You know what I don’t understand?

Hardcore natural childbirth advocates are all about “mama intuition,” and “you know your body best,” but the second someone questions the safety of home birth for themselves, they instead say, “trust birth.”

I am so frustrated today because one of the women on my doula list wrote about how she is feeling anxiety about her choice to have a homebirth and thinking maybe it wasn’t the right decision. Are any of the other doulas telling her to listen to her intuition? NO. We have, “The more you learn about the inherent safety of a healthy pregnancy and birth, the calmer you will feel,”  and “Trust your body and yourself.”

16 thoughts on “You know what I don’t understand?

  1. As a homebirth midwife, I’d encourage that woman to seek a hospital birth. If a woman’s instincts are guiding to the hospital, I don’t want to attend her birth at home. She needs to be at the hospital to birth, to feel safe. I’d think that most likely, the homebirth would end up in a transport. so, please encourage her and support her to follow her intuition and find where she feels safe to birth her baby.

  2. What is intuition though? I’ve given that a lot of thought in the past, and come to the conclusion that it doesn’t exist. We have to make decisions based on the information we have: if we don’t have all the information we need, well, it’s a crapshoot. So then we make the decision we feel most comfortable/safe with.
    If a woman is concerned that a homebirth will not go well, then going to hospital might allay her fears.

    Let’s say she goes to the hospital and needs some intervention. Was it intuition that led her to that decision? How could she have known there would be a problem? Her concern about a problem won’t cause a problem (I think some people believe that thinking bad things causes bad things). But her concern led her to be in the right place at the right time. I don’t know, maybe that IS intuition, but what if she’d made the opposite call and decided intuition says to stay home? Let’s say she has the same problem- then she’d be beating herself up for following her wrong intuition, and what’s the point of intuition if it’s going to lead you astray?

    As far as birth goes, it’s pretty much chance. You may know some things ahead of time, like the baby’s position or approximate size, but nothing else is predictable. At that point, any decisions are based on a guess. Like the baby’s sex–some women say they just KNEW (or intuited)the sex of the baby–and some of them were wrong.

    • “”some women say they just KNEW (or intuited)the sex of the baby–and some of them were wrong.”

      A friend who is in her early nineties, and the veteran of 6 births tried to guess what sex my baby would be by examining the shape of my belly.

      After she had gone through the old wives’ criteria, she wryly remarked “I think it will be a girl, but I’ve been wrong before”. I had to giggle.

  3. I think there is some validity to intuition, but not in the sense that it is some unknowable thing. I think some women and men are good at picking up on different things in their environment that they don’t know they are picking up on and call it intuition. Things that might have led this woman to intuitively think she should go to the hospital…she was wasn’t feeling good, maybe her baby wasn’t moving as much, some chemical imbalance that then leads her to feel “off”. There is so much that we don’t know, particularly at the level of the cells and chemicals that I would hesitate to call intuition completely bogus. The problem is, we don’t have a good idea of what causes these feelings.

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