Natural Home Birth: The Often Overlooked Option
Audience: Healthy women investigating and weighing options for their birth plan
Argumentative Research Essay
Professor Vincent Piturro
July 24, 2013
Comedian Jim Gaffigan describes home birth as: “Home birth means you take the hundreds of years of medical knowledge and just throw that away. And you wing it! Hey, I can’t program a VCR. I’m here to help. Where would you like me to stand terrified?” This is hilarious but home birth doesn’t have to be be this way. Reproduction is one of the most important and natural biological processes. Giving birth, for many of earth's creatures, is part of that process. We are part of that process. Humans have been changing and manipulating the natural world as long as we have been on this planet. As a consequence most of us in the industrialized world live a life very separate from nature. This separation now extends to most of our basic innate human behaviors, including how we are born into this world. The act of giving birth has changed dramatically over the last few hundred years. This history has been horrific, bizarre, and further and further from natural. Many strange beliefs were once passed down from generation to generation such as the belief that the womb “wondered all over the body, bobbing up and down like a yo-yo”(Epstien 13). Doctors used to believe “that during pregnancy the menstrual blood flowed upward and turned into breast milk” (Epstien 10). Most of these crazy beliefs have been dismissed these days, thank goodness. Yet, many of the methods that came from this time still remain common place in most hospitals.
Humans are now more educated about pregnancy and birth than our ancestors were. But 3
where does that leave us now.? Giving birth in a hospital on your back with the assistance of synthetic drugs has become the norm in the United States. A...