Safety is a relative term. If you feel safe, you are safe. This COVID 19 pandemic has changed how we do so many things. Where some hospitals are requiring COVID tests, and are preventing doulas and partners from being with laboring women, the real question might be, “Where can I give birth safely, and freely, while being supported by whoever I choose?”
Childbirth is a woman-centered event. Though, it has become a fear-based male managed medical event.
Hospitals are great for acute medical care and emergencies. If you are a healthy pregnant woman, the last place you want to be is in the hospital. Unfortunately, there is a great misconception that the hospital is the safest place to give birth. That is simply not true. Hospitals are where most women give birth, yet during this pandemic, many women are opting for homebirth because they feel safer at home.
I can’t say I know what it’s like to be pregnant right now and to have plans to give birth in the hospital. I can say having a flexible plan will help you make some tough choices. Depending on how far along you are, there are many things you can say yes or no to or ask more questions to get clear. Birth plans are nothing new. They can give you a framework to figure out what you want for your birth.
Childbirth is not a linear, logical, exact science. It is a normal physiological process that is intuitive. It is a powerful event that doesn’t need interference and lots of hands-on. We have come to believe that it requires all of that.
During these unprecedented times, there is so much to learn about birth and life and how we have been doing things.
If you have been questioning the safety of the hospital, and you have the option for a homebirth or birth center birth, check into it. Talk to the local midwives or doulas in the area. Ask questions, create a plan (or a vision), by writing down your wishes or drawing them or both.
Know that you can choose it all. You’ve got to be willing to take responsibility and take action. The more you know, the more confidence you’ll have. You can give birth the way you want, where you want and with whom you choose. It’s up to you to be where you feel safe.
Check out Down the Canal – the Game of Birth, for the fun way to learn about birth options.