I am, or was, planning tentatively on using a birthing center to deliver. However, a very close friend just lost her baby to meconium aspiration after 36 hours of labor at a birthing center. She was sent to the adjacent hospital, where after monitoring, the doctor on call immediately did a C section. It was too late. She cannot shake the feeling she tried, stupidly, to be a hero and go through with the natural birth even after it got tough after the first 12 hours. I can't help but wonder the same thing.
I am well aware of data on the rise of unnecessary medical interventions and have been of the mind set for a long time to go natural with a midwife. Quite frankly, now I feel like my friend's terrible experience may signal that the pendulum has swung too far for women interested in a more natural approach. Are they expected to be heroes? Maybe not explicitly, but the rhetoric sometimes makes it seem that way. It is difficult to get accurate information from traditional medicine since they clearly are partially driven by the insurance/administration to protect their own interests, but honestly I feel like it is just as difficult to get accurate information on risks of natural with little intervention, whether at home or a birthing center. This side, too, has its own interests to protect and many on this side, understandably, also don't like to admit they're not always right.
I'm reaching out to get more information from those who are trained to assist in natural births for risks and guidelines for when it's not always a great idea or how to recognize when it's not in the cards for me. To repeat, ideologically, I'm on your side. But to watch my friend go through losing her baby, I need more information other than "it's better to go natural and doctors usually recommend too much intervention that can be dangerous for mother and baby". Clearly, natural can be dangerous too and there are drawbacks to both options. Let's talk about it, please.