Friday, October 17, 2008

Freebirthing: reckless endangerment?

Once again, I'm watching Discovery Health. This time I'm seeing trailers for a show about 'freebirthing': the practice of delivering babies at home with no pain medication or medical intervention.

When I say 'no medical intervention' I mean it. NONE. No prenatal care, no medical personnel on standby, not a goddamn motherfucking thing. One chick on there said 'The safest person to deliver our baby is my husband and I' and 'if something goes wrong I'll only have myself to blame'.



You're kidding me, right? Please tell me you're kidding me. You're not kidding me? You're actually SERIOUS about this?

Are you fucking INSANE??!!???!!

I am all for women laboring and giving birth with minimal medical interventions. I'll even go so far as to say that I'm for women or their husband's 'catching' the baby as it comes out (although I will say that you'd have to be a contortionist with a VERY high tolerance for pain in order to catch your own kid) as long as there's someone who has some medical or obstetrical training close by to help if things go wrong. But what I cannot agree with is a woman willfully rejecting ALL forms of medical care during her pregnancy and during labor and delivery. I cannot agree with that, and I WILL not. There are too many things that can go wrong. Breech presentations. Prolapsed cords. Meconium. Beta Strep positive mothers. Fetal cardiac decelerations. Premature births. Immature lungs. Fetal demise. Things that make me break out in a cold sweat just thinking about dealing with them, and I've got the benefit of some training behind me - and a big engine with lights and sirens that can get to a hospital quicker than your average bear.

IF something goes wrong, will that woman be prosecuted for reckless endangerment? How about infanticide? After all, she made a conscious decision to NOT see a doctor, midwife or nurse. Isn't that forethought? Planning, even? How is it that a physician can be sued for malpractice if his actions lead to a child being born with cerebral palsy due to hypoxia, brain damage from improperly applied forceps, Bells Palsy or, in the worst case scenario, dead? How is it that people who cause the death of a pregnant woman can be charged with TWO homicides, yet these women who freebirth don't think themselves legally liable and feel they shouldn't go to jail?

Isn't freebirthing the ultimate act of selfishness? Isn't the MOST important thing at the end of a pregnancy a healthy baby?

'If something goes wrong, I'll only have myself to blame'. Yeah. You can blame yourself whilst you're sitting in jail because you risked your child's life so you could have what YOU wanted.

How fucking selfish.

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