If you read our articles often, you’ve probably heard phrases like “Your body, your choice” or “Your baby, your body, your choice”. This is the idea that when it comes to reproductive health, every person deserves the option of choosing from a knowledgeable, educated place about their body and health care. This is especially true when it comes to childbirth. pregnancy and birth It is one of the most exciting, frustrating, intense and intimate times in a person’s life. With it comes many questions, options, and uncertainties.
One of the biggest choices a pregnant person faces is where they were born and who was present at the time of delivery. You may be thinking – you have a hospital, home birth, and maybe a birthing center, but is there any other option? Yes there is, and it’s called “free birth”.
What is Free Birth?
Free childbirth is when someone gives birth and gives birth without a medical professional. Usually they only have spouses or a few select loved ones. Free births too doula – a non-medical obstetrician who provides educational and emotional support to people throughout their journey.
Free births usually happen at the person’s home. Although some people may choose to give birth elsewhere for convenience or the importance of one place. For example, say someone lives in a rural area and wants to be closer to the hospital in an emergency. Individuals approach free birth differently. Some people may go to several medical appointments or ultrasoundsothers never seek outside medical support.
Why Do People Give Birth For Free?
The truth is, humans have been “free-born” since humans have existed, which is one of the reasons people often advocate having one. There is often talk of a “return to nature or return to one’s roots”. As childbirth in hospitals has become the norm in many places, it has caused people to create terms to describe something they do all the time. Every pregnant person has their own reasons for choosing to give birth where they gave birth. People who have given birth for free may have had a traumatic birth experience that they wished to avoid. They may want to give birth at home and for some reason do not have the option of being a midwife there. This may be due to financial or other logistical issues.
Free-born people often believe in their body’s ability to give birth without outside support or intervention. Many people view birth as a spiritual experience that they have to face with themselves or simply with their loved ones or partners. Just as everyone has their own reasons for giving birth a certain way, they don’t have to justify them to anyone.
What Are the Risks of Free Birth?
Even though people have given birth for free forever, that doesn’t mean they always move smoothly. Infant and maternal mortality rates have declined significantly since the rise of modern medicine. Some of the most revolutionary changes were also the simplest changes like hand washing and sanitation. One of the biggest risks someone faces in giving birth for free is that they or the baby have an undiagnosed medical condition that could be potentially harmful. Obstetric emergencies can occur during labor even if there are no prior warning signs. Midwives giving birth at home know what signs to watch for and are not afraid to refer them to the hospital in an emergency or if it seems like the right thing to do.
Some of the possible emergencies that can occur during childbirth include:
- preeclampsia and eclampsia (pregnancy/postpartum high blood pressure, which can be potentially fatal).
- Postpartum hemorrhage and bleeding.
- Abnormal as in the case of shoulder dystocia or breech.
- damage pelvic floor or perineum.
- Baby-related cord problems: cord prolapse, pinching, or tangling
In many cases, medical professionals can take steps to deal with these emergencies, even though some things are beyond our human control.
No Perfect Solution
While going through labor and delivery without a medical professional poses obvious risks, this issue is not black and white. Giving birth in a hospital has many risks, such as potential risks. unnecessary medical interventionsincreased risk of infection, medical racism and discriminationand the discomfort of not being in your space. In these cases, you may be wondering why people didn’t get a home birth midwife at the time.
There are several reasons why someone would prefer a free birth over having a midwife at home. They may want complete bodily autonomy that they still do not feel they could have with a midwife. This may be for financial reasons – in some areas midwives can be incredibly expensive and not covered by insurance.
Another reason is that the pregnant person may be “at risk”. This is when a home birth midwife can no longer legally accept the client due to certain restrictions they have in their license. It depends on the region where the midwife works. Suppose there are certain areas in the United States where home-born midwives cannot attend breech births, twin births, or someone over 42 weeks of gestation.
Pregnancy and childbirth are full of unknowns, but so is the rest of life. Unfortunately, some things happen during childbirth that are often unpredictable and possibly unavoidable. As much as we can argue for the need for a medical professional to be present at this exciting time, there are perfectly valid reasons why people choose free birth.
In such cases, we recommend listening to your intuition and body. Do not hesitate to seek medical assistance when necessary. It is also very important to do as much research and education as possible by taking birth education classes and preparing an emergency plan.