Natural / Medical Birth Debate

Why I don’t mind that my doctor “delivered” my baby

Folks who are NCB-inclined often object to the semantics of saying that a doctor or midwife “delivers” a birthing woman’s baby, insisting that it is the birthing woman who delivers her own baby. For example, Business of Being Born producer Ricki Lake said in an interview with Parenting magazine (c. 2010-2011):

My first birth was a success with a midwife in a hospital—I felt empowered, I did have my baby skin to skin right away, was able to breastfeed—all of those things that are so important. But there was this moment when my mother was able to see me right after the birth, and I said to her, “Mom, Mom, this is my midwife who delivered my baby!” And my midwife stopped me and said, “No, Ricki, you delivered your baby.” And at that point, I took ownership of what I was able to do.

This is one area where the NCB movement and I part ways. I don’t at all mind my doctor saying that he “delivered” my baby. I tried on the language of “I deliver my own baby” while I was pregnant with Constantine, but it just felt too awkward and wrong to me, and here’s why.

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