I Don’t Want a Midwife

my body is sacred
I would never want a midwife assisted birth. That comes as a shock to many people. We are crunchy, pro-breastfeeding, pro-intact, cosleeping, unschooling, consensual living, attachment parenting types. People who don’t know us well assume that we would fall right into the midwife at home camp.

We don’t. The research fanatics that we are, we researched birth, and everything related, extensively before making that decision to have children. We dug through medical journals. We learned. We began to change our way of thinking to fit the facts rather than society’s distorted view. In the end, we made the decision to go unassisted. We have four beautiful, intelligent, pretty awesome (if I do say so myself) children. They were all born at home, unassisted.

That doesn’t mean I’m anti-midwife. I’m just not pro-midwife. The thing is, I support a woman’s decision to birth any way she wants. It’s her body. It’s her baby. It doesn’t have anything to do with me. It’s not my choice. The only thing I hope for is that women have access to factual information in order to make the best informed choice for themselves.

So it bothers me when I see people make blanket statements about how they wish every baby was born with a midwife present. To me, it’s very similar to making blanket statements that every baby should be born in a hospital or any of the other limiting blankets statements that states what women should or should not be doing with their bodies.

I would never want a midwife. However, I would never want to limit another woman’s choice or the opportunity for her to have a midwife if that is what she chooses. Supporting women and their informed choices is pro-woman and pro-human. Wishing that every woman made the same birth choices as you? That’s just limiting. So while I tend to avoid conversations on birth, as I really can’t stand to hear about how someone’s doctor or midwife let them do something or some of the misinformation purported by individuals and health care professionals alike, I support a woman’s right to birth however she wants. Limit the misinformation and scare tactics out there. Let’s not limit the choices.

5 thoughts on “I Don’t Want a Midwife

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  1. Mandy, by the title of your post, I thought you were going to say that you were pro-hospital birth which I would have been surprised about given everything I read of yours! I am pro-homebirth but I do agree with you that the key is for women to understand all the facts about their birth choices–to be completely and fully informed–and then make the decision that’s right for them. I would love to hear more about how your research led you to unassisted homebirths! -Kerry

  2. Loved the part about supporting a woman’s decision to birth any way she wants. Education in making that choice is critical, as you said. That core idea can be applied to so many aspects of life, learning, food, etc. I’ve been caught by the ‘never’ concept though as I now do many things I never thought I would (live on a farm!), so I just say it’s unlikely when there is something that doesn’t apply to me at the time 🙂

  3. i also thought that from the title you were speaking about being anti-midwife and pro-hospital/obgyn….good for you having the strength to birth unassisted!

  4. I love this post. I wish we had been as smart as you and your family when we first researched our birthing options. It took us one hospital birth (where I was physically and mentally abused) and two midwife-assisted home births to have an unassisted birth. While I champion midwives and see that industrialized countries with more midwives and fewer obstetricians have better birth outcomes than America (not hard since we have the highest maternal mortality rate in any country in the industrialized world), I have not had great personal experiences with midwives. I don’t like the attitude you describe so well here, that they will “let” you do something. And midwives actually screwed up my second birth, which was unassisted for all but 20 minutes. In 20 minutes it’s amazing how much damage someone can do to someone else. Sigh.

    Jennifer Margulis

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