Mamas on Bedrest: Introducing One World Birth

August 31st, 2011

Mamas on Bedrest, introducing One World Birth.

One World Birth is an online continuous stream documentary created and produced by Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford. The concept is to present international experts on normal birth and to make information on normal birth readily available to the public. They have created a video trailer promoting the site and the official launch is tomorrow, September 1, 2011.

So what the heck does normal birth have to do with Mamas on Bedrest??? That’s a fair question. Many of us who experience high risk pregnancies also experience the most invasive and (traumatic) mechanized births. We’re already feeling guilty for being high risk in the first place, we question ourselves incessantly as to whether or not our situation isn’t somehow our fault. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, having a high risk pregnancy is not your fault! And having a baby who has physical and/or developmental challenges as a result is also not your fault. How can videos and commentary on “normal births” pertain to us?

As I was watching the trailer I was struck by the comments that “women are losing touch with, and their confidence in, their ability to give birth.” Several women who had adverse birth outcomes spoke out about their experiences and how they felt offended by the statement. The person moderating the trailer comments says that many issues will be addressed in upcoming footage and I for one will be interested to see how they address management of high risk pregnant women and the complicated health issues that we bring to the table. I don’t believe that we Mamas on Bedrest are any less in tune with our bodies than our less complicated pregnant counterparts. If anything, we have heightened awareness of every twitter and flutter going on! I am really looking forward to the responses on this topic.

Overall, I think that this is an interesting project, worthy of a look. I can’t make any hard and fast recommendations because there really isn’t that much to comment upon in the trailer. My hope is that once the site is up and running it will be another place from which all pregnant women can gather information to make wise health care choices.

I do want to encourage Mamas on Bedrest to lend your voices to the discussion. As I said previously, we experience some of the most medically invasive pregnancies and births of all women. Ask your questions and share your concerns. See what this panel of “experts” has to say. How does their advice compare to what your OB or perinatologist has to say? How do their words resonate with you? I find that in situations such as this, where there are often such polarizing views (OB vs. Doula/midwife), you are able to glean useful information from both poles and come up with a workable solution in the middle that suites you.

Mamas on Bedrest I also hope that you will lend your voices to the discussion because so often our stories are not heard. Not everyone will have a transformative, empowering, “Lights shining from the heavens” birth experience. Heck, many of us aren’t even able to experience all of the “joys of pregnancy”! The birth world needs to hear from us.

I understand this movement to drive birth out of the hands of surgeons and back into the realm of normal (whatever that is). In uncomplicated situations birth should be a “hands off” process where nature takes its course. But if the mama is like me, someone had better intervene and pretty damned quickly or, as could have been the case during my first delivery, my daughter and I may not have made it. How do we balance the need for less intervention for the majority while making provision for those minority situations in which things just don’t go right? Are we placing too much emphasis on labor and delivery and not enough on prenatal supportive care (my personal opinion)? Yes, yes, I want to hear what these experts have to say about women like you and me.

One World Birth is going to be a useful website for thousands, maybe even millions of women to learn more about the birth process and the choices that they have. Let’s make sure that Mamas on Bedrest are included amongst that number and that our wants, needs and issues are addressed as well.

I can’t wait to hear your stories and opinions. Share them below, especially if you post a comment on the One World Birth website. We Mamas on Bedrest want to support our own. Perhaps you’re more comfortable commenting amongst your peers. Feel free to do so on our Facebook Page. And as always, follow us on Twitter, @mamasonbedrest to hear what we’re up to and our perspective.

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