Why Is My 3 Month Old Baby Not Gaining Weight Free Birthing Has a Price

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Free Birthing Has a Price

As a family doctor assisting with births, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up when I first heard about free birth the new movement of people who want to give birth without any support from trained professionals.

My worries were definitely not about the fact that this little trend would take work away from me, because I could easily work 24 hours a day 7 days a week from the start. My main concern is for this silent little one who has no say in something as important as the beginning of his life: the unborn baby.

Statistics say that 90 to 95% of births will go well and do not require interventions, but what happens in those 5 to 10%, where the well-being of the baby is at stake and no one around is trained to face the crisis?

I’m the first to admit that pregnancy and childbirth today are subject to too many interventions (the cesarean rate has never been so high in history) but I wouldn’t go back to the beginning where when something went wrong we just shrugged our shoulders and said “c’est la vie!” (that’s life!- or not).

I have the opportunity to do medical missions in third world countries where women do not have access to any medical care and nutritional supplements and vitamins. On a regular medical mission day, I usually see between 100 and 200 children in consultation. Among those children, I can easily see 6 to 10 cases of cerebral palsy every day and women tell me their story about how the birth was going on and the baby got stuck or how they bled and almost died. Another thing I often hear during the day is the many stories of term stillborn babies.

I am in no way saying that modern medicine is a cure all and that doctors hold the absolute truth about birth. After all, I’ve been in practice for 18 years and so many things we’ve held up as “scientifically proven” have been proven false by other studies.

I am also in no way advocating an interventionist approach to pregnancy and birth. This is one of the reasons I created hypnosis for natural childbirth.

Mother nature knows her ways better than we do.

People need to realize that doctors and nurses are not the only ones responsible for the high rate of intervention in obstetrics today. How many times have I had to reassure women who demanded to be induced a month earlier because they were tired of being pregnant? I still can’t get over the time husband practically jumped on us saying, “My wife has been having contractions every five minutes for over an hour. Do something!” A nurse later asked me: “Didn’t he read the “brochure?” that first babies usually take twelve hours to be born.

On the other hand, I am glad that such an aberration as Caesareans on demand has not found many adherents in the medical community.

Coming back to our strong couple who decided to live a great experience on their own because they know what is best for their baby and they reject any outside support, I can tell you that yes, most births are statistically healthy. On the other hand, when things go wrong, I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes. Are they really choosing what is best for their baby or a greater experience that will prove to them that they are capable of such a stunt?

Regarding the argument that parents know best, I can tell you that in my hospital situation proved us the opposite. A woman giving birth to her fifth child, stood up when it was time to push and just pushed hard, without putting her hands to break the fall of the baby, who landed head first on the bathroom tiles with a fractured skull!

I have often attended births where the birth mother, after the baby’s head was out, closed her legs tightly, squeezing the baby inside. I’m glad I was there under those circumstances. The stories go on and on but this is meant to be a short article.

Do I think the intervention rate is too high during pregnancy and birth? Yes!

Do I think free birth is the solution and is safe? No!

Such a phenomenon as free birth raises the delicate questions: how can we better bring nature and medical technology together so that women and their spouses have a better experience and their baby is safe.

I strongly believe that if free births grow in popularity, we will see sad cases of problems that could have been prevented if the proper caregivers (midwife, doctor or midwife) were present with the necessary equipment or medicine.

In the order of thinking about free birth, we might see such things as people changing their own breaks on their cars, playing with high voltage electricity or piloting airplanes, etc.

Worst of all, if it all comes loose, we might see people cutting their own hair! And that can be dangerous (wink).

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