Today, with fireworks everywhere and millions celebrating the freedom to gather with friends and family, my thoughts turn to the freedom that mothers should have when it comes to pregnancy, birth, and baby. And the fact that we, as mamas, need to stand calmly – and confidently – to assert our freedom. I talked about that on today's MamaBaby Birthing call, and I'd love for you to listen in to the recording. Below that is an email I sent around this morning.
Stand strong, gentle mother, stand strong.
(NOTE: Want a Perfect Birth Plan Template? Use this template and step-by-step videos to write a birth plan that gets your birth team on your side for a beautiful birth experience! Get the kit here.)
My Independence Day Email
Subject: Your doctor does not “let” you stay pregnant or “take” your baby
Today is Independence Day in the US, and I am profoundly grateful for the blessings and freedom that I have today. But I worry very much about the words I hear pregnant women use…
“My doctor let me go to 41 weeks.”
“They took my baby.”
That second one is especially chilling to me and I hear it a lot. It actually makes me feel nauseated.
It is time to declare your independence – to declare your autonomy, your human rights, and your rights as a mother and as part of a mamababy pair.
YOU call the shots when it comes to your pregnancy, birth, and baby. That doesn't mean you won't consult with doctors, midwives, etc. But YOU make the choices. Be informed – and then listen to your heart, listen to your baby, and stand strong.
I'm not just talking about if you have an “overdue” pregnancy either (a term that's totally ridiculous)… women are bullied from the moment they pee on a stick and see two lines.
You make the decisions. Don't let them bully you. You and your little one will live with this experience for the rest of your lives. This is YOUR pregnancy, YOUR birth, and YOUR baby.
Happy Independence Day Mama!
I am an RN in a hospital women’s center and I came across your website while doing some research for my upcoming childbirth classes. Our hospital has not offered childbirth classes in a few years and even then they were only one afternoon a month and mainly consisted of a tour of the facility. I am a firm believer in patient rights, especially our mothers and babies. I live in a very conservative area and have to admit that I am a little nervous about the ob physicians and nurses reactions to what I talk about in my class. I believe that it is my duty to educate our expectant families on their rights. Women have the right to know pros and cons to every decision made by their physician. I word it that way because most of our mothers don’t realize that they have a choice. They have a voice in their care and what is or is not done. The decision is theirs NOT the physicians or the hospital staff.
I had an incident when a physician asked why a patient did not have iv fluids running. When I told him she didn’t want them, his reaction was “That is not an option.” I cringed at that response and walked away because she was not my patient. Since she had already delivered, I chose not to cause a scene by challenging his response. (He kind of has a god complex and my mama taught me to choose my battles wisely.) Besides, he is the one who disagrees most with my outlook on childbirth and I know he will come and talk to me when his patients start asking questions about their care.
You have helped reinforce what I want to do and what I know is the right thing to do. I want to show women they have a right to choose the type of childbirth experience that they want. I want to give women their independence!
I plan on sharing your website and look forward to reading your emails and listening to your podcasts.
Thank you for all that you do!!
Thank you so much for commenting! I am so glad that you know patients have rights (and yes, especially our mamas and babies!). It’s a tough thing to walk this road when you are in the middle of an establishment that’s not supportive – and even hostile. I am so grateful that you are willing to stand in this gap and help women understand that they do have the right to plan for a good childbirth experience – and to work with their baby to have it! Thank you for sharing the website and the podcast – let me know if I can help with anything. Thank you again for what you are doing for mamas and babies!!
How do I get a birth certificate? I had a natural birth. My baby is healthy and happy. My baby is 11 months old now. Any advice?
It’s hard to say exactly how to get a birth certificate, because it really depends on region. I would call your birth certificate registration office and ask them what they’ll need. If you had an unassisted birth, sometimes taking in your prenatal records (or confirmation of pregnancy if you happen to have it), plus witnesses who can sign for baby will work. If you had a birth with a midwife, I would ask her how she helps clients get a birth certificate. Calling the local office to find out what proofs and paperwork you need is the best plan 🙂