How birthing takes place has become different depending on where you live and your culture. The way the United States handles birth is more medicalized compared to the Netherlands, the Vietnamese, and the Inuit. The United States uses more hospitals and doctors to take care of the birthing process. Most people do not think that at home births or anywhere outside the hospital is safe for them or their new born babies. They feel that being around a doctor is necessary to make sure everything goes over well. That is why people who just heard that they are pregnant already go see a doctor and have one picked out to be there when they give birth. In our lecture, Birth and Death Cross-Culturally, about ninety-eight percent of women used to give birth in hospitals. That was the percent from 1980, so now in 2018 that number has increased even more.
Compared to the United States, the Netherlands have more choices on where they want to give birth. Jonge A. talked about how a little over sixty percent of women give birth at home. The mothers in the Netherlands felt more comfortable and able to give birth at the peace of their own home. Only about 30.8 percent of mothers decided that they want to give birth at a hospital. Many of the women that decided that they would be fine giving birth at their own home were from upper class, had more than one children already, and were twenty-five years or older. Jonge seems to take a stance with at home births. She states that the babies born in hospitals or at home had the same chances of being put in the neonatal intensive care unit, so the risk is the same.
Among the people of Inuit, women giving birth outside of a hospital is also the preferred way. The Inuit live in Canada. They believe that the birthing process is a spiritual act and the whole community comes together to help. Betty-Anne Davis, the author who wrote about the Inuit, talked about how the birth happens in a birthing tent and an older woman helps with the birthing process. The older woman is there to make sure everything is okay and see that the baby is safe and sound. Usually in hospitals, when a woman gives birth, her baby is taken away from her for awhile, but for the Inuits, the baby is always with the mom, which they believe helps them bond even more. The author also talks about the spiritual connection the mother and even the rest of the community has with the newborn baby. I believe Davis shows us a perspective that giving birth at home is more fulfilling and just as safe.
In Vietnam, many women use midwives to give birth. The hospitals are far and not everyone has ease access to it. In Nick Ahlmark and Nicole Precel’s video, they talk about the Hmong people in Vietnam. The Hmong people usually give birth at home, however, over there, babies are more likely to die if they are not taken to a hospital. Due to that, more and more midwives are trying to encourage mothers to go give birth at a hospital. Even if the mother decides to go, they still would need the permission of their significant other. I believe that Ahlmark and Precel show us the perspective that hospitals are a better option to give birth in, with it having fewer risks for the mother and child.
In the United States, pregnancy is not seen in the best light. For younger women, people believe that they are not prepared to take care of a child. For older women, people believe that they are too old to take care of their children. For working women, people believe that she can not be a good employee if she has a child. For pregnant students, people believe that she cannot continue school because she needs to focus on her child. And for every women, everyone always wants to talk about how they should look “good” or “bounce back” from the baby weight. Many women feel that they cannot tell people that they are pregnant or it will affect them somehow, weather it is their job, their relationship, or their education. In my opinion, there is not enough help for pregnant women. There is so much expected of women that they can not be comfortable to just be pregnant. The negative stigma about women getting pregnant needs to stop because it is a truly blessing experience that brings life into our world.