Daybreak: Would you give birth at home?

'Freebirthing' craze is discussed on breakfast show

Would you like to give birth at home, with no midwife, having had no scans and no medical help whatsoever? Well, today's episode of 'Daybreak' looked at a new trend from the United States, known as 'freebirthing', which involves precisely that. While the breakfast show featured an interview with a strong advocate of the process, who believes that more women should try freebirthing, there have also been safety concerns regarding the process.

'Daybreak' firstly took to the streets to interview a few members of the public on the issue, and opinions were mixed, with one woman putting forward the reasonable view that this happens in other countries all the time and shouldn't be viewed as particularly unusual, while others felt that perhaps a hospital birth was a safer prospect.

Appearing to discuss the subject was freebirthing supporter Laura Shanley, while the 'Daybreak' regular Dr. Hilary Jones gave his take on the subject in the studio. Lorraine Kelly firstly put the not at all unreasonable question to Shanley of why you would do this in the first place, wouldn't it be better to have scans, medical assistance and pain relief? She stated that the reason for this was that she had more faith in herself and her own body than in the medical profession. She also asserted that some of the attention that people receive within hospitals actually causes some of the problems which the medical profession then has to solve.

It seemed fairly inevitable that Dr. Hilary Jones would disagree with this view! Jones asked her whether she had any obstetric qualifications, and she simply responded by stating that birth isn't a medical event, it's a natural bodily function. Jones listed a number of medical complications which can occur during childbirth, and asked Shanley what she would do under these circumstances as her life would literally be threatened. Shanley responded that she believed many problems were caused by a misunderstanding of the mind-body connection. Jones pointed out that many women die during childbirth worldwide, a pretty reasonable point, but Shanley responded by stating that women give birth naturally all over the world in tribal cultures, and have done so for centuries.

It was a pretty pithy discussion and it was clear that neither party was going to agree with the other. It was hard not to agree with Jones' assertions that there can be medical complications during birth, and that these can affect both mother and child. One only needs to look at the way infant mortality has plummeted over the last century to understand this. But it's also a matter of personal choice, and I don't believe grown adults should be harangued into going along with something that they disagree with.

Christopher Morris watches too much television, has a keen interest in current affairs, and is a regular contributor to Yahoo on television, cinema, video games, technology and politics.

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