Childbirth Interventions At Hospital Births
Let’s get something straight from the start. The word ‘interventions’ was coined in the mid1970s by natural birth and midwifery advocates. There have always been medical assessments, monitoring and procedures (AMPs) involved with all births in modern society … unless you birth at home alone. Even at home births, midwives will have done many AMPs during pregnancy such as listening to the fetal heart, measuring the fundus, dipping urine, doing blood tests and even sending women into labs for ultrasounds or Rh-negative tests or others. In modern maternity systems, there are always ‘standards of care’ or ‘guidelines to practice’ or ‘evidence-based maternity care’ or ‘personal practice’. Once all those things got lumped into one word … interventions … the whole conversation, beliefs, and expectations of pregnant women has changed.
Let’s dig further. Think about how these two sentences make you feel.
- ‘In your birth, you will have medical assessments, monitoring and procedures’
- ‘In your birth, you will have interventions’.
How do those two sentences make you feel?
Do you know?
What are maternity assessments? Think about that. Listening to your baby’s heart tones? Testing your urine? Doing blood tests? An ultrasound? Vaginal exam.
What is maternity monitoring? Testing for glucose if you have diabetes? Foetal monitoring during birth?
What are maternity procedures? Rupturing the membranes? Augmentation of labor? A Caesarean?
Make your own list so you can begin to really think this through. What of these ‘interventions’ are you comfortable with?
One of the biggest problems is lumping all modern maternity care into one word that carries the implication that they are unnecessary, imposed on women and if they occur will prevent a natural birth.
In other words, what assessments, monitoring, and procedures are you comfortable with? Using those words help you distinguish between different types of maternity care. Also, the word ‘interventions’ either implies ‘life-death essential’ or ‘imposed and necessary’. Instead, most modern women are happy that they and their babies will be monitored carefully to protect health and well-being.
As you think about your coming birth what maternity care are you comfortable with?
Passive in childbirth?
NO, NO, NO, NO!
You are going to make a conventional Birth Plan. In your Birth Plan, you are going to list what you want and don’t want. So keep in mind all those AMPs. And think about why any individual AMP is something you don’t want or are comfortable with. And why?
For example, are you comfortable with a vaginal exam? If not why? If so when and why? Would you be sometimes comfortable with a vaginal exam or never? A vaginal exam is considered to be an intervention.
Part of being active in your pregnancy and in your birth is about making a conventional Birth Plan. The question then is ‘How are you going to actualize your choices”?
- In other words, if you don’t want any ‘interventions’ then how are you going to birth so you don’t have any of them?
- Or said another way, if you don’t want any medical assessments, monitoring and procedures then how are you going to birth so you don’t have any of them?
At least when you use specific words … assessments, monitoring, and procedures … means you can think about all of them rather than see all of them as one thing!
Moving beyond interventions
Birthing Better online birth skills were developed by hundreds of ordinary fathers and mothers who were faced with ‘standards of care’ in hospitals everywhere. When the skills were developed there were no or few choices. That means early Birthing Better families were going to experience AMPs whether they liked, wanted or needed any of them. Birthing Better families did not want to be passive. They developed birth and birth-coaching skills and used them.
A birthing woman still has to breathe. Every birthing woman is going to be in some position or posture. Every birth takes Time. In every birth, a baby has to come out of a woman’s body. And if the birthing woman has a husband, partner or other who will be at the birth then need a great set of birth-coaching skills
No childbirth assessment, monitoring or procedure or intervention can prevent you from using your birth skills you learned and practiced during pregnancy.
‘At my first birth every vaginal exam they did to me hurt and made me cry. Thanks to the internal work from the Pink Kit Package, I could relax when they were done at my second birth. I believe it’s an absolute must for women to prepare their birth canal.’
Shona L …
‘I’ve noticed that couples who use the pink kit resources are easier for us to work with’.
Paulette J …
Skills-based Birth Plan
When you are thinking about medical AMPs or interventions how are you going to achieve the birth you envision or want? Birthing Better families think being skilled was the answer. Being skilled reduced the need for many types of AMPs. Being skilled meant you could work with and around all the AMPs. Being skilled meant you could rise about the interventions you might not have wanted.
By creating a Skills-based Birth Plan that you show your obstetrician or midwife the skills you’ll use to achieve the birth you want. Then use your skills.
What makes Birthing Better Childbirth Preparation gives you the skills that focus on how to prepare your pregnant body to give birth as well as the birth and birth-coaching skills so you can manage well throughout your birth.
Birthing Better skills are housed in Common Knowledge Trust.