Perspective, Perception, Prejudice

As I continue to share my reasons for writing Homebirth: Safe & Sacred, I’d like to visit the idea of perspective, perception, and prejudice.

I mentioned in a post I shared in August about a conversation I had with a hospital-based birthworker about our transfers.

I described our encounter this way:

She shared a bit about a spat of recent transfers from home that had set her and her colleagues hearts racing. She was very polite and she’s actually very supportive, even while she made it clear she feels those of us engaging in the practice of homebirth attendance are doing so unwisely.

But she also acknowledged her perspective about birthing at home is colored by the fact she only ever sees transfers.

And there it is.

American medicine, the foremost voice warning families away from attempts to birth at home with midwives, only sees the very worst of our outcomes while never, ever seeing our good outcomes.

That renders their perception understandable—especially with, as I mentioned a few weeks ago in “Carousel,” the belief that the process of birth is the most dangerous thing a woman can do with her body serving as the footings and foundation they’ve built their own house upon—but also questionable, even fairly prejudiced.

Further, while American medicine is busy warning folks away from attempts to birth at home with midwives and, frankly, from midwives’ overall track record of excellent care, they themselves, as I’ve said it before and will surely say it again, are the prime movers behind the worst and most costly birthing outcomes in the developed world.

If that isn’t enough to get us to stop and think a minute, what is?

And, Friends, we just MUST stop a minute and think.

It’s time for change.

See Homebirth: Safe & Sacred for a thorough evaluation of each our track records.

Photo by IStock.

Kim Woodard Osterholzer, Colorado Springs Homebirth Midwife and Author

Books by Kim:

Homebirth: Safe & Sacred

A Midwife in Amish Country: Celebrating God’s Gift of Life

Nourish + Thrive: Happy, Healthy Childbearing

One Little Life at a Time: Recommendations + Record Keeping for Aspiring Homebirth Midwives

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