Thursday, February 14, 2008

Two very different birth videos

In this post I want to highlight the very different experiences women can have with what might be called a 'normal vaginal birth'.

In this first video a young woman gives birth to her child in water. In contrast to the video posted on my friend Sarah's blog, this baby is taken from the water quite quickly. I wonder if, given a little more time, the mother might have reached down and picked up the baby herself. Obviously all the labour has gone before this and this is just the birth of the baby. It appears a relaxed and loving birth experience. Both mother and child seem to take a moment or two to realise what has just happened.

In this second video a young woman is giving birth in a hospital. We do not see the whole birth. She is fully draped in sterile drapes, with many gowned and masked health professionals and others buzzing around. The doctor at the foot of the bed is ready to catch the baby. He does not seem to be using any instruments so it would seem safe to assume that this is a 'normal vaginal birth'. A friend or family member is taking this video. The language used is Spanish I think, but the body language clearly indicates that the doctor is not pleased to be videoed. I wonder why? The doctor does not seem to engage with the woman at all. His focus is entirely on the woman's vulva. A shame we do not see the rest of this video.

I welcome your thoughts on the contrast between these two birth experiences. All over the world, and I think New Zealand is no exception to this, women can experience birth in the way these two young women do, and many variations in between.

How might these different birth experiences affect women as they start on their journey of motherhood?


Anonymous said...

what a comparison Carolyn. The woman in the second clip - looks like a stranded beetle and seems completely helpless in that position. I wonder how the people providing "care" to her would feel if they viewed this clip of their practice? If I was in the Miss Universe contestr and got asked what my one wish would be - it would be that no woman ever has to be treated this way when birthing again. Shame I'm not pretty!

Carolyn said...

It is so amazing that this happens to women despite all the information that is freely available about facilitating normal birth. I wonder if all the wonderful youtube vidoes that are out there now will make a difference. I congratulate women who share these images of birth with us. It can only help to make it better for women in the future, I hope.
You can always work on your daughter to spread the word when she is miss Universe

rae said...

shes more prime minister material i think

Erin said...

I have given birth to three boys, hoping for another. I love boys... but anyways, I gave birth in a hospital with a midwife. Where I live there aren't any birth centers there is only one small hospital and you aren't allowed to give birth in water; you arent even allowed to go in the tub if your water is broken. I wanted to do water birthing it seems so peaceful. I had good experiences, although I was induced with each of them. My labors were very fast and I was glad I chose to have a midwife rather than a doctor.

Carolyn said...

Thanks for your comment here Erin. It is a shame you were prevented from doing what you wanted to do in labour. It sounds as though this facility has a pool that no one is allowed to use. Is that right? I wonder what the rationale is for this. Is there any evidence that there are risks involved in entering the water when waters have broken? There certainly is lots of accumulating evidence that using water in labour is beneficial for mothers and babies.

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