Peru Embraces Vertical Births to Save Lives

Last week I read an article “Peru Embraces Vertical Births to Save Lives“, I was amazed at how different the whole birthing experience is in Peru than in the United States, and almost felt a bit cheated that my own birth experience was so clinical.
After about 6 hours of intense labor and already being strapped to the bed with Pitocin, I caved and got an epidural. I have friends who have had home births and I get the whole “childbirth is natural” thing, but I also like the idea of being in a setting that if an emergency happens, I don’t have to be transported to a hospital.
Ancient pottery from the Andes depicts women sitting or standing while giving birth. Peru’s health ministry has said vertical birthing positions can be healthier for women by reducing pressure on the uterus and large blood vessels that can affect the amount of oxygen going to the baby.
“Western science is unaware of the priorities and needs of women, particularly rural women, who consider childbirth a natural event and do not think changes to the traditional vertical delivery are needed,” the ministry said in a small book extolling the benefits of standing during childbirth. The practice of women giving birth on their backs is done for the convenience of doctors, not women, say supporters of Andean birthing methods.
I think it is such a shame that so many birthing centers in New York are being shut down or are not covered by insurance. After reading this article, my mind is more open to different birthing methods. If I ever find myself pregnant again, I may protest being strapped to the bed and the stirrups too.