on those mamas that already think, that want better for themselves and their bodies and their babies. And I’d say that unfortunately, that is not mainstream America. Not now. Not yet.
So let’s leave the homebirth carnival/circus to Dr. Phil. My hunch is that he might not be concerned with homebirth anyway. Perhaps he’s more concerned with ratings and advertising dollars?
So he’ll do what he will, “they” will all do what they will. Instead of fighting every last little battle, let’s focus on the big picture and what we can do to truly make a difference.
Homebirth doesn’t require a debate. And I’m not really interested in talking to someone who’s interested in a debate.
There’s simply too much real work to do. Too many women to reach that are ready for this message. Women that know what they’re doing and are searching for some information and support to be confident in their decisions.
Talking to those women will make long-term difference that will matter to women and babies long after we are all gone.
I dare say that Dr. Phil won’t have quite the same lasting effect.