A well-written well-balanced article. When my then-wife and I were preparing for the birth of our first child we researched contemporary approaches in depth. We discovered that the modern US approach to childbirth (treat it as a medical condition) was highly counter-productive. We discovered that for all the talk of complications and the need for various monitoring instruments, the underlying rate of complications in nations where birthing at home is (a) standard practice, and (b) childbirth is seen as just another natural occurrence, is around 2 per thousand births. Meanwhile in the USA the C-section rate is around 30%.

Almost every aspect of modern childbirth in the USA has been conditioned by the desires of physicians to have an easy life. Women used to be made to birth lying flat — the worst possible position aside from standing on one’s head — because this made it easy for the doctor. Women are induced so that they can give birth at a time that is scheduled and thus won’t interfere with the doctor’s round of golf (I’m not joking — I’ve heard several male doctors complaining vociferously about the “hassle” of women who won’t be induced and who therefore risk interrupting the doctor’s precious leisure time). It goes on and on and on.

While I doubt most women will experience “orgasmic birth” I do suspect the vast majority would have a far less stressful and difficult experience were they to ignore all medical advice, seek out a good midwife and/or doula, and have the child at home. If there is a complication the midwife can’t handle, it’s rare that your nearest hospital is more than a few minutes away. We shouldn’t continue to make birthing decisions on the basis of misinformation and fear.

Oh, and yes — both children my then-wife gave birth to were delivered without medication, without monitoring, and without complications. And her recovery was far faster than that of her friends who went down the standard US route of medical intervention at every point in the process.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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