This is what I want to say to every young woman in the world: your birth is the most important event in shaping your life as a mother. It is imperative that you be properly cared for, nurtured and, in this culture, educated. You need a loving midwife, because the effects of the birth year—positive or negative—will affect your whole life, your baby’s whole life, and indeed society, as your decisions reverberate through herstory. Even with good midwifery care, prenatal self-care is essential—this is what you do between your visits with your midwife.
If you think you cannot afford the midwife of your choice, because maybe insurance doesn’t cover her or maybe you have no insurance, please think again. Even as an out-of-pocket expense, it is nothing compared to a traumatic birth year. As I sit at my desk and read the many birth stories that women submit to us, I read of the trauma and pain they have endured and realize that loving midwifery care may be the single most important thing we can do as a society. Many of the stories we receive are of a horrendous first birth, after which the mother goes on to have a miraculous second birth with a midwife. The cost of a midwife’s care is the best insurance in the world, at any price.
If you must go to the hospital be sure to get yourself a doula, because in almost every hospital birth you need an advocate and a protector. It is a sad testament to what is going on this world, but it is true.