Then there are the medical amateurs, who conduct their own research, attempt to heal themselves on their own, and even give birth by themselves. Devotees of the "unassisted birth movement" hold that newborns should be delivered by the mother herself, without a doctor or midwife or doula present...Certainly, do-it-yourself ob-gyn is amateurism at its most extreme. The majority of the millions of amateurs out there are not far-out obsessives...Sweet! Now I am a "far-out obsessive." I get a kick out of the idea that allowing an involuntary bodily function to happen is somehow extreme. Sure, DIY brain surgery would be extreme. Or for that matter, a DIY cesarean. Ouch!
But giving birth isn't something you do; it's something you simply let be. For almost all labors, nothing needs to be "done." You just stand aside and enjoy the ride. Dutch obstetrician (and ardent midwifery and homebirth supporter) Gerrit-Jan Kloosterman agrees:
Spontaneous labour in a normal woman is an event marked by a number of processes so complicated and so perfectly attuned to each other that any interference will only detract from the optimal character. The only thing required from the bystanders is that they show respect for this awe-inspiring process by complying with the first rule of medicine--nil nocere [do no harm].