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The role of men in homebirth advocacy?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'd love to hear the point of view of our MDC homebirth mamas about the role of men in homebirth advocacy. My state and especially my city is facing a homebirth healthcare crisis because two prominent MW are no longer practicing. There is significant momentum, as a result, to push for our state to recognize the CPMs.


One of the main advocacy groups and the group that I believe drafted the main petition, did the hiring of lobbyists, found a sponsor, and etc. is led by a man. I am uncomfortable with the structure of organization to begin with (it has a president, secretary and all that - very much NOT what drew me to HB) but especially with the lead role being occupied by a man. I want to become more involved so I guess I need to work through my objections to this. 


I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

post #2 of 8

While access to homebirth support affects women most directly, it affects the rest of the family too.  For example, my husband was negatively affected by my hospital birth, and benefitted from the more personallised care of my homebirth.  Besides that, it's perfectly appropriate for a man who is well informed and cares deeply for the women in his life to want to help in a cause that is so vitally important to them.  It's possible that I would object to the person in question, but I don't have any fundamental objection to men advocating for women's reproductive rights.

post #3 of 8

My husband is way more outspoken than I am about the drawbacks of routine hospital care and the benefits of homebirth although it's mostly having learned about it from me and the info I led him to. He's also more politically savvy. I stick in the realm of my own choices and my own family and like to mind my own business more than anything, also the kids don't give me much chance to get out there about anything. It would make sense for him to head up something like that instead of me were we involved in lobbying like that.

post #4 of 8

My husband actually caught both of our kids, and felt like those were among the most momentous experiences of his life. He is a huge advocate for homebirth. I'm fine with a man in that kind of role, as long as he's not the kind of man who thinks that women are incapable of advocating for themselves (I've met a few male "feminists" who were like this..)


As for the structure---if it is a 501-c3 nonprofit or something like that, that type of structure is required by law.

post #5 of 8

Can I just say "yeah that" to the PP? My husband has been a huge advocate for homebirth and he always seems to have the right thing to say at the right time while I tend to get really defensive and abrasive when my choices are questioned. :) I have no problem with men advocating, when we first started talking about homebirth with family and others he was really great at standing up and giving good information about why we chose what we did. And truthfully, the biggest question we get is "how does K feel about it?" a lot of people expect men to be against it and that homebirth is just a crunchy feminist thing. I think it's great to have a multitude of voices supporting birth choice for women. 

post #6 of 8

I've never really thought negatively about a man being one of the lead people in our state organization (maybe we are in the same state?).  I don't see a problem with it though and honestly think it helps the effort rather than hurting it.  To me it says, "Hey, this is a family issue! It's not just a bunch of crazy women with pregnancy hormones causing them to go nuts."


As for the structure of the organization, I think having a division of roles and people who steer the organization on right path has helped make them successful.


As for MY husband? He is definately at advocate and supports legalization of CPMs. He's not going to be loud about it but if it comes up, he's quick to take a stand.

post #7 of 8

I think men could be great advocates for homebirth. My husband convinced me to go this route. I come from a family that is very mainstream medical and goes to the doctor for everything and so it never crossed my mind as a possibility. When I became pregnant with my first son, I just assumed I would have an OB and go to the hospital. When I started reading and learning more about pregnancy and birth I started to kind of freak out. I didn't want all the interventions and tests, etc. I was dragged to the doctor all the time as a kid and it started to bring up some issues from that too. My husband was the one who asked if I would consider having a homebirth. His brother and sister-in-law had homebirths, so he had some knowledge about it. He told me my body was made to have babies--not in a condescending way--but like "you can do this!" The more I learned the more it made sense to me. I had both my sons at home. They were the best experiences in my life and led to a lot of personal transformation. I am very thankful my husband encouraged me to have homebirths.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks, folks (mamas, I assume). 


I've been in the HB community for now 12 years since the birth of my first child and it has always been such a powerful female energy with women at the center that it's just a difficult thing for me to switch gears, I guess. 


I've decided to just get over my issues with it - in part with your help and opinions. 


BTW, I'm with a man too and he supports HB - so it's not that I don't think they have a role. I guess it's more the issue of being the lead and etc. It's sort of the issue of maybe having a man as our Planned Parenthood or LLL or something like that. 

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