I am Canadian. New York magazine, therefore, hits my news stands three weeks late and I have only just read “Extreme Birth,” Andrew Goldman’s article about NYC home-birth midwife Cara Muhlhahn and home births in general. I have been wanting a good lead-in to a home birth discussion for a long time, so even though this article prompted much online buzz about home births from such big wigs as Jezebel and salon.com’s broadsheet weeks ago, I’ll throw my two bits in anyway.
A good friend, and one of the most unabashed, frank and honest people I know, is five months pregnant and on the wait-list for a midwife in her area. I was pretty surprised because “Quick, easy, and pain free,” might as well be her motto. Both my kids were “delivered by” a midwife and I know that wanting to at least try for an unmedicated birth is really kinda the point. When I told her this, she replied that she has always been one to try the latest, trendy thing and thought she might as well see if she could go it au naturel. Is that really all this home birth talk is, then, a passing trend? Or does it represent a real backlash against the over-medicalization of childbirth and a general shift toward a less invasive approach to labour and delivery? Or could it be both? [Read more...]