I watched the 20/20 special on motherhood tonight, and it was definitely interesting.
The first segment was about orgasmic birth, which I had never heard of before. The concept of pain-free natural birth is still somewhat new to me, and I had never even considered the possibility of experiencing such ecstasy during labor. If you didn't watch the segment, you can read the article here: Moms Thrilled By Orgasms During Labor
The next segment was about "reborns", or dolls that are made to look like real babies. It seems they help fill a void for women who, for various reasons, have no children of their own. But even women who have had their own babies buy these dolls. They are amazingly lifelike. I'm not much of a doll person, and having several of my own children to cuddle and kiss, I don't see the purpose. There's an article about them here: Not Child's Play: I Feel Like I Have A Real Baby
The next segment was about extended breastfeeding. I'm not sure where I stand on this issue, but it was an interesting segment. I can see both sides, but personally I don't think I would want to breastfeed my 5 year-old. The article about it is here: Breastfeeding Past Infancy
The next segment was about serial surrogate mothers. In general, I'm not a supporter of surrogate mothers. I feel that couples who can afford $25,000 - $30,000 to pay a surrogate mother to carry and birth their baby can probably afford to adopt several babies who would otherwise not have a good life. I also feel that there's something morally wrong with surrogacy, but that's just my personal opinion. I also have been blessed with children of my own and no struggles to get or stay pregnant, so I realize that I don't understand the other side of that spectrum. If you'd like to read the article, you can find it here: Serial Surrogates Have Birthed More Babies For Others Than Themselves
The last segment was the one I was waiting for. It is the story about more mothers choosing to birth their babies at home. I was pleasantly surprised by the positive portrayal of those choosing natural home birth. Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein, the creators of the documentary film, The Business of Being Born, were interviewed for the segment, along with other home birth advocates. The link to the article from the 20/20 website has a headline listed of "Going it Alone: Giving Birth at Home". I don't agree with that headline, because I feel that women choosing home birth are not "going it alone" because they are generally working with experienced professionals to assist them in their birthing experiences. There was also a comment made in the segment of the opinion that mothers choosing to give birth at home are being selfish, because they are only thinking of themselves while they put their baby's life at risk. I firmly disagree with that statement, because I feel that any woman who has done the research and seriously considered her options has thoroughly explored the risks and benefits of her choice. I feel that no woman putting that much thought, care and consideration into her birth choices is willing to put her baby's life at risk, and would not do so. Such a woman is in no way ignorant or selfish. In her interview, Ricki Lake points out that in a hospital there can be more risk for problems as one medication is given, which leads to another medication, which then leads to another medication, complications and so forth. I agree with that statement, and I feel it can be a slippery slope in a hospital setting, which is another part of my choice to birth at home. I could go on and on about this, but I'll spare you the soap-box. If you're interested in reading the article about this segment, you can find it here: Mothers-to-be Saying No To Modern Medicine
I'm glad that such topics as natural birth, home birth and doulas (Today Show Segment about Doulas) are receiving more exposure, particularly on a national level. It's very exciting to see more people learning about these options. Even with some negative opinions as networks try to present opposing sides, it's really good to bring these things to light and let the nation know that women have more options than society has taught them.