Kneelingwoman hits it out of the park again!
I may not agree with Kneelingwoman on lots of things, but she certainly has some amazing things to say. From Mothering in the Mainstream
Midwifery is not seen by most women as a "health care option" for maternity care as much as it is viewed as a lifestyle choice; most women don't feel that they can choose a Midwife and homebirth and reject any of the other "parenting" choices that go along for the ride. This is not the case in many other countries where Midwifery is both more solidly integrated into the health care system and not so aligned with what is perceived as a "counterculture" choice, if I can still use that term. Homebirth Midwifery in the U.S. is laden with a parenting agenda that, again, most women don't find either appealing, workable, or, in some situations, such as choosing against immunizations or co-sleeping; socially or legally, safe.
The most compelling part of the post for me is this:
... the most pernicious and painful aspect of hearing a midwife ask the question "why should we care about the mainstream" is over the emotional and relational damage done to, and between, women when they get the impression, as they too often do from our Midwifery community; that their more conventional choices in birth and parenting are viewed as substandard by Midwives and Homebirth parents. They feel criticized and put down when they don't birth at home or breastfeed and they feel that their choices aren't respected. There are, of course, many mainstream parents who equally disdain our ideas and choices but, the simple fact is; we're the one's trying to gain a foothold here; not them. If our way of presenting our care is being overwhelmingly rejected, and it is, then we own some part of that problem.
Kneelingwoman's personal experience of loving and caring for her medical fragile babies informs and adds value to everything she writes:
I have come to the conclusion that an essential part of Midwifery training should involve spending 12 hours in the NICU at a major, metropolitian Children's Hospital and another 12 hours just sitting in the main lobby; watching all the parents', babies and children enter and leave; families who are not "home birth" families and women who may not even have the luxury of holding a baby to bottle feed, let alone breastfeed because their baby is too sick to move.........in homebirth midwifery there is shocking lack of perspective about how the "rest of the world lives" that I think is more than hindering us; it's crippling our development as a true Profession because our chosen world is too narrow and we are too rejecting of the values of the majority of women and families in our country.
These are powerful, important points that should be read by every midwife. Someone give that woman a book contract!