Leaving NCB

I’ve had absolutely horrible experiences with childbirth, and midwives in particular. (here is a link to the story for anyone who is interested). Luckily my child and I made it out alive, though I was very damaged psychologically by the experience. I may have been damaged physically too, I don’t know for sure because I am too afraid of medical examinations to obtain follow up care. I don’t know when I will be ready.

I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on the Natural Childbirth/Home Birth movement, and what could have been done to spare me from making such a horrible mistake. I wasn’t open to talking about my choice to use a birth center and direct entry midwives, and I was very sensitive about it during my pregnancy. I felt that a lot of the anti NCB/homebirth websites were cruel, and I still have that impression from time to time. Midwives and NCB advocates have their own cruelties in their communities as well, though I did not recognize them as cruelties until later on. Hindsight is 20/20.

People who used to be a part of NCB and left aren’t visible in anti-NCB circles (unless of course they lost their child). People like me can offer understanding and perspective to mothers considering midwives or NCB. I don’t judge anyone for picking homebirth or midwives, I have an intimate understanding of the reasons women choose NCB because I chose it. This blog will be a safe place for mothers or moms to be to explore their feelings and options. I hope I spare someone else the trouble that I ended up going through as a result of the natural childbirth movement.

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3 thoughts on “Leaving NCB”

  1. Congratulations on your new blog! You might include “What Ifs and Fears are Welcome” by Doula Dani, “Safer Midwifery for Michigan” by Sara Snyder (she also established a website for education about safe birth), “Mothering Many Feet” by Bambi Chapman, and The Adequate Mother (an anesthesiologist). I also like “Awaiting Juno” by Mrs. W which is more informed consent focused, and “Mama Doc,” by another OB. All of these have the calm and factual tone that I think you are looking for. (and I try to recommend to folks who are put off by SOB’s tone).

  2. “I wasn’t open to talking about my choice to use a birth center and direct entry midwives, and I was very sensitive about it during my pregnancy. ”

    This was me. I chose a birth center, and I had a good outcome after a hospital transfer, but I just got lucky. It could have easily been a disaster with unqualified midwives. I can’t believe I risked my baby like that. When I finally started reading SOB and figured out I’d made a terrible mistake, it was like losing my religion. It was very disarming to come out of the bubble with lots of soul searching and having to question all the “facts” in my head about childbirth. I hope your blog can provide a soft landing for others leaving NCB, how nice! Some reasons why I bought into NCB is that the midwives told me they “are experts in normal, low-risk birth.” But they deliever so few babies a year, they can’t possibly be experts in any kind of birth. I was also in denial about transfer to the hospital being a possibility. I also read a lot of NCB books full of misinformation.

    I feel so much shame for this poor judgement. I have several family members who are NCB believers (another reason I was into it) who don’t know of my new disdain for NCB, and I feel like I am in the closet to some extent. I wish I was brave like you and put my feelings out there, in addition to exposing NCB lies.

    My midwives conducted a timely transport, but that’s about the only good thing I can say about them. They never told me about the risks, which are numerous and dire, and they provided substandard care, based on the AAP policy statement on homebirth (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/04/24/peds.2013-0575).

    I am so sorry for the terrible way you were treated. I actually think all non-CNM midwives are awful for the fact that they pretend they are qualified to deliver babies. What could be more evil?

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