Sir: I have been following your debate with great interest, since I gave birth to our first child last year. I heartily agree with Dr Steven Ford. I had come under huge pressure to be induced, which I managed to withstand, knowing of the risks involved. Since we were booked for a home birth I was attended by two wonderful community midwives, who came with us when a transfer to hospital became necessary for rehydration.
With the drip I had the lowest dose of the synthetic augmentation hormone Syntocinon; before I had this the contractions were very challenging but manageable; afterwards, they were the most dreadful thing I have experienced. Despite this, my two fantastic midwives provided the feeling of safety I needed to be able to refuse all further medical pain relief and after three further hours I gave birth to our beautiful daughter.
Because I had been given such continuity of care and support, she was born normally, awake, alert with her eyes open and completely relaxed; I will never forget the first sight of her face.
Dr Ford is right; those "powerful negative cultural influences" to which he alludes which push routine medicalisation of childbirth nearly robbed us of the most beautiful experience of our lives.
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