Cosmopolitan's photo montage of "what it really looks like to give birth at home"
An Open Letter To Cosmopolitan:
As a birth worker who has been at MANY home births, I find this shock and awe photo collection to be in very poor taste. Not because the pictures aren't an accurate representation, but because you have a broad audience and without putting these pictures into context, telling the story that accompanies the moment in time, they could scare people who might otherwise happily consider a home birth. One sentence. Really?
Discalimer: I was not present at ANY of these births...but since you didn't add any description, or provide any quotes from the women, or provide a thorough and thoughtful interview about what I'm sure were very interesting birth experiences to allow us to understand what was going on in these moments, I am just going to speculate. I recognize many of these scenarios and have seen these expressions and experiences many times before. Please Mama's, forgive me (and feel free to comment and correct me) if I'm wrong, I'd love to hear your full account, but I want to a make a couple guesses that will tell more of the beautiful story that home birth in general can be, using these photographs as examples.
I'd recommend that you open the expose in another tab so you can click across to see each pic, and then click back to read my interpretation of what might be happening.
At home births, or any birth in which a woman's need for freedom of movement is honored, we move around a lot, change positions to break up the labor process and to allow baby lots of opportunities to navigate through a pretty narrow passage. This is certainly often one of them, but when I've seen this pose, combined with the double hip squeeze, the lack of modesty that normally accompanies active labor/transition, my guess is that this strong woman may be working on reducing an anterior lip of cervix or she has a baby that is in a slightly wonky position, causing more pressure on her back. This position can apply the baby's head towards the front/anterior, and help to reduce the cervix, as well as remove some pressure from moms back.