Doctor Warns Moms There's a Huge Risk of 'Losing' Natural Birth

pregnant woman

There is one thing that is so important that all women should have during their pregnancy and it cannot be bought in stores. It's confidence. We need to have confidence in our ability to birth our babies -- because, quite simply, we are the only ones able to do that bit of magic, and it's a magic we were made to do. Despite this fact, French doctor Michel Odent said that women are at risk for not being able to give birth naturally. He brings up a good point.

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Are we -- in general -- becoming too dependent on synthetic means to deliver our babies? Some of us pump our bodies with Pitocin to bring labor on (when too often it really delays it or takes us to c-section). Are some of us too afraid of pushing and feel that major surgery is a better option? Are we being misinformed by certain doctors? Are we not trusting our abilities? Say no to Pitocin. Say no to an unnecessary c-section. We are women and we can birth our babies naturally. (In most cases.) This is what Dr. Odent is bringing to our attention.

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This made me think of the over-use of antibiotics and how there is a real fear that because it's in some of our foods and prescribed too often, it has set us up to be susceptible to superbugs that cannot be cured anymore due to our bodies' tolerance. I don't want to believe the same has happened with birth. I want to believe that this is all in the mindset of women. We must have our confidence to know that we can birth babies naturally.

Dr. Odent, who at 84 has had a long and impressive career -- he has had some wonderful and also questionable ideas in the past. He was a pioneer of the use of birthing pools in hospitals, he does home births, he believes in a woman's ability and has a history of low rates of intervention when it comes to the births he attends. However, he has also said that fathers shouldn't be in the delivery room and midwives shouldn't interfere too much. He mentioned how they should sit in the corner and knit, which seems to be quite an insult.

While no doctor is without controversy, perhaps if we just look at Odent's point -- that we are at risk to lose our ability to give birth naturally -- we can make positive strides to not letting that happen.

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In the forward to Antonella Gambotto-Burk's book, Mama: Love, Motherhood and Revolution, Odent said:

I believe that the human oxytocin system -- oxytocin being the hormone of love, fundamental to birth and bonding, even in adulthood -- is growing weaker. The future of the human capacity to give birth is at risk.

I don't believe he is doubting our natural ability. He is pointing out that because we doubt our ability and have doctors that doubt our ability, pushing Pitocin and scheduled c-sections that aren't necessary, we are in turn losing our superpower -- the superpower to give birth naturally. We are essentially erasing it from our list of things we can do, passing it down to future generations. Underused functions of our bodies will cease in future generations. The message is that we must have confidence in our power, our ability. We must trust that we can birth naturally. We need all doctors to be on board, too.

What do you think of Odent's comments? Do you think the overuse of synthetic hormones and surgeries will in turn impact our ability to naturally give birth in the future?

 

Image via Jason Corey/Flickr

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