Unassisted Childbirth

Unassisted Childbirth Why an Unassisted Childbirth (UC) or Homebirth is the Superior Choice over Hospital Birth for the Vast Majority of Women. A woman in the United States today has three options for giving birth.
  • Hospital Delivery
  • Midwife Home or Birthing Center Delivery
  • Unassisted Childbirth
Although all choices can be appropriate depending on the circumstances, the vast majority of babies can be brought into this world at home without the assistance of a midwife or doctor. We will show it is without question the safest and sanest option. Hospital Delivery The first location most people think of for giving birth is of course, the hospital. The hospital is probably the best place to be if you are having a heart attack or if you were in a car accident but the worst place you can be if you are trying to give birth after having a healthy, uneventful pregnancy with no complications. If you have been told your entire life that the only place to have a baby is the hospital, you probably have a hard time digesting what we are telling you. You may automatically object with scenarios you have been brainwashed with. We were all brainwashed. Don't feel bad. You have the opportunity through reading this to educate yourself and seek the best possible care for yourself and your child. What exactly is wrong with a hospital birth? Primarily, interventions. Interventions that are, in the vast majority of cases, totally unnecessary and totally harmful. For some reason hospitals and their personnel only consider something unsafe if it causes death or permanent quantifiable disability or damage (ie: if they can be sued). Depriving a fetus of oxygen for example can obviously cause damage but since the damage cannot be measured or proven unless they kill the baby or cause a cerebral palsy, unconscionable obstetricians and midwives continue to regularly use interventions that always compromise the babies oxygen. Picture a neonatal nurse covering your newborn's face with a pillow two minutes on, two minutes off for twelve hours or twenty four hours or more. Ridiculous right? She would go to jail, lose her job and license. But when medical "professionals" do the same thing to a baby in utero nobody questions them. Pregnant women trust that the doctor or midwife is doing what is absolutely necessary. When in a horrifying percentage of the time they are suffocating the baby for their own convenience. Interventions include labor induction, fetal and maternal monitoring, epidurals, forced pushing, and C-sections. These are just some of the interventions and all are harmful to the mother, the fetus, or both. Unfortunately you cannot escape the interventions by using a midwife in a hospital setting. Once you are "on their turf", just like obstetricians, they feel they can do anything they want to you despite verbal or written directions to the contrary. In a hospital they will induce, perform episiotomies, and pretty much do everything an obstetrician does except a C-Section. They are sell outs, not to be trusted. A midwife in a hospital is nothing more than a wolf in sheep's clothing. A wolf who didn't go to medical school mind you. Keep in mind that the majority of doctors and midwives have been brainwashed as well and they actually believe the bunk they are telling people. This does not excuse their behavior. They are torturing, mutilating, butchering, and suffocating innocent women and children. This is beyond inexcusable. It is outrageous. We would like to think that they pay attention to facts and current studies since it is their livelihood but apparently once they have a belief in place they will cling to it no matter what the evidence. The most important lesson, therefore, is to educate yourself. Don't believe anything they tell you. They often don't know what they are talking about or don't care that what they are telling you is false. If you have a normal low-risk pregnancy then please seriously consider avoiding the hospital at all costs. Make the hospital a place to go when something goes wrong, not the place to go to ensure that something will go wrong. Every time you get in your car you risk getting in an accident. But the overwhelming odds are that you will be safe and accident free. You still drive, you don't live in fear, you don't require police escorts everywhere you go, you drive yourself with confidence and you take common sense precautions like using seat belts and not using cell phones. Think of this analogy anytime someone says "what if something goes wrong?" when you talk about home birth. Midwife Assisted Childbirth The second place a woman can choose to give birth is a birthing center or at home with a midwife. This option is far and away a better choice than the hospital. Many studies have shown this option to be as safe if not safer than a hospital delivery. The problem again lies in the interventions when nature should be left well enough alone. Some wonderful midwives have trust in a woman's body and patience to wait out a natural childbirth. If you know of one of those spectacular women, congratulations. They are a rare and wonderful breed. We mean midwives that are willing to wait days for labor to start without any pelvic exams or "natural" inductions. Those midwives are extremely rare, valuable and very hard to find. Many midwives will intervene for a variety of reasons ranging from guidelines they must adhere to before sending a client to the hospital to impatience at the birth process. Some midwives even admit they will perform unnecessary and dangerous procedures such as using Pitocin or immediate cord clamping because they want to go home as soon as possible. Whatever the reason, these interventions are not in your best interest. They are not in the best interest of your child. Do you care even a little bit about your doctor or midwives schedule? Is their convenience worth compromising the safety of yourself or your child? It is ludicrous to even make that comparison. Of course you can (and should) fight back and argue and kick and scream and yell and rip out IVs and check yourself out of the hospital or fire your midwife at the 11th hour but wouldn't it be easier to choose the third option? Unassisted Childbirth The third option, unassisted childbirth is not new to the world, but the idea is likely new to you. Proponents of unassisted childbirth or UC feel that a woman's body is perfectly capable of delivering the baby and does best with no interference at all from outside "help". Childbirth should be a private, magical moment (just like making love to create the life in the first place). What a delightful and liberating option! It makes so much sense. This may be heartbreaking for those who have already lived through a horrific hospital birth or even a moderately invasive midwife birth. You may feel twice as violated knowing what your gut already told you. Nobody should be staring at your vagina and violating it repeatedly. Unnecessary. Is it really that far off from rape when you know that you didn't need to lay on your back with your legs spread? The reality is too horrible for many people to face. If you are pregnant you can still save your privacy, your dignity, and your safety. If you know someone who is pregnant by all means educate them. At the very least tell them this is a possibility. This is without a doubt, hands down the best option. Read the research, study the evidence. Prepare yourself for contingencies. Educate yourself. Go to Laura Shanley's fantastic website www.unassistedchildbirth.com for UC stories and empowering information. Better yet buy her book. Get all the books on natural childbirth you can get your hands on. Read Ina May Gaskin and Henci Goer. Watch The Business of Being Born and read the book Pushed. Get them from the library, beg, borrow, or steal them, but just read them. Plenty of women wish that they would have had this information even as late as the morning of their delivery and they would have NEVER gone to the hospital. It is not too late even if you are already in the hospital. Women have checked themselves out when faced with dangerous interventions and you can too. Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/bbaltimore/43118436/

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  • Mary Shade RN
    Mary Shade RN

    Since our original author hesitates to share with us evidence-based information, you can start with this report:

    Sakala, C. & Corry, M.P. (2008). Evidence-based maternity care: What it is and what it can achieve. The Milbank Memorial Fund. Retrieved April 7, 2009 from

  • Natural Childbirth
    Natural Childbirth

    Since the issue is unnecessary interventions, doesn’t it make more sense to compare maternal death rates in high interventions countries (US) with low intervention countries (the Netherlands) rather than comparing it to birth in a third world country with poor nutrition that leads to deformed pelvises, unhygienic conditions and lack of clean water?

    Nowhere on this site do we suggest that women with a true need to birth in a hospital should birth at home. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of women do not need to be hospitalized to give birth and for those healthy women, homebirth and yes, even unassisted homebirth is a very real and intervention free option.

  • Christina

    Great, now where is the evidence to support the drival you spout?

    All you have to do is compare the maternal death rate during childirth in mothers using hospitals to give birth and those in countries where hospital care is not available to realise that unasisted birth is a huge step backwards.

  • Natural Childbirth
    Natural Childbirth


    Hi Mary! Thank you so much for writing! I am always delighted to hear from those in the industry (particularly those who are interested in making positive changes).

    I am standing on the shoulders of the outspoken, brilliant, brave leaders who have brought natural childbirth to our attention before me. If you read any book by Henci Goer, Ina May Gaskin or Pushed by Jennifer Block, you will find countless studies to back up what I am saying. I am shouting their relentless search for truth from the rooftops and to do the same research and pore through the same studies would be redundant.

    More importantly, the issues surrounding medically managed childbirth that I find the most disturbing and cruel, cannot and will not ever be studied. Birthrape for example will never be studied (who would sign up for that random trial??) but as a personal survivor of birthrape I do not need a study to know it is a blatant and horrible human rights violation.

    I also find it interesting that the burden of proof should be on me, when I believe the burden of proof should be on the medical industry for the interventions they are performing. I will be happy to regurgitate the countless studies already covered by natural childbirth activists if ANYONE in the “business of birthing” can provide me with a shred of evidence to support episiotomy rates, cesarean rates, the safety of cesareans over VBACs, the safety of epidurals on babies, the improved outcomes of using continuous EFM, the safety of narcotics and Pitocin on newborns, the short and long term safety of immediate cord clamping, the standard birthing position in hospitals, etc. They will never, ever provide the results of those studies because they do not exist. Yet they continue the practice of doing these “things” to innocent women and babies in the name of convenience and profit.

    I, like countless other women, simply want to avoid humiliating, unnecessary and potentially dangerous interventions. Since “they” do not listen(and perhaps you can do something to change that), I choose to birth at home.

    What I think would be a more valuable contribution to our discussion, is for you as an insider, to give us tips for having a natural childbirth in a hospital setting. Many women either cannot or should not give birth at home, but they still want to attempt a “natural birth” in a hospital setting. You know as well as I do what happens as soon as those poor women walk in the door. Any advice?

  • Mary

    Where are your references and evidence to what you claim to be true? I am a labor and delivery nurse and agree with you 150%. A group of L&D nurses recently gathered together to address everything you have discussed in this artice. We are currently trying to gather evidenced-based information that will hopefully bring forth changes in the way women are cared for during their pregnancies and while they labor to deliver their babies in the hospital where I am currently employed.
    What studies do you refer to in your discussion? If you have them, or access to them I would very much appreciate you sharing them with me and the rest of the world. I would love to be able to share any documented evidence-based information you may have regarding natural childbirth. You can contact me at the email address I have supplied, or at shadem@readinghospital.org.
    Your opinions on this matter count, but you need the evidence to back up what you are saying…especially if you want to change the minds of medical professionals and the way they practice caring for women and their unborn children.

    thank you,
    Mary Shade, R.N.

  • Elizabeth

    I agree, Erica. Health is an industry. It employs doctors and nurses (like Mary). It’s the number 1 reason to go to the hospital today. Natural birth advocates are, however, not selling anything. Some of them (like myself) sell books, but our information and expertise is free. We are not motivated to have our opinions in order to profit. We want to empower women. We want women to stop being traumatized by their hospital experiences. I know this comment is a little late, but I wanted to add my two cents because the topic warrants it.

  • Erica

    UC mommas are not selling anything, that would be the job of a doctor, nurse or midwife. We birth as we please because we understand birth on a more complete level, spiritually and physically. There will never be a study on the safety of UC unless one of us funds it and publishes it ourselves. You see, we are educated on the facts we have gained through research, our own. We believe we have enough credibility and sovereignty to come to our own conclusions, and create our own realities. It is truly empowering, and I look forward to rejoicing with all woman as they step over to the other side.

  • Mary Shade RN
    Mary Shade RN

    In order for you to convince women to “buy” into the idea of natural childbirth you need to educate them on facts based on evidence through research, not through opinion.
    We live in an era where people base their lives on technology- the interventions you tote as assault and rape cannot be labeled as such. Introducing terms empowerment and successful outcomes may persuade women to at least consider the possibilities of what natural childbirth can do for them.
    As a stated in the report I included in my previous post, healthcare in this country has become astronomically expensive. Maternity care is the most expensive of any other care provided in the hospital settings because of the interventions currently overused. The use of natural childbirth is a way to accomplish a reduction in the cost of healthcare in the USA.

    Please present the facts calmly, realistically, and in terms that women can understand.

  • Natural Childbirth
    Natural Childbirth

    @Mary Shade RN:

    Thank you for the link Mary. That is an excellent resource. Please note the section titled “overused interventions”. That section is precisely why healthy, low risk women are choosing to birth at home. Providers are not listening to birthing mothers when we say “no” (and that is assuming we have been given adequate information or even asked for permission).

    The things that happen in to birthing mothers in hospitals without informed consent generally meets the definition of assault and rape. Why? For convenience and profit. I GUARANTEE you that more women would choose to birth in hospital for the backup surgical obstetric team if they were listened to. Period.

  • Chelsea

    I am not even a mother yet and I am planning to have an unassisted birth. I don’t believe I’m holier than thou, I just believe that if someing natural is happening that I can deal with it in a natural way. Yes, if there is a major complication I would not object to hospital help, however, I’m pretty sure I know my body better than any doctor. I was with my mom through 3 births and even just observing the doctors in the hospital was horrific. They gave no respect to my mother and made her do things she didn’t want and later regretted. Whenever my husband and I get pregnant, it’s our child. No matter what a hospital or doctor or whatever tells us, I am pretty confident that no matter what involvement I have from the medical community my child is making it to this world with or without their help. Keep positive thoughts. I AM WOMAN! I AM STRONG!

  • admin

    Hi Pauline – thanks for the comment and best of luck with your blissful UC. My second birth was a UC and I found that I had to keep my plans to myself because of the terribly negative people. Keep your pregnancy glorious and don’t let the negativity in. Please come back and tell us how it went. :)

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