When you fall pregnant you just assume you need to book an appointment with a midwife. They will then tell you everything you need to do, prod you with needles and tell you where and how you give birth. This couldn’t be more wrong.
When I had my first child, I was young and very naive. I had no clue about babies or giving birth so believed everything the midwife told me because I thought she knew better. Looking back I know I would have done things differently.
Every woman has the right to receive maternity care, but you also have the right to make decisions about your pregnancy and labour that your caregivers may disagree with.
Did you know you can refuse induction? I didn’t! I was induced at 42 weeks with both of my girls because they were “late”. The midwife booked them for me without even asking so I just assumed that it was the norm so went along with it.
I know now that I could have said no. I will be refusing induction with this baby if I am “late” again and will let the midwives monitor me to make sure baby is ok. I will be refusing all medical intervention unless it is necessary. If my baby is happy then so am I.
All mums have a right to choose where they give birth. Even if you are classed as “high risk”, you can still chose to give birth at home and your care providers should work with you on making a care plan that respects your decision.
You can even choose not to have a healthcare professional at your birth. I don’t think I’m quite brave enough to have a “free birth” though. I’m not medically trained, so I like the thought of a midwife being there in the background if I need her. I do give massive praise to mums who do “free birth” though. I completely understand why they would want one. If you are interested in something like this then there are plenty of websites that will give you the relevant information you need.
You can request a c-section if you think that is the best option for you. If your hospital does not offer elective c-sections then you can still request one which should be taken into consideration. You can still be refused though if the hospital believes there is a good reason for refusing after taking all factors into consideration. If this happens and you still want a c-section, you can speak to the Head of Midwifery who is legally bound in supporting all women’s rights and decisions regarding their birth so she should help you.
There is loads more you can find out as well as the more legal stuff if you go to birthrights website.
The reason why I wrote this post is because pregnant mums aren’t given this kind of information and yet they should be! My girls weren’t ready to be born when I was induced. Especially when I was put on the hormone drip because the midwives felt I wasn’t “progressing fast enough” (since when is labour a race?!), and it ended with both of my babies heart rates dipping which lead to panic and rushing around. That is not what I want when giving birth. I want a calm, relaxed atmosphere with my loved ones around me. I want my children to be there when their baby brother is born. I want to climb in bed when it’s all over and just be with my family. Giving birth should be amazing, not scary.
Thanks to television shows and listening to other people’s bad birth stories, expectant mums see giving birth as terrifying. That we should be writhing around and screaming in agony laid in a hospital bed. Because of this, we seem to have lost faith in our bodies and what they are designed to do. Don’t get me wrong I’m fully aware that things can go wrong and that’s when medical professionals take over, but expectant mums focus way too much on thinking the worst that they end up making labour a scary experience.
I urge you to read any book by Ina May Gaskin as well as Childbirth Without Fear by Grantly Dick-Read. These books completely changed my views on giving birth and have actually helped me so much. Also think about maybe using Hypnobirthing or even take up meditation because these are amazing at getting rid of fear. This is my third baby and I am so excited for giving birth.
You can be excited too. Wherever or however you chose to have your baby, just make sure you’re well informed and prepared. Don’t let anyone boss you around.
Much love, Chelsea 💕