No one deserves this type of birth:
You Deserve A Quicker, Easier Birth.
You don’t have to become more to have an incredible time. You can be yourself AND have a really great birth experience. There is only one reason why I share this article. To help you see what’s not explicitly written in the data: hope. 😊 You are not destined to be one of these statistics. Birth is not broken, but some things are. If you can see that our culture’s way of giving birth isn’t working, then you can look for an alternative. As you’re reading through, think about:
- What is God’s way for women to give birth?
- What is my culture’s way for women to give birth?
- What is my way to give birth?
Let’s take a look at our culture’s way of giving birth…
How Many Women Have an Undisturbed Birth?
My research indicates that 9 out of 10 women in Australia have at least one medical intervention while giving birth, and lots of women have multiple interventions. Synthesised from the Australian Mothers and Babies Report Data, this means that more than 9 out of 10 birthing women probably have at least one of the following procedures:
- vaginal examination (to estimate labour progress)
- induction (to try and start labour)
- epidural (to give pain relief)
- augmentation (to speed up labour)
- episiotomy (to surgically cut perineum)
- instrumental birth (to pull baby out with forceps or vacuum), and/or
- cesarean (to deliver baby surgically).
It doesn’t matter too much where you look in higher-income countries like the United States, United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Canada etc. the birth statistics are comparable.
Why Does It Matter If Interventions Happen?
For about the last twenty years, we’ve known that one medical intervention usually leads to another. In this study, the cascade of interventions “most often started with epidural in early labour” and then labour “augmentation most often followed after a short interval”. The study concluded: as interventions increase, so does labour duration and cesarean section deliveries. Another study agrees. They found that each intervention in labour increased the rates of cesarean section birth. To have a quicker, easier birth (and better recovery), we need to find ways to avoid the first intervention.
How Do Women Go Into Labour?
In Australia, more than 4 out of 10 women (43.2%) go into labour spontaneously (naturally), more than 3 in 10 women (34.2%) have an induction, and about 2 out of 10 women (22.5%) have an elective cesarean section and therefore never go into labour.
How Do Women Give Birth?
In Australia, more than 5 out of 10 women (52%) had a vaginal birth (non-instrumental). Almost 5 out of 10 women (48%) had a medically-assisted birth—either cesarean section (35.3%) or an instrumental vaginal delivery with forceps or vacuum extraction (12.7%).
How Do Women Go Not Tearing?
Of those who give birth vaginally, almost 5 out of 10 women (46.5%) do not tear at all, or get a small cut that doesn’t need stitches—more than 5 out of 10 women (53.6%) sustain tear or surgical cut that requires stitches.
You Are Destined For A Wonderful Birth
If you happen to be reading this and not yet pregnant, now might be the time when you reconsider your whimsical notions of starting a family, right? Adoption could seem much more logical! I can assure you that our culture’s way of giving birth doesn’t need to be your story. I wanted to share these statistics so women could see how out of sync our medicalised way of giving birth is.
We are elegantly designed to give birth; our man-made birth systems, not so much! I think we achieve these birth outcomes in spite of our culture’s medicalised setup. In fact, this research reveals the robustness of our design.
Delivering in a hospital, like 97% of Aussie women do, does not stop you from experiencing a quicker, easier birth—it doesn’t guarantee it either.
You’ve already begun the first step: realising you can. Once you realise there’s more on offer than “at least you have a healthy baby”, then you can focus your energy towards a quicker, easier birth.
We talk more about how to find your authentic birth desires, unblock limiting beliefs and align your body in the Original Design Workshop. It walks you through God’s blueprint for childbirth so you can have a quicker, easier birth.
Stephanie Renee Cluff