Listening to Ina May Gaskin, a renowned midwife who I personally admire, I become very upset with the way labor and delivery has evolved in America. In fact, she got me ALL worked up! Today, physicians control the delivery of babies, not mothers. This is not the case for all women, but unfortunately it is the case for most women. If you prefer it that way, it's a good deal, but if you don't it is a pain! (no pun intended). We are in a society where birth is portrayed as the worst pain a woman will feel, and that it is to be feared. I believe that some of this stems from women who "one-up" each other. The "my experience was worse/harder/more intense than yours" attitude further exacerbates the situation. Watch any movie where a woman has a baby and you will hear dramatic music and see a pain-stricken mother screaming in pain. Is it weird to think that birth can be peaceful? You sure aren't going to see much of that in main stream media, but it does exist.
So here's my question: if we all encouraged moms who were having babies, and made them realize birth is not scary, would it hurt less? If we educated women about the various options available to them, would there be better outcomes? If we educated low-risk women about midwives, waterbirths, and home births as options, would more take them? Would we have less fatalities from complications of induction, pitocin, movement restriction, and the cocktails of drugs that are being given to many laboring moms? I 100% believe that with reducing the drugs, we could reduce the c-section rate.
I think that labor and birth could have better outcomes if we did a better job educating and supporting the mom-to-be as well as society. Less horror stories, less trauma, and of course, less fatalities. I dream of a world where delivery is viewed as normal, natural, and mom-led. Where every woman who has a baby looks at the experience positively, and where we have less deaths due to medical intervention.