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Whose Choice? Advocating Birthing Practices According to Baby’s Biological Needs

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Abstract:

Modern western society and media often present the mother’s choices for her birth as paramount. Various gurus provide the mother with often conflicting advice. But the reality is that childbirth often becomes a medicalized event with many interventions and less than ideal outcomes. In many instances, the choices are made to suit health professionals and hospital routines rather than the mother. All the aforementioned are based on ideas and assumptions which predate evidence-based medicine and recent neuroscience. In reproductive biology, the newborn is an active participant and agent in birthing (Alberts, 1994). Based on this, the perspective which has been lacking is what is best for the baby; our choices should be primarily based on the basic biological needs of the infant.

Keywords: advocacy; breastfeeding; counseling; doula; informed choice; interventions; kangaroo mother care; kangaroula; natural birth; neuroscience; self-attachment; skin-to-skin contact

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1058-1243.22.1.8

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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