Dr. Phil’s request for homebirth horror stories
August 29, 2008 § 7 Comments
Dr. Phil, you are a jerk!
Dr. Phil has a t.v. show here in the U.S. He is asking for home birth horror stories for an upcoming show. Please be patient as I fume during this entry. After asking you to recount your homebirth horror story, one of his questions he asks is, “Did you have your second child the traditional way in a hospital?” Now, Dr. Phil, you don’t look like a young man. How can you call a hospital birth “traditional”? Have you asked your grandmother where she had her babies? Are you absolutely sure your mom wasn’t born at home? Okay. Besides the fact that he’s a sensationlist, promoting negative birth stories and plus negative home birth stories is really bad karma! How many babies does he want to have stall on the way out? Are his ratings really that low that he has to turn to this? Argh! I did write him a note telling him of my positive homebirth story. One of the midwives in town is trying to get a bunch of us to write to him, hopefully swamping him with positive homebirth stories. Will it work? Who cares. We have to try! Here’s what I wrote to him:
I had a wonderful home birth with my first child, in 2006, in Chicago with HomeFirst Health Services. It was a quick labor and I felt completely supported by those present. I had my family and some friends worried that we had made a wild decision to have our child at home, but in the end found our choice to be quite conservative. My husband’s grandmother and my father and his sisters were all born at home, connecting us on a generational level. By the way, hospital births are not the tradition, if you check your sources correctly, home birthing is.
One of the reasons I chose a home birth was that I actually wanted to have an experience where I’d be allowed to not be in control. Labor, which you wouldn’t know about first hand, goes smoothest when, like the internationally-known midwife Ina May Gaskin puts it, you let your monkey do it. This involves being able to feel comfortable enough to move and vocalize in the way your body wants to- not the medical staff. The mind-body connection is really powerful and a pregnant woman needs all positive stories (birth or otherwise) for her to feel safe when birthing. I had that.
I am due on Monday with my second child, also a planned home birth. I have the support of positive birth stories both from books and family and friends; I have the trust of my body; I have my homebirth kit sitting in the closet; and I have time- something a hospital would not grant me. Why would I want to go to a hospital unless medically necessary? And why would you do a show on negative birth stories, home or hospital? The negative image of labor has already seeped into myriad young girls’ minds. These girls have grown up to believe that the only way to labor is in a hospital with a medical team ready to intervene, not support. They believe that their bodies were not made to have a vaginal birth. These negative birth stories are a large cause of these misconceptions.
I trust you can do more research on the effects of negative birth stories on the outcomes of what should be normal labors. I look forward to watching a show of yours that actually promotes positive birth stories and supports women, rather than instills fear in them. Thank you.
Add your positive home birth story here.
Has it been made clear enough how important it is for friends of a pregnant woman to refrain from negative stories? I really do mean this. The news is a big culprit these days but so are little stories that you hear at work or around your friends. I’ve recently been on the receiving end of a couple of negative stories and I tell you that’s all I’ve been dreaming about. It’s related to your subconscious in late pregnancy (especially). Your body is preparing for one thing. Considering what would happen “if” or “when” is not part of the process your body needs. You can see now why going into a hospital where you have to think clearly is not a promoter of natural childbirth. It’s contrary to the whole process. But I know not everyone wants to have a homebirth. For those of you considering it though, come talk to me… and don’t watch Dr. Phil’s show!