The primary argument in favour of unassisted birth is that we humans are also animals who instinctually know what to do to give birth and need no assistance from others in doing so. But for some, the thought of a woman birthing herself, without any help or back-up, is flat-out dangerous or irresponsible.
With modern technology comes modern interventions and techniques that warrant further discussion. Especially when it comes to birth. Through discussion and research we have come to see the inherent risks and benefits of practices like caesarean sections or the use of drug interventions. Another area that is starting to receive a lot of discussion is cord blood banking.
It's been a while since I shared a reprint of ReBirth and I admit part of that has been that it's something I couldn't look at for a while after losing my mother. I have read each and every volume with her in mind and we've had discussions about some of the pieces she wrote or were written by others.
Like it or not, pregnant women and the children they bear are the guinea pigs of medicine. For us and our children, it is safe until proven otherwise (despite how often that otherwise crops up) and yet our faith in the medical establishment as a whole keeps many people from speaking out.
The following is an email sent to Professor Elizabeth Armstrong of Princeton University after she wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times on the use of formula in hospitals. I believe they both make wonderful points and hope more people consider all the factors that can help women and babies have the best start in life.