Fight For Your Rights To Home Birth
I’ve been contemplating how to write this, or even if I should. But I feel that it could be helpful, so in the pursuit of encouraging others.
Top 6 tips on getting your birth supported below.
So many of this sisterhood are not getting the birthing care they want and need – it’s bloody awful and is making me furious.
It’s not good enough and it really seems like Covid has been used as an excuse in so many areas to not offer quality care provision for birthing people.
In many areas they don’t even HAVE a home birth service.It’s complete and utter BS.
But, there is another story, one where you are heard, are validated, and are supported with the care you have requested.
Albeit after a bloody tough fight.
I don’t want to detract from the ladies in the Home Birth Support Group UK, who are fighting hard to get birth support and not receiving it.I don’t want to say wow I’m so lucky I have great care provision, because in reality I just live in a privileged area and won the postcode lottery.
My area never even pulled homebirth.
But I also want to tell this collective that sometimes – if you fight you can win.
I want to give hope to those of you just starting your journey into fighting for your birth rights, that there is a point to fighting back.
That it is possible to secure a planned supported homebirth even as a home vaginal birth after 2 caesareans). (HB2C).
I did fight, and have had at least 6 borderline abusive, discussions with consultants to get to this place, including the last one 2 weeks ago where I explicitly told him if I was contacted by them again (over the same lack of respect for preferences and their bullying over risks) before I was 42 weeks I would make a complaint for harassment.
After my adamant refusal (that I countered with actual facts and statistics – not just scary phrases and words) to accept their dates or their perceived safest mode of birth and battling with consultants and midwives and researching the evidence behind everything that they throw at you…
I now have a team I trust that are supporting my home birth.
But I really may not need to, the head of midwifery for the area has come forward to be my midwife and she is a real midwife – not a medwife, she is women centric, empowering and seemingly unflappable.
She hears me. She gets it.
During my home birth assessment visit they didn’t have an issue with anything.
I have specified a water birth, no vaginal examinations (VEs), my family and children will be home, I will have a doula present, etc…
There have been no arguments, no weird Covid rules like I have heard others of you talking about.
None of that “you can’t have entenox without a VE” abuse, none of that “no water birth because of Covid” or “ no children, and only one birth partner” absolute crap.
No restrictions whatsoever.
So at 38 weeks I am finally feeling safe and supported.
I finally have the care I want, need, and am entitled to.
So I urge you all to fight, to not allow them to coerce, manipulate or disempower you.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS NOT ALLOWED.
Your body, your rules!!!
My top tips for winning your battle
1 – knowledge is power, read, research and learn as much as you can, whatever perceived risks they are going to use against you be armed with the actual statistics, they say high risk of uterine scar rupture- you say 1.30 percent is not a high chance.
2 – read empowering books – I recommend Milli Hills “give birth like a feminist, Hollie De Cruzs “your baby, your birth”, and “Home birth on your own terms” by Heather Baker.
3- actually know your rights
4 – stay calm and collected. They will question your capacity if you act emotionally, also It’s actually quite entertaining for a consultant to get so cross by your calm unwavering persistence that they get in a flap and put the phone down.
5- surround yourself with positivity – homebirth groups on line, affirmation cards, friends and family who are on your side, whatever works for you and actively repel negativity.
6- Believe in your awesome self and your bodies ability to birth that baby in a quiet calm peaceful way.
Big love mama warriors. 💪💕🙌🏻
Powerful words – we have been fighting for birth rights in our groups and via They Said To Me, and we will keep on doing it – until every birthing woman and person has their birth rights respected.
Samantha Gadsden walks with women on their life’s journeys. She is an experienced Doula, based close to Cardiff in South Wales, mother to 4 children and wife to Eddie, more information can be found on her facebook page, Samantha Gadsden Doula and her website, Caerphilly Doula. SOS Doula, Telephone and online support is always available.
If you are interested in writing a guest blog or sharing a life or birth story please feel free to contact her HERE.
“Your Journey, Your Body, Your Baby, Your Birth“