Writing this article I was reminded of that song that says 'what the world needs now, is love...'. Maybe what birth needs now is love....
I recently read an article written by the Australian Medical Association, its title was ‘Maternity care needs to be obstetrician led’. Even without reading the text my immediate thought was ‘NO NO NO!’. I went on to read the article and my thoughts didn’t change.
And I have now just read an article about a device that has been developed to help better detect a baby in distress. My first reaction to this was – “how about we stop distressing these babies by not inducing labour without a clear medical need?”. Yes intervention is sometimes warranted, but not on the scale we currently have. This device needs to be used in established labour and is used to test the baby’s blood to detect low oxygen levels, so it won’t help distinguish between those who need to be born before labour starts.
Going back to the first article - ‘midwife’ means ‘with woman’, and obstetrician means ‘to stand by’. Obstetricians were ‘invented’ to help those who needed medical intervention to save their lives during labour and birth. Midwives have been trained to look at pregnancy and birth as 'normal' and so if something looks 'abnormal' they will ask for help. During their training obstetricians will usually only be called to assess a pregnancy or birth that is looking 'abnormal', and so they start to think that all pregnancy and births will have i