Expect The Unexpected

Looking at this weeks information from a Westernized point of view it really hit to see how other cultures have different birthing methods and how easy it is to assume that we can just go to the hospital whenever we as Americans are in labor. This how I am going to express the different kinds of birthing methods: medically advanced terrors and casual births with little amount of medical attention. It is so easy to think that medical advances are nothing but good and do not have unseen horrors behind the scenes, but both have some issues that are definitely overlooked.

Child birth is supposed to be a beautiful thing that parents wait so long for. It is a celebration of a new family and a new life. Most people can’t wait for this day to come but because of the excitement and long wait that they have gone through to finally meet the baby that they have created. For some it can be a natural, exciting and rewarding experience that ends in nothing but happy tears and love. This is what is showcased more in the media and in movies and they ignore the potential medical emergencies that happen in real life. For example there used to be this show called Born in the Wild where staff with cameras would follow expecting mothers into the woods where they would go into labor and deliver their child with no medical staff: a very traditional but slightly inhumane route. Yes, this is how people used to have to have kids before there were hospitals and medical equipment but why would someone do such a thing when there could be potential complications with the birth that could endanger or even take the life of the mother and child? It just seems a little insane to me.

Medical advances are made to help mom and baby while she is in labor but for the fearful mother it can turn from helpful to a nightmare. Most mothers are full of hormones and very paranoid because there life and their child life is at stake, especially during a emergency delivery. This happened a patient that I witnessed have a child while I shadowed at a hospital a few years ago, and I feel like this is the easiest way for me to represent this type of delivery. She was scared and traumatized after her delivery because of what happened in the last few hours of her pregnancy. She was told that her baby was healthy and had all the right positions needed for a natural birth and in the middle of a contraction her child had flipped and wrapped its cord around its throat and was tugging on it, causing the baby to suffocate and mom to experience unbearable pain. Staff took action and took her immediately to a room where she had to have a caesarean section in order for the baby to come out. This woman was scared of needles, and was screaming because of the pain and now they were going to numb her, cut her open and take her baby out safely. I can only imagine what was going through her head the entire time: fear of death, losing her baby, the pain, and any other worries that she might have. Luckily everything went according to plan and the baby was born healthy and unharmed but what really hurt was that the mom did not want to hold her baby right away and the tears coming off of her face were not caused by happiness but she felt victimized by medicine. My heart still goes out to her because of how brave she had to be in order to overcome this experience and anything medical in general.

Medical advances are meant to help others but sometimes just cause complete turmoil both physically and mentally, but it is definitely something that researchers and doctors are working to perfect. The only problem is that every pregnancy is to the same. All mothers and babies are different in their own special ways so in most cases these advances have to be altered to best fit the safety of the mom and baby.

So for some mothers birth can be a natural and rewarding experience where for some it can be a total nightmare that they didn’t expect. No one wants to hear that they will have complications with their pregnancy but doctors will always try to prep the mother for the worst case scenario is case this happens.

Nguyen, Tina. Lifetime’s New Reality Show Will Follow Women Giving Birth in the Woods. N.p.: MEDIAite, 2014. http://www.mediaite.com/tv/lifetimes-new-reality-show-will-follow-women-giving-birth-in-the-woods/.

6 thoughts on “Expect The Unexpected

  1. I agree with the sentiments that you expressed in your post about natural vs hospitalized birth. Using your own experience to demonstrate the reality of this question made a very strong case you presented. However, I believe that we are missing some parts of the picture. I don’t believe this is so much of a natural birth vs hospitalized birth issue , rather, I think the problem is a nation assuming superiority in their philosophy of medicine or more specifically giving birth, imposing themselves on another. Such as in the example of Canada enforcing their birth practices on the Intuit. Medical progression isn’t meant to be bad, as you pointed out in your example. Imagine, if the mother you have witnessed wasn’t in a hospital setting, the consequences that may have happened could have been devastating if not for the quick thinking of the doctors. However, the way that countries such as the United States and Canada of decided to spread their ideas of medicine, science, birth, etc have resulted in a significant amount of harm in the nations in questions. While they are issues with birth, in the example of a hospitalized birth and a natural one, I think the main issue here, is not natural vs hospital births, rather in the culture in which these births happen. In one case, a completely medicalized culture has imposed itself unethically on a traditional culture. This is the main issue in my opinion.

  2. Great post! The example you gave of the mother having complications during pregnancy that you witnessed definitely shows that her being in a hospital and having a medicalized birth saved the life of her baby, and most likely her life too. There is definitely a place and need for the medicalized birthing practice, but I think that there is also a place for the more natural “everyday life” birthing practices that we learned about this week. I do not think that one is necessarily better than the other. The choice of having a more natural birthing experience versus a more medicalized birthing experience should be left to the woman giving birth. I do not agree with the practice of making the Inuit woman fly south, away from their families and any other children they have, so that they can have their baby in a hospital. All because that is what nurses think is best for the mothers, not because it is what the mothers have chosen to do for themselves.

    The point you made of not every pregnancy being the same because every mother and baby are different is incredibly true and valid. It is for that same reason that I think that the choice of how to have their baby should be left up to the mother. Some do not want to deal with the stress of being in a hospital and would rather be surrounded by family who have had experience with birthing children.

  3. Your post was very interesting, and it was cool that you had a real life experience that you can relate to what we are learning in class. I think it is interesting that you bring up that all mothers and babies are different and must be treated differently (I completely agree with that statement, there is no one size fits all when it comes to birth). For my movie review I watched the documentary The Business of Being Born, and in the film the filmmakers really made a point of discussing that most obstetricians now a days never see a natural birth until they are practicing doctors. They are trained to be surgeons, trained for the worst case scenario, which is a wonderful thing when it is needed, but it can actually be harmful to mothers who don’t need it because they find themselves being talked into things like epidurals even if it isn’t what they want or need. There is a power dynamic within our medical system where the patient really isn’t at liberty to say what they want because the doctor is the one with authority so they feel they should listen to the doctor. So I think from that standpoint hospitals can be “inhumane” just like the situation out in the woods. Like you said, every woman is different, but there definitely should be a balance between the “natural way” and “medicalization”.

  4. Great post! I liked how you began saying that medical advances do have some unseen horrors behind the scenes. I think this is so true and often times very overlooked. Everyone always things that a medical advancement is nothing but a good thing, including myself. We don’t take into account what we are giving up to begin practicing medicine this certain way now. I also agree that it has always seemed strange to me, people that give birth without the help of any medical professionals. I just know personally, if I was in that situation I would want any possible person that could make sure I was going to deliver safely, to be there. I really like the example of the mother delivering her baby in the hospital that had complications, this is a good example of a situation where if medical personal was not available, the baby and mother could have been in serious harm. I agree that not every birthing scenario is the same, and therefore the same thing wont work for everyone. With the medical advances being made, it is important to remember that although some things work for one patient it may not for another. Overall great post!

  5. I agree in that child birth is a beautiful thing and that families are more than excited to experience it. However I do not think that hospitalized births take away from that feeling. In think that hospitalization births are to protect the mother and baby at all cost. Yes, culture is very important in the decision making for what is best for each individual I think we must consider that these doctors go through extensive schooling and training to be sure they are prepared for the best delivery options. I think that n having a hospitalized birth I helps to prevent those complications and to better prepare for the case that there are complications after birth. Having an at home birth will not prepare the mother and baby for those complications unless they have a health professional present. I do like and agree that you have addressed that natural births can be rewarding and a nightmare. I think that placing those who have strong culture ties in hospitals for birth can have complications based upon their beliefs, much like the Inuit and the placenta burial. Medicine has both handicapped and improved birthing, in that it has lead women to rely on it and yet also improved and enhanced the pain and birth effects.

  6. Being from the U.S I agree with what you said in the beginning. I think natural births can be beautiful but personally if I were to have a baby I think I would trust the hospital and the doctors, and nurses who are highly and medically trained over anyone else. Also I think the idea of being able to have the different medicines to help with any kind of complications would be very comforting to me. I like the story you used as an example of someone’s bad experience with medicine/hospitals. I definitely think birth should be a good and happy time in a woman’s life and when you have a plan of how you want to have your baby and that plan is taken away from you that can be very stressful. I think the Inuit women experienced a lot of stress as well because they wanted to follow their traditions and that right was taken away from them because nurses and doctors thought they knew best. It should ultimately be a women’s choice of how she wants to give birth and what is most comfortable for her as long as mother and baby remain safe doctors should always respect the birthing mother’s wants and needs.

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