Should Intervention Be Routine?

Women spend a lot of time in pregnancy researching their baby’s development, the safest car seat, or names for their child. But how many research how their baby will enter the world? Most rely upon their doctors to provide them with the best advice. What women may not realize is that an obstetrician is trained to look for and spot problems. They are experts at surgery, but many of them have witnessed few labors and births without intervention.

Unfortunately medical doctors are not given ample training in natural childbirth and therefore often do not feel confident in a woman’s ability to birth a child without medical intervention. This is clear when you walk though a hospital and see most women laboring and giving birth on their backs, which is the most difficult position to birth a baby. Doctors depend on their familiarity with technology to help them determine the baby and mother’s well-being. They are concerned that they do everything possible to ensure there are no complications.

What if help actual hurts? By providing the best technology and newest procedures, the doctor may actually be impeding the natural flow of the birth process. Various interventions can cause a woman’s body to not work as effectively to dilate the cervix. Most require the woman to stay in or near her bed reducing her mobility. Moving around during labor is very helpful because it allows gravity to help the labor progress. Certain labor and birth positions will change the shape of the pelvis, allowing a woman to help the baby move into a more advantageous position.

What exactly is an intervention? Intervention means interfering with the intent to modify the outcome. Birth interventions can be as obvious as a c-section or as commonplace as electronic fetal monitoring. Each  intervention carries its own risks and benefits. In the next article, we will look at the interventions and discuss what risk are associated with each intervention.

Please stop by in the next few days for the next installment of Birth in America!

Click here to read the first post in this series.