Sunday, January 11, 2009

Born Free: Unassisted Childbirth in North America

My dissertation is online and publicly available!

I've been waiting for ProQuest to put my dissertation online. In the meantime, here is a link to the manuscript, Born Free: Unassisted Childbirth in North America (PDF document). It's actually a more recent version than the one I submitted to ProQuest, since I have recently changed several typos and made a few minor corrections. I'll be periodically updateding the manuscript as I find more typos or small items that need clarification or correction. Like any published book, the dissertation is copyrighted so, obviously, no quoting passages or paraphrasing without an appropriate citation.

I would love to have detailed feedback, comments, and/or criticism on the manuscript. Feel free to email me about anything from typos to major conceptual or organizational issues. My next project is submitting a proposal to publishers, so I would especially appreciate input related to turning the academic dissertation into a book.

Happy reading!

33 comments:

  1. I'm so excited to check it out!

    And I just HAVE to share: I just had my second unassisted birth today!!! He was born at 3:10am. We are so excited!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for sharing! I'm fascinated by this subject (although I happily had an OB-assisted fantastic hospital birth experience).

    I'm also writing my dissertation at the moment with a toddler at home so this is inspiration to me to get it done!

    Congrats on finishing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank-you for writing this Rixa! I am so excited to read it (and getting a little bit too nerdy excited about reading good quality academia. Mmmm academia)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Brilliant! I couldn't put it down (close it out?). A very well-balanced and comprehensive view. I'm glad that someone is finally putting this stuff down all in one place. There are a few little typos and consistency things I noticed, but I'm too sleepy now to go over them bit by bit. I'll get back to you on that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yay! I've been wanting to read this for over a year! I can't wait to get on it. Thanks for posting the link.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for sharing this! I'll get to reading it later today. I'm really excited that you put this together and are making it available to everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for posting this! I'm very interested to read what you have written.

    ReplyDelete
  8. *squeeeeeeeeeee*

    I'm so utterly excited you have put this up for us to read! Thank you so much, I've been hoping to read this since I first learned you were writing it!

    Off to begin!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow! I am so excited that you have shared! Cant wait to sit down after the house is asleep and READ!

    ReplyDelete
  10. THANK YOU!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, how exciting!! Thanks, Rixa!
    Looking forward to reading it!

    ReplyDelete
  12. My heartfelt congratulations go out to you, Rixa. Now that it's done, I wish you happy gestating, for the next little "bun" in the oven ;-) and look forward to reading about the upcoming birth (as I wade through, and soak in, your glorious dissertation !).
    x

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow, thank you so much for sharing this with us! You've done a great job!

    One thing I find interesting is the proportion of UCers that are sexual abuse survivors. It also seems that the top reasons for choosing an unassisted birth are related to fears of loss of control from assisted births and mistrust of birthing assistants; fear of loss of control and mistrust are (understandably) characteristic of abuse survivors. There certainly seems to be a link here that, IMO, merits further investigation. (From what I know of Laurie Morgan this seems to be her experience, particularly in light of her delayed dissatisfaction of the midwife assisted birth of her first daughter.)

    Have you thought much about why there seems to be a disproportionate amount of UCers that are sexual abuse survivors compared to the general population?

    Again, thanks for sharing... fascinating research!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anne,

    Good points. Whether there is a "disproportionate amount of UCers that are sexual abuse survivors compared to the general population" is less certain. I don't have any hard numbers about the percent of UCers who have experienced sexual abuse, so it's hard to say if it's disproportionate or not. And we know that rates are high among the general population...Difficult to quantify, but definitely worth studying.

    ReplyDelete
  15. congratulations! how wonderful, that is a great accomplishment.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is a fantastic read!! Rixa sent it to me last month, and I spent much of Dec. sitting in front of the fireplace taking it all in. I thought perhaps it would be a dry, scientific treatis but it wasn't at all. It was really interesting! Congratulations, Rixa!! And congratulations Kathryn on your birth!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you so much for linking the world to your study. I am so excited to read it in whole. The abstract alone got me really excited. I can feel a pregnancy in my near future, and I am glad to have some fresh reading material to help me better understand UC, which intrigues and entices me so much.

    ReplyDelete
  18. And if an emergency arises that requires immediate attention?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous--read the dissertation to see how women address this, both ideologically and in real-life birthing situations.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I started reading it last night - big mistake, because I couldn't stop and I didn't get to bed until late! I'll need to find a lot of of time, soon, to reading it, but what I had time for has already provided me a lot of food for thought. Thanks so much for posting it!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks for sharing, Rixa, I've read the first 100 pages, and I'm finding it absolutely fascinating! As a professional editor, I'll probably have some suggestions once I've finished :-)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Why not invite a midwife to be present but not intervene unless the need arises?

    ReplyDelete
  23. i'm about 200-something pages into your dissertation. i'm in turkey so buying books off the internet is very costly. i've learned so much. thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  24. ummSanaa,
    Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy it!

    ReplyDelete
  25. i finally finished it. my most prevalent thought was this: chapter 5 (i think it was ch5) was the crux of the whole dissertation. in it you explained the frame of reference of each group: the medical model, midwife model and UC model. doing this made it absolutely clear for me where each group's motivation came from. i believe this analysis was essential!!! in recommending your thorough dissertation, i'd probably tell the person that if they read nothing else, to read ch5.

    thank you again, congrats, and continued success.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Kori,
    Thanks for your input and for taking the time to read the whole thing.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thamk you so mudh for this work. I have been struggling with this whole "how much is too much, how much is enough" in my midwifery for a long time. This will help me think it through and discuss it with my partners.
    Kip

    ReplyDelete
  28. Kip,
    Thanks for taking the time to read it. I'd love to hear more about the conversations this sparks with your midwifery peers and perhaps what conclusions you've come to about your own practice.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Rixa

    I am presenting on Unassisted birth in less than a month, at a local conference, can I use parts of your dissertation if needed?


    Please?

    Mary Siever
    kmsiever@gmail.com


    PS always close to my heart since I have birthed my four UC

    ReplyDelete
  30. Whenever i see the post like your's i feel that there are still helpful people who share information for the help of others, it must be helpful for other's. thanx and good job.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I just now finished reading your dissertation! I loved it! I'm so glad you chose this topic. I really fit the typical UC profile in many ways, and I felt like you had me pegged. By the way, I generally feel like quite the non-conformist in so many areas, but I do what I feel to be common sense and many things I also greatly research, which is another uncommon trait. I am married, Bible believing Christian, homeschool, homebirth, love UC, don't vaccinate or circumcise, never use formula, extended breastfeed, co-sleep, very rarely visit doctors but instead take responsibility for my health, treat myself and family using home remedies, food, water, herbs, vitamins, etc, place a high priority on real food, good nutrition, organics, natural chemical free lifestyle, practice elimination communication, live simply, frugally and debt-free, garden, and so on. We are also self-employed. I was truly amazed to see that UC attracts so many other "freaks" like me! :)

    I also was exposed to UC via the internet, and specifically Laura Shanley's site. I was very drawn to the idea of UC, and was pregnant with my 3rd baby at the time. First birth in a birth center and 2nd at home with a wonderful, hands-off CNM midwife. (Yes, they do exist!) I had the same midwife for #3, but told her I might wait to call until after the birth. I wound up having a very fast labor and even though my husband did call her (after I said ok), she was too far away to get there in time. So, we were able to have a UC, which we both cherished. Story is here: http://orderoursteps.blogspot.com/2010/07/our-third-birth-at-home-unassisted.html

    I am now pregnant again and planning a UC and also not hiring a midwife for prenatal care either. There is really no point. I decline most routine care, such as ultrasounds, etc, and what little bit is left for a midwife to do, I can easily do myself. Everyone who I have told has been very supportive including my former midwife and another midwife friend. I am in good health with no previous pregnancy or labor complications, and I take extra good care of myself when pregnant. I did tell my former midwife that I may need her for a rhogam shot afterward and the state mandated baby bloodwork. I would pay her for that of course, and unlike some of the ladies you quoted, I have no issue at all with midwives being compensated. Perhaps the fact that I am a massage therapist who is compensated for doing healing bodywork gives me that perspective. I do also give free massages and discounted massages sometimes, but many midwives also work for less for those who are financially strapped. Still, midwives have bills to pay like the rest of us, so why should we expect them to work elsewhere for money and midwife for free?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Sorry, this is so long I have to break it up!

    And, for people who think some choose uc due to lack of options, that is not my case at all. My husband and I found UC to be a most sacred, blessed experience. Having someone else there would have taken away from a very intimate and powerful event in our lives. And, I'm not disregarding our baby's health for an experience either. As a healthy, well nourished woman who has had non-complicated prior births, my risk of complication is exceedingly low. I also live 5 minutes away from one hospital and 10 from another, both with NICU. I firmly believe that I would be placing my baby and myself in much greater risk of harm if I chose to birth in either one of those places. They have an incredibly high rate of interventions and c-sections. They induce everyone at 39 weeks! Anyway, in the event of an actual emergency, as unlikely as one would be, they are very close. And, I take full responsibility for the outcome. Babies and even moms die in hospitals, so birthing in one doesn't guarantee safety.

    I did notice one typo maybe around page 80 or so. Comes was misspelled, and I think had an extra o in it. I can't quite remember and you may have already fixed it. I can't seem to find it now.

    Thank you so much for your excellent work. I do hope you can publish it as a book.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Just another note to say we had our planned UP/UC baby six months ago! Everything went wonderfully! :)

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...