Informed Choice Articles

Breech Birth is Normal

The transition from maiden to mother is the most transformative and sacred journey I have ever taken. It’s the ultimate form of shapeshifting. I was reborn after the birth of my son, Rayan. I remember telling my midwife, “If I can do this, I can do...

Home Sweet Homebirth

There is an overwhelming cultural belief in the United States that hospitals are the safest place to give birth, regardless of the extensive scientific data that suggests otherwise. Numerous studies around the world have documented the safety of...

Actually, It Does Matter How You Give Birth

Whenever people discuss C-sections and natural childbirth, one well- meaning sentiment always rises from the fray: It doesn’t matter how you give birth, as long as your baby comes out healthy. I appreciate people wanting to remove...

Induction

Will the baby outgrow the pelvis before she births? What do we risk by choosing to induce?The ARRIVE trial is the capstone of a decades-long effort to demonstrate that awaiting labor has no benefits and that inducing labor doesn’t...

The Real Causes of Birth Trauma

A study indicates 1 in 13 women experiences PTSD after childbirth. Why are we being told that it’s the mother’s fault?There has been increasing awareness about childbirth-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Several years ago, the...

What About the Baby?: The Dynamics of a Normal and Healthy Birth

On the physical level, birth happens naturally by a complex series of biological events believed to be initiated by the baby. When baby is ready, it is her biological priority to navigate down the birth canal with help from the contractions of the...

Co-Sleeping and Biological Imperatives

Why Human Babies Do Not and Should Not Sleep AloneWhere a baby sleeps is not as simple as current medical discourse and recommendations against co-sleeping in some western societies want it to be. And there is good reason why. I write to...

Time to Opt Out

It was the stopwatch on the wall that did it. The colorful paint and framed pastel prints nearby tried to hide its conspicuousness, but it was there: red neon digits glowing like the timer at an NBA basketball game. I asked the hospital tour guide...

7 Eye-Opening Facts about Depression

A silent tragedy in the history of modern healthcare is happening right now in America, but no one is talking about it. We have been told a story of depression: that it is caused by a chemical imbalance and cured by a chemical fix—a prescription. M...

ADHD: More of It, Better Diagnosis, or Both?

“[Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-V)] is a wholesale imperial medicalization of normality that will trivialize mental disorder and lead to a deluge of unneeded medication treatment—a bonanza for the pharmaceutical ind...

The Drugging of Children: A National Disgrace

In 1998, approximately 5 percent of children in the United States were diagnosed with a condition known as “attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD). By 2007, that percentage jumped to 9.5 percent, and has continued to increase. In October...

There Is No Normal

I got a letter the other day from a woman training to be a special education teacher in Ohio. Reading my book Teaching the Restless was bringing up her concerns about certain things she had observed during student teaching sessions with several...

The Moral and Scientific Opposition to GMOs

Is the engineering of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) a dangerous technology posing grave risks to human and ecological health? Or are GMOs a potent new tool in the onward march of modern agricultural technology in its race to feed the world?...

Choosing a Birth Class: Hospital-Based vs. Independent Childbirth Education

In our society, where birth often happens behind closed doors, and the wisdom of labor is not often shared between generations, childbirth education classes have become an integral part of the journey of preparing for birth. However, many women are...

Big Time: Do Big Babies Require a C-Section? We look at the Facts and Myths

We’ve all heard about women who were told they needed to consider an artificial induction of labor or even a cesarean section, because their babies “looked big” toward the end of their pregnancy. Many of these women were unpleasantly surprised when,...

Why You Should Think Twice about Prenatal Ultrasounds

I’m now in my second trimester—14 weeks, to be exact—and I have yet to hear my baby’s heartbeat. It’s a weird feeling, to be honest. During my first pregnancy, I had no idea about the dangers of prenatal ultrasound. The second I saw those two pink...

Birth Trauma and the Issue of Informed Consent

At first, Erin Shetler was angry the doctor had performed the procedures without her knowing. He had cut her vaginal opening, used vacuum extraction to deliver her baby, and reached into her uterus to remove the placenta—all of which carry risks....

A Proven Method for Lowering the Caesarean Rate

Yet another article in my local newspaper last week bemoaned the fact that the caesarean rate keeps rising, reporting that physicians are concerned not only about the high rate of surgery, but also the future complications that increase after...

Being Admitted to the Hospital is Not Implied Consent

Even in 2017, women’s consent rights in childbirth are disturbingly unclear to the professionals and institutions delivering their medical care. One aspect is the idea of “implied consent”— a concept mischaracterized by hospitals to a number of women...

5 Ways Mothers Give Away Their Power

Dear Mama, You have more power than you might think. You are the master of your domain, and the domain is you and your children. Your mastery should not be confused with dominance and control. I do not mean that you are here to control your...