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Childbirth Debate

The president of Lamaze International takes issue with a piece about the myths of natural childbirth

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Amy Tuteur got only one thing right in her piece on childbirth: There is no “right” way to birth. Each woman, baby and circumstance is unique. But, thanks to an abundance of solid research about what works and what doesn’t, we can fairly say that there is an ideal way to care for women and babies in childbirth. The research is clear. Medical interventions improve health and save lives when they are used out of medical necessity. When they are used, as they often are, for the sake of routine, convenience or profit, interventions like induction, cesarean, confinement to bed or withholding food, can harm both mothers and babies.

Lamaze, and most other childbirth advocates, have no campaign against medical interventions. Our work is aimed to equip women with the information, support and resources they need to get what every woman wants: a safe and healthy birth.

Michele Deck, President, Lamaze International, BATON ROUGE, LA.