In an op-ed in the New York Time’s Room for Debate, I argue that moms and dads should be allowed to photograph, video, and record the birth of their baby. The op-ed is generating interesting comments.
Parents want to photograph birth because birth is an amazing, beautiful event that profoundly changes your life. Of course parents want to capture these special moments.
But the sad thing is that some hospitals want to ban cameras in the labor and delivery rooms, afraid that they will then be held liable when mistakes that are made are captured on film.
When a baby or a mother dies it is not necessarily the fault of the doctor. But at the same time, there is no question that some of our current hospital labor practices are harming, even killing, women and their babies.
I have references for every statistic cited, which I checked and double checked. I fact check everything I publish, as does the New York Times.
Still, one commentator thinks I’m a conspiracy theorist.
How has it come to this? I know name-calling is becoming the new normal, and people love to sling the words “conspiracy theorist” around. But let’s go back and look at the facts:
Our maternal death rate has gone up every year for the past twenty-five years.
The U.S. ranks 28th among industrialized countries on Save The Children’s mothers’ index.
Birth in American hospitals has become so over-medicalized that it is increasingly unsafe.
Women are often emotionally and physically abused during labor and childbirth.
I am one of them.
The facts speak for themselves, that’s not conspiracy theorist, that’s being science-forward
Most healthy (aka “low-risk”) women are much better off having their babies in a freestanding birthing center or in the privacy and comfort of their home. The most scientific birth is the least technological one, as Alice Dreger puts it so eloquently in her article in The Atlantic. That might make you uncomfortable because it challenges your world view but that’s what the science shows.
Hospitals need to stop treating birth like a liability suit waiting to happen.
Women need to realize that birth is an empowering, life-altering, and amazing process, not a medical condition.
Conspiracy theorist? I don’t think so.
The sooner we change the system, the safer it will be for every birthing family.
Published: February 2, 2011
Updated: January 20, 2020