Although once the norm, unassisted childbirth phased out as the medical model of obstetric care began to take over the birthing process. In recent years, unassisted childbirth has begun to make a comeback and more women are opting to go this route.
What is unassisted childbirth?
Unassisted childbirth is, as the name implies, childbirth that is unassisted by any medical professional, such as an obstetrician or midwife. Unassisted childbirth typically consists of the mother, her partner and possibly a couple close friends or a doula, depending on her personal preference.
Is unassisted childbirth legal?
Unassisted childbirth is legal in the United States. Just as a woman has full and complete control over her medical care prior to pregnancy and delivery, she retains this control during pregnancy and delivery. She has the right to refuse medical care and cannot be punished for doing so.
Do women who choose unassisted childbirth receive prenatal care?
Women who choose unassisted childbirth may or may not choose to receive prenatal care, or may only receive prenatal care to a certain degree. Of the women intending to have an unassisted birth who receive prenatal care, a large majority of them do not share their plans to have an unassisted birth with their caregiver. Many women who intend to give birth unassisted elect not to receive prenatal care as they consider it unnecessary. So long as these women are keen to observe for any warning signs in pregnancy and maintain healthy diets and lifestyles, it is unlikely they or their babies will suffer as a result.
What are some reasons a woman may choose unassisted childbirth?
Many women have a fear of hospitals, however a large portion of women who choose to have unassisted births have given birth previously in a medical or midwifery setting. These women may feel they were uncomfortable, pressured or forced into decisions that were not necessary in their previous births and may hope to avoid that type of situation for their subsequent births. Many women believe that birth is not a medical condition, but rather a normal biological function and should be treated as such, without interventions and attempts to control it.
What are the advantages of unassisted childbirth?
A woman who chooses unassisted childbirth has a much lower chance of unnecessary interventions being used or pressured onto her in labor. This lack of intervention may help prevent some of the complications that are associated with the overuse and improper use of obstetric interventions.
Unassisted childbirth allows the woman to remain in a familiar place, such as her home, where she is comfortable. It also allows the woman more control over who is present for the birth and takes into account her comfort levels with each person present.
Unassisted childbirth may be a more realistic option for a woman without health insurance who would face financial difficulties if presented with a bill for a delivery.
What are the disadvantages of unassisted childbirth?
In the rare circumstance where a life-threatening emergency should arise, an unassisted birth may cause an emergency transport to a hospital equipped to handle the situation to take longer. In these cases, each minute may be crucial. However, in most cases where an emergency arises, there is generally forewarning which may allow the mother time to decide what needs to be done to ensure she and her baby are safe.
Many women feel more comfortable knowing that there are medical professionals in the room and may be uneasy with the idea of giving birth unassisted.
“Bornfree!- Laura Shanley’s THE Unassisted Childbirth Page!” Bornfree! Laura Shanley’s Unassisted Childbirth Page. Web. 21 Oct. 2010.
“Christian UC: Unassisted Childbirth.” Christian UC Welcomes You! Web. 21 Oct. 2010.