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Making a Birth Decision

By Lisa Morgan

Choosing the place of birth (home, hospital, birth centre, tipi in the middle of the bush etc), the type of birth (waterbirth, landbirth, lotusbirth etc), and the support people (partner, friend, doula, midwife, doctor, pet cat etc) are typically primary decisions in birth preparation for most women.

However some women who want to homebirth or freebirth may have partners or third parties who disagree. This makes it difficult for those women to resolve their needs with their significant other, to make birth decisions.

I could talk about women's rights as I am a feminist and believe wholeheartedly in women's right to own their own bodies and sole authority over any decisions regarding use of their bodies. However in reality, this does little to address what women want.

Most women want their partners' support in birth. Some women may need the support of certain family members or friends according to their situation. In most cases, it is ideal for women to have this support, and as such it would be disrespectful to not acknowledge this need.

It would also be disrespectful to not acknowlege the desire to freebirth, as an actual need of women who express this desire. When it comes to birth, the line between "need" and "want" is blurry as there are usually reasons behind desires which translate into real needs. Futhermore, unmet needs can adversely impact how a birth goes.

To address the various difficulties in making birth decisions, this website offers a support section. It is designed for both partners needing tips on how to support birthing women; and for birthing women to get ideas for how to get their partner's support.


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