Medical Birth Management: More Harm Than Good

1642 words - 7 pages

It is not uncommon in American culture, to see individuals spending more time and energy in performing the research on a vehicle one might purchase than on the birth one could have. Large areas of an individual’s birth plan are left unquestioningly in the hands of people whom of which are complete strangers based solely on a faithful leap of trust in their expertise. Blindly, future parents in this country accept a mainstream approach toward their birth plan by simply picking a physician, trusting completely in their opinions in spite of potential for bias and give birth in a hospital with little to no research for an alternative. The mainstream American society believes birth is a medical event and that hospitals are necessary for the safety of both the mother and the child; despite the fact that maternal mortality rates, unnecessary interventions and risk of surgery and likewise -- surgical complications, sky rocket the moment a low risk mother walks onto the maternity ward. The hospital has long remained unquestioningly the most appropriate place to deliver a baby, and as a result the cesarean section rate in the U.S.A. is now an epidemic, leaving the United States ranked thirty-first in the world in maternal death (Gaskin 276). Policy changes toward the medical role of obstetric care are critically necessary for the safety and benefit of not only all pregnant women, but society as a whole.
Seeking the answer to ones question from perceived authority on where to birth is often more confusing than attempting to make the choice individually lacking external knowledge. As there are many different official groups who have formed their own opinions about where birth should take place, there are just as many bias motivating factors for their final endorsement or lack thereof. It isn’t difficult to understand why the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologist’s states that it is safer to deliver in a birth center or at home (Declercq and Stotland).
The medical model of prenatal care or OBGYN model is based on managing a medical event, not guiding a natural process. Surprisingly, birth in a hospital setting is still relatively new as it wasn’t until the 20th century that birth was recognized as an industry of profit and was moved into the supposed safety of the hospital structure. As a species that has existed since before the Common Era, eons of birth at home have been quickly negated with multiple appeals to the maternal need to protect, fear-mongering and the appeal of a pain free labor. In the case of the OBGYN model, it is not uncommon for immediate medical intervention the moment a laboring mother is admitted, IV’s are placed, fetal monitoring is established and the choice labor position is exclusively with the mother lying in a supine position; this position happens to deny the design of the human body to birth with the aid of gravity. In this case, hospital birth is in fact the safest option because it is the most appropriate place to...

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