Linda Fuller: Labors of love

April 21, 2014 

Regarding the April 15 Life, etc., article “Rethinking C-sections”: It is critical for women to be empowered educationally with access to resources and support for “normal” childbirth. The taking-more-time-for-labor issue has gone on for decades alongside alarming U.S. hospital C-section rates.

In preparing for my own children’s births in the 1970s, I found that the U.S. was a leader in C-section frequency while ranking worse than eight other countries in infant and maternal mortality. I took a cue from the Netherlands where, at that time, over half of its births were at home with midwives. My first was born via natural childbirth in a hospital with “rooming in” and a supportive obstetrician.

Having no birthing centers nearby, I chose a home birth program for my second – with doctor and midwife screening/monitoring. The midwife attending my delivery was superb. I had no hospital “prepping” and could move around during labor.

Fetal monitoring restricts the mother and can falsely prompt medical extremes. Given inducing drugs to speed things along, many women lose collaborative ability when that becomes too hard to handle. Birthing centers with certified nurse midwives are crucial.

Distinctive and varied, childbirth is labor, not illness or a scheduled task. A labor of love is our birthright.

Linda Fuller

Raleigh

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