There's a Doctor in My Childbirth Class

I hope you'll forgive the lack of blogging this past week. Finishing up the Kickstarter campaign left me feeling elated, relieved, and completely exhausted.

We haven't stopped working, but have redirected some of our energy back to filmmaking and away from fundraising and social media. 

During the Kickstarter campaign we met (in real life and virtually) so many amazing advocates and supporters. One of those is Sarah Clark. Today on the blog she shares her experience as a childbirth educator and home birth mom.

Doctors Deserve Home Birth Too by Sarah Clark

I don’t think anyone thought much of it when I was planning my first home birth. After all, I was a natural birth teacher, had already had two natural births, and I was married to a chiropractor, a profession notorious for its natural leanings.

What people do find surprising is when I mention that I have had 7 medical doctors and a handful of registered nurses take my natural childbirth classes. Many have even been planning home births for themselves.  

I have to admit that I too was surprised--not to mention intimidated, when physicians started signing up for my birth classes. What could I, a woman who has birthed naturally 4 times but has a degree in...cultural anthropology...possibly teach them?!

As it turns out, doctors aren't necessarily so different from other parents. They want great births. They want healthy babies.

They know, perhaps better than others, that birth matters to women and they know it will matter to them. 

I am no longer surprised when medical doctors want a natural or even home birth. To me, natural birth is the best way to birth if it is safe and possible. There was incredible joy in my births. Not just joy but deeply meaningful, even spiritual experiences. Why wouldn’t a medical doctor want this? Why wouldn’t they deserve this? Every woman, every couple, every baby, deserves the best, most joyful birth they can possibly have. For some this is found in hospital bed, but for others it is found in the comfort of their own living room.

Does the trend of medical professionals birthing at home signal an overall dissatisfaction with medicalized birth and the increasing cesarean rate?


But maybe doctors birthing at home signals something far more simple.

Just because a person has an advanced degree and training how to intervene when birth is complicated or needs more support, doesn’t mean they don’t understand the deep value of birth and the power inherent in it.

The advantage they have is having seen births before their own. They know what they need to feel safe and supported and can make that choice with their eyes wide open.

There is some research showing that home birth is just as safe as hospital birth when women are low risk. While I'm sure they've looked at the research, I'm not so sure that research is the driving factor behind medical doctors choosing home birth.

Nope, I think it is an inherent trust that women have deep within themselves of their own ability to birth. I think it is an even deeper need to experience birth as it was meant to be: empowering, overwhelming, triumphant, and joyful.

For some, the place they feel most confident having that experience is at home.

Why are doctors birthing at home? Because doctors are people too--and they deserve great births. Home...well it is an amazing place to have a baby, for anyone.

Sarah Clark is a mother of four, a natural childbirth educator and an instructor trainer and board member for Birth Boot Camp, a company specializing in online and in-person natural birth classes. You can also find her on her personal birth blog, Mama Birth and on where she contributes regularly.