Originally Posted by Jane93
That's not "intuition" per se. For example, I feel dizzy and so go to get checked out by the doctor and find out something's wrong. That's not "intuition" that made me get checked out -- it was the observation of unusual phenomena. I believe that can happen at an almost subconscious level -- such as when you observe someone's facial expressions/demeanor and make a determination of their trustworthiness. That may appear to be a "gut" feeling, but is based on reading the subtle cues that people give off as well as hearing their stated intentions.
However, the idea that you can have intuition for matters that have (or may have) no signal -- whether the baby's cord is wrapped around its neck, whether the baby is too large to pass through the pelvic outlet, whether the baby may have S-D, vasa previa, eclampsia, etc. -- that is either intuition as the equivalent of religious belief or a belief in ESP.
Well, according to my admittedly crappy dictionary (free with the computer, LOL) the definition of intuition is "the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning". In my understanding, it does often use actual physical phenomena. I would not call being dizzy and going to the doctor as using your intuition, because you are responding to symptoms that you know to be worrisome. But intuition does not mean the absence of logical reasoning, rather a really, really quick calculation based on the sum of previous experiences, right? Logical reasoning might take place, but your brain went so fast you are not immediately aware of how it reached the given conclusion.
I loved reading the book "Protecting the Gift" by Gavin De Becker. It's about keeping kids (and yourself) safe by using your intuition. There is really nothing new in the book, but it does highlight that many people actually have great intuitive skills. How many times do you meet someone who makes you feel uncomfortable? Lots of times! But only sometimes do you actually get the signal that they are truly dangerous, and as the stories in that book show, those are very often correct. So yes, there might well be physical indications that something is wrong, yet something in your mind screams "Get Away!". This is not a rational conclusion, which could also be made but you might require more time to get there. It's intuition. Not "woo"; just a handy tool we all have.
The questions about being able to recognize problems that are going on with your baby in your uterus are interesting. I don't know if this is actually possible. There are no sub-conscious clues as with the safety examples. Sometimes, there are physical symptoms. It is true that sometimes mothers have "felt" something was wrong with their baby and found out this was indeed true after requesting further testing. You read about that in the news sometimes. Whether the opposite, where a mother "feels" everything will be fine also proves to be correct, I am not sure. It would be a fascinating topic for a study, for sure, regardless of the outcome.
As for UC, which I would guess you are not too fond of, I had one. I did it because I concluded it would be the safest choice for me and my baby in my given circumstances (outright dangerous hospital in a developing country, one available homebirth midwife who claimed that "nothing could possibly go wrong at your birth"). Rather than relying purely on my intuition, I spent months researching the physiology of birth, signals of complications, and possible treatments. I also researched what actually, truly goes on in hospitals where we live, by reading guidelines, speaking to doctors and mothers who gave birth there.
After all that, I concluded that birth can be pretty dangerous. But also that giving birth in a hospital would give me a 100 percent chance of experiencing a complication, due to the way they practice. Actually, if they didn't like the look of me or I did not feel bribing a doctor to receive care was a principled idea, they could just refuse me entrance, and leave me to give birth in the street! I was fully aware that something fatal can happen sometimes, and I concluded that this was far, far less likely to happen at home. As for the one midwife, I did not feel that her total lack of experience and knowledge would help me any, and would probably be dangerous.
In other words, intuition played no role in my decision-making process - it was all rational thought, with conclusions not made immediately but over many months. And I'd do the same thing again. This probably tells you two things. 1. Not all UC-ers are the same, just like all people who drive green cars are not the same. 2. Even if a decision is made based on rational thought, it is still good that intuition is present. You never know when it will come in handy.
ETA - That is not to say that I don't think people have a right to make decisions solely based on their intuition or perceived intuition, or even that I don't personally think those decisions are perfectly valid. Right to choice is a very important thing, and especially when it comes to something as individual and important as birth. I don't want anyone to tell me what is right and what isn't, and I sure don't want to do the same to anyone else.