Create Your Birth Plan
If you’re pregnant, you need to be well-informed about the quality of maternity care that you will be receiving from your doctor, labor team and hospital.
The rates of caesarean birth and induced birth in the United States are among the highest in the world. At the same time, we rank 26th in the world for the health of mothers and babies in developed countries, according to Save the Children’s State of the World’s Mothers 2007 report.
The obstetrician Marsden Wagner popularized the term “medicalization of childbirth” in his book, Born in the USA. He describes a huge, costly healthcare industry in the U.S. that often does not support evidence-based maternity care practices that ensure the optimal health of mom and baby. The beautiful fact is that women’s bodies are designed to birth, but they need the proper facilitation, conditions, labor instruction and birth doula support in order to birth organically as is Nature’s plan. The sad truth is, that for medical cost and expediency reasons, women and their babies are receiving too many sonograms, inductions, unnecessary medical interventions, anesthesias and surgical caesarean procedures that can be unnecessary and sometimes harmful. These cascades of interventions can cause shock and trauma to babies’ vulnerable systems.
Unfortunately, many mothers are disappointed in their birth experiences. It’s important to think through your birth plan and speak up about your wishes with your doctor. An excellent educational resource for childbirth education is the wonderful non-profit organization Childbirth Connection, which has been helping women make informed maternity care decisions for more than 90 years. I urge all pregnant women to check out this resource.