As you may recall, if you've been a long-time reader of this blog, attending a homebirth as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) is illegal in South Dakota. However, CPMs are the only certified professionals in this country who are trained to attend natural births outside a hospital setting. Obstetricians, Certified Nurse Midwives, and other certified birth attendants are all trained in the medical model of birth. Medically-managed births are all about monitoring and procedures which are intended to reduce the risk of mothers and babies dying or being injured during birth. Sadly, studies show that in most cases, medical management does little to reduce these risks, and in some cases, it actually increases them.
There's really more to it than that, though. Most hospital-based practitioners have never seen a truly natural birth. They are so used to their standard procedures and interventions, they don't know what really natural birth looks like. Compare that to a CPM, who sees unmedicated, unhindered births almost exclusively.
Let me share a quote with you from a book I've been reading the last couple of days. It's written by Judy Kay Jones, a local CPM and former RN who spent time in jail for attending homebirths within the state of South Dakota.
A medical perspective sees birth as a dangerous situation--a complication waiting to happen. It operates in fear. True midwifery approaches birth from a natural perspective, not in fear, but in respect.
I compare it to the preparation of Treasury agents to spot counterfeit money. They do not study the counterfeit. Instead, they study the real thing. They know every detail of the real thing so well that a counterfeit immediately stands out as different when they see it.
Why would I want to trust my birth to attendants who'd primarily, or ONLY, seen counterfeits of natural birth? I did that once before and was unsatisfied with my care. This time, I chose to seek out a professional who specializes in natural births. And, in a few more days or weeks, I hope to come back and be able to share firsthand how different it is.