What we don't know scares us, don't you think? When it's something we've never experienced or know very little about I think our natural human reaction is fear and/or judgement. Some things I don't need to try to know I don't ever want to do them, that's fairly obvious. And then are those things that had you asked me 5 years ago, I would've screamed NO! But here and now I'm finding myself getting educated and realizing there is a whole big world out there I didn't know about; the natural birth movement and everything that goes along with it. Like placenta encapsulation (aka. placentophagy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placentophagy) . I know, that sounds weird, but I dare you.....do a little research on it :) It's quite amazing really! Placenta encapsulation is not the same as 'eating your placenta', although some countries and families choose to do that. Placenta encapsulation involves steaming, dehydrating, grinding the dried placenta, and placing in gel capsules (making a pill form). This website has pictures (you've been warned!!!) and is really informative about the process- http://www.cafemom.com/journals/read/1577334/Placenta_Encapsulation_Instructions_w_Pictures . I honestly would do it myself, but it seems messy and like a lot of work with a 2 year old and a newborn so I will be hiring my midwife's assistant to do it ( http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Dalai-Mama-Professional-Placenta-Escapsulation/107581499279043?ref=ts ).
The benefits of placenta encapsulation include:
•Decrease in baby blues and postpartum depression.
•Increase and enrich breastmilk.
•Increase in energy.
•Decrease in lochia, postpartum bleeding.
•Decrease iron deficiency.
•Decrease insomnia or sleep disorders.
The placenta's hormonal make-up is completely unique to the mother. No prescription, vitamin or herbal supplement can do what one placenta pill can. How amazing is that?
Another thing people are often scared of until they know more about it, is homebirth. I think people typically picture someone in a tie-dyed shirt showing up with a hemp handbag saying, "ok, let's have a baby!" But that's not really what happens. A typical licensed mifwife's kit can be 45lbs (and more)! What happens if I tear or need an episiotomy? She stitches me up or makes the cut happen. What happens if I need fluids or antibiotics via IV? She administers them. What happens if I need oxygen? She gives it to me. What happens if I need bimanual compression, pitocin, or methergine? She gives it to me. How do we hear the baby? She has a doppler. What about magnesium and breathine? Again, she has those. See where I'm going with this??? It's not as hippy as everyone thinks it is. These are highly skilled, highly trained women who are experts at their craft- delivering babies naturally.
In her book, Baby Catcher, Peggy Vincent states the distinct different between an Obstetrician and a midwife:
A Dr assumes birth is complicated until proven otherwise.
A midwife assumes birth is natural until proven otherwise.
I thought that said it pretty well. Again, I truly don't have anything against using an Dr for a birth. I do have an issue with unnecessary medical interventions (inductions, epidurals, c-sects, etc). Not all Dr's push or allow those interventions to happen when they shouldn't, but judging on the rapidly rising rates of induction and c-sect in our county it would appear that far too many Dr's are advocating these interventions. There will always be stories of how a medical intervention saved someone's life and that is truly the whole point! The available interventions are for saving someone's life! Not making it all easier and 'less complicated' for the patient or Dr.
If you want to know more about all this please watch The Business of Being Born and get your hands on all the resources available out there. There's SO much available, even down to c-sect rates on the State websites.