In the United States women have freedom of choice or the right to choose, however they don’t always have the freedom to give birth.
What does that mean?
A woman can choose an abortion and often it is a covered benefit under her health insurance, but when it comes to choosing to have her baby then her choices are limited.
Health insurance begins to cover less.
The following are birth choices that are limited options for pregnant women:
- Doula Care
- Midwifery Care
- Water Birth
- VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean)
When women go into labor they face other challenges to their rights and freedom, such as being confined to the bed and not being allowed to eat. Also, the following interventions are sometimes given to pregnant or laboring women without them knowing and understanding that alternatives exist and that they have the right to refuse these:
- Vaginal Exam
- Stripping of Membranes
- Amniotomy (The manual breaking of the water sac with a tool)
- Internal Monitors (Inserted vaginally to assess baby)
Pregnant women are strong and capable of knowing and deciding what is in their best interests and that of their baby’s. For certainly she has to weigh and consider many options and make numerous decisions in order to raise her child to an adult.
She has that same wisdom to guide her to making birth decisions, and she should be treated as such.