Sunday, August 3, 2014

Freebirth: Reasons Women Choose to Give Birth Unassisted

Unassisted childbirth is just what it sounds like - giving birth without any 'professional' assistance.

Very few women decide to give birth unassisted, it's like the 1% of the 1% of women who give birth at home... but the experiences of those who do are important - their reasons, are valid.

So why would some women decide to give birth unassisted?

To find out, a large group of women who have given birth unassisted, many of which have had other birth experiences with doctors, and/or midwives, shared their primary reasons for choosing a freebirth.

Here are some of their reasons for choosing to stay home and give birth alone.

Some women expressed anger, frustration, even resentment towards the medical model of birth as the driving factor in their decision to give birth alone.

"Anger at medical professionals and trusting myself to provide better care."

"I hoped I would be able to bond with my baby this time (never did before). I also hoped for less emotional and physical complications in the healing process, without medical/chemical/anesthetic interventions during birth."

"Previous hospital birth trauma, better educated, wanting a peaceful and safe birth for my baby." 

Control and power were often mentioned as driving factors. Women wanted to be in control of their bodies, their births, and their babies; often having experienced a loss of power and control in a previous birth setting.

"To not be disrespected and bullied by medical staff in a hospital; to have a safer, healthier experience than my first birth."

"Tired of not being in control."

"It's normal, I'm not sick. I wanted to be truly in control."

Other women expressed their knowledge and faith in the natural, primal birth as their primary reason for choosing unassisted birth.

 "It was safer, more peaceful and all in all better birth for my baby and me."

"It's what I believed was the best way to birth."

"I studied about the birth industry & my options for a couple of years before becoming pregnant. It was an obvious choice for me." 

The presence of family and supportive husbands were reasons for other women.

"Husband wanted to do it, and I wanted to be free from interventions and medical settings."

"It was very important to me to have this be a family event. I didn't want to be separated from my daughter, 17 mos. And I believed that it was safer to stay out of the hospital with a healthy natural birth."

"I wanted to have a quiet, peaceful, private, intimate experience with just my husband." 

Cost and lack of other options were factors for some.

"Cost. Better connection with hubby, intimacy. Not wanting to feel "abandoned" after my birth by my care provider."

"Cost. LOVED the first one!"

"Couldn't afford a midwife." 

And some experienced freebirthers wouldn't go back!

"After having one hospital birth and three freebirths, we were convinced that a normal, healthy birth was best kept out of the hospital, and this was an excellent choice for our family."

"3rd UC, I'm hooked now!"

"I had had one freebirth and loved it so we were decided on continuing with freebirth as long as there were no indications to do otherwise." 

Giving birth without professional support and assistance isn't for everyone, but when we consider all the interventions and restrictions, power and control issues and medication resistant disease in most US hospitals today... it isn't really surprising that a group of well-informed women are deciding to forgo the risks of hospital birth for the privacy, security, and peace of their own home!

Happy Birthing!
~Wisdom and Birth

The answers above come from a survey of women who have given birth unassisted. If you have had a freebirth and would like to contribute your information, please email freebirthwisdom@gmail.comand I'll send you the link.

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