doctor to doctor, and can be from 7 up to 21 days after EDD.
• Spontaneous rupture of the membranes without accompanying labour
• Social reasons. A mother’s request that she’s had enough; the woman or partner needing to fit into maternity leave or holidays; a doctor’s convenience.
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• Safety reasons. Many people, (especially doctors), believe the line that “it is safer to give birth during daylight hours when hospitals have greater numbers of, and more experienced, staff on duty”.
• Diabetes (mellitus or gestational) where labour is often induced anytime from 36 weeks due to rapidly increasing size of the baby.
At the beginning of this chapter I mentioned the importance some women place on establishing a relationship with a medical practitioner when first becoming pregnant. Along with an ever growing number of people, I consider the popular approach to pregnancy as having become way over-medicalised. I also consider the medical path as like a snowball rolling down a hill – gradually gathering size and momentum as it proceeds, frequently leading to situations beyond the woman’s control. What may begin as a medical pregnancy confirmation or a harmless pre-natal check-up, can, for no specific reason, easily grow to become a total depend-ence on knowledge and experience outside of your self. Much of the acceptance of this approach is due to fear of the unknown and the belief that women actually need all this stuff to get through pregnancy and birth.
Early on in pregnancy, I would advise each woman to pause and think before joining the rush to the doctor’s surgery, and consider that, after all, you are not sick. You are just pregnant. The very concept that pregnancy automatically requires professional medical consultations, that it will involve a range of symptoms requiring treatment, and that birthing is something inherently dangerous which automatically requires a hospital, is a complete anathema to the yogic and natural birth approaches. This is not meant to imply that there is never an occasion for medical treatment during a pregnancy, or that there are no birthing situations which may require hospitalisation. There certainly are. There are many unwell women (not solely by way of pregnancy) who do need professional medical treatment, and there are valid circum-stances where pre-natal screening can be valid. But in many, many instances this is not the case. I
am intending to point out that for a lot of women, a medical relationship and the ensuing “routine model” seems to be taken simply as a matter of course when pregnant. That, to me, is a terrible stain on the intelligence of women, as well as a vote of no confidence in their faith in themselves.
I believe each woman should take from the domains of science and technology only that which is immediately necessary, and which can truly assist their situation when simpler more natural methods may have failed. In addition, avoiding the medical bandwagon will better assist you to focus on what is actually happening now, (that is you and your baby’s good health), rather than becoming concerned about what might be (medical problems and difficulties). We need to learn to trust ourselves, our babies and mother nature by becoming more our own pre-natal educator and midwife.
From the moment of that first pregnancy confirmation “test”, when a woman initiates a relationship with the medical approach, whether by an over-the-counter urine test or a GP’s consultation and diagnosis, she is abdicating her power and relinquishing the knowledge she already has about herself by saying – “I don’t know what is happening here. You know more about this than me. You must tell me what is happening to myself.” On the next visit, as she responds to the call for medical “check ups”, she is in effect saying in herself – “I am a patient, you are the healer. I know nothing, you are the expert. This is a difficult and dangerous thing going on here, you take control and tell me what to do and what I need to get through it safely.” And, quite happily, just as they are trained to, that is what most doctors will do. They will hijack the pregnancy and birth experience as something belonging to their profession, leaving women feeling secondary to the whole process which is actually (and rather obviously) going on within them!