To be part of a birth in any way is a privilege and a joy ~

This is a web site dedicated to all those who are amazed at the miracle of birth and who love to learn and teach about all types of births. We do this in the hopes of promoting positive and satisfying birth experiences that enhance the bonding of babies and mothers and fathers! Read Ecstatic Birth, the hormones and physiology of birth.

The phrase Protecting Normal Births means so many things. To some it might mean women having home births with midwives. To others it might mean women having no epidurals or pain medications even in a hospital birth. Many would think it means the lowest C-section rate physically possible. (i.e., if not influenced by "defensive OB practices") Protecting against medical intrusion? What does it mean to you? What do you think the lowest C-section rate physically possible is? How can we find that out?

Protecting Normal Birth is often cited as a goal of nurse-midwifery as a profession and nurse midwives as individuals. Does this infer that obstetricians don't want to protect normal birth? Lamaze International also uses the phrase so that women realize by preparing themselves for labor they can reduce their risk of being a statistic of the "too many un-necessary inductions, epidurals and C-sections today". But when is something truly un-necessary? Read Dr. Atul Gawande's article called Annals of Medicine "The Score" and watch on-line Midwives of Mozambique.

Just as some women choose not to exercise and even drive a block to the next store, some women want to be able to choose epidural or not to breastfeed. Are we trying to guide, judge, or set policy in opposition to choices? And isn't it awful not to intervene when necessary, forcing natural births on women who clearly need intervention? Watch Fistula Foundation. Can't and shouldn't science enhance an amazing process as needed?

So like lots of things Protecting Normal Birth can be a complicated topic and why isn't it called Protecting Natural Birth? What is an abnormal or unnatural birth? C-section? Childbirth (unlike a broken leg or an illness) does have medical/surgical components but is also about fear of failure, differing values, self-satisfaction, and family, and bonding, and love and so much more that has nothing to do with medicine.

So after 40 years of Protecting Normal Birth my goal and my satisfaction is learning and teaching about births that can be "high tech and high touch" at the same time. We have low risk birth centers that are just like home births but in a safe environment, just in case a high-risk situation arises, then we can transfer the mother to a high-risk unit. But as nurses and midwives and doctors and policy makers we can have both at the same time! The birth center can include lots of high tech benefits if needed, IVs, even an epidural – in a birth center!? Why not? Does an epidural defile the place or change the atmosphere of a home-like room where the family is all together? Likewise in the high risk unit where true intensive care is life saving, can't the family still be present, the mother supported and the baby held? Of course!! – this is protecting normal birth. Normal means what human beings need, support, touch, calm, bonding and love. Join the discussion and the journey to learn.

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