In some parts of the world, childbirth is still a scary process and baby’s birth day may also be their only day on this Earth. In a world where there are still dangerous places to give birth, I’m thankful for having safe deliveries of my own.
No matter how frustrated I become over hospital and OB practices regarding birth choices, I’m thankful for the miracles many hospitals and staff perform for babies and mothers who need it.
Both of my children were born in hospitals – hospitals that supported my desire to have an unmedicated vaginal birth. I felt connected with my body in ways I’d never experienced before.
I was made to do this, I told myself. My body knows what to do.
With each birth I felt empowered and in complete awe at what my body was capable of doing. My first labor caught me a little by surprise and I spent far too much time at the hospital. Afterwards I was sore, hungry, exhausted, and elated. It took several days for my body to recover so that normal activities such as going to the bathroom did not hurt.
With my second pregnancy, I had a doula at my side throughout my labor and delivery. We were anxiously anticipating labor to begin. Once it did, I stayed home as long as possible…a little too long! Xander came close to being delivered on the side of the road or in the hospital lobby. He came fast once I had a room, and my body trembled for quite some time afterwards. I was tired and elated, though more energized than last time. My recovery was much quicker – I felt quite “normal” by the next morning.
Both of my babies were put to the breast within mere hours of being born, suckling their first meal outside of the womb. Each time I was overcome with emotions. I allowed the staff to do their routine exams, again thankful for standby medical care in case my babies were in need.
I’m blessed to live in a place where I can have safe, natural births. I’m blessed to have an OB and a hospital that respects my desire for them to be “hands off” while I labor – only becoming part of the process where I need them: delivery and the first 24-48 hours.
Save the Children – State of the World’s Mothers Report
The State of the World’s Mothers (SOWM) report is Save the Children’s signature annual publication, which compiles global statistics on the health of mothers and children, and uses them to produce rankings of nations within three groupings corresponding to varying levels of economic development. they have produced the reports annually since the year 2000. Though the core report indices are the same every year, each year there is a new feature or story angle added to it. In 2013, the new feature is the Birth Day Risk Index — the index compares first-day death rates for babies in 186 countries to identify the safest and most dangerous places to be born.
You might be surprised that 1 million babies die on their birth day each year. Even more surprising (to me at least): More U.S. babies die on their birth day than in rest of industrialized world. The U.S. only ranks as the 30th safest country to give birth in. See the full rankings and report.
Video: Jennifer Garner, Rachel Zoe, Alyson, Hannigan and Jennifer Connelly are in a Save the Children video talking about babies’ first moments.
I think sometimes we take for granted how safe childbirth is for many of us, though one could argue that some hospital and doctor practices are endangering the process… even here in the United States.
Every mother and every child deserve a safe delivery.
This information is being shared as part of a Social Good Moms campaign. I have not received any compensation for this post.