Tuesday, October 23, 2007
What Do Women Really Want in Birth?
What do women really want in birth?
The answer to this question influences billions of dollars of business in our country every year.
Every wise business person knows that in order to be successful, s/he must develop a product that is what the consumer WANTS and/or NEEDS.
If the consumer wants it, but doesn't need it, s/he may or may not buy it.
If the consumer needs it, doesn't really want it or find the product attractive, s/he probably will go elsewhere to get what they need.
When you combine need and want, you have a powerful product.
Our current maternity care system has convinced most of their customers that what they offer is what the customers need and want.
But is it really?
What basic things have they convinced the majority of mothers to need and want?
Avoiding unnecessary pain
If you ask nearly any woman why she's having her baby in the hospital, her biggest reason will be "safety."
Ask her what other reasons, and you may get an assortment of answers, but most likely the most frequent answer will be "for pain relief" if she takes a moment to think about what her hospital and obstetrician offer her.
These are two good things for women to want.
Who wouldn't want their baby to be safe?
Who wouldn't want to know that if anything goes wrong, someone will know how to fix it?
And who wants to suffer unnecessary pain?
But are women really getting what they think they are?
Sometimes I see many pregnant women in our society akin to a man who keeps driving his little Chevy truck that breaks down frequently, and is convinced that his truck is the best that can be had, because all of his friends say so. Even books about buying a good truck say so. The man who sold it to him told him that it was the best kind of truck he could drive. Sure, he doesn't like the breakdowns, but he's been told that his truck is the best, so he does his best to live with the aspects he doesn't like and pride himself that he is driving the best truck anyone could buy.
How many women are taken by the marketing that occurs in this country? We tell them that if they would only come to the hospital, they might experience a few breakdowns and inconveniences, but their experience will be the best they will find anywhere - safe and comfortable.
That's what we say.
But is it true, or is our modern maternity care system not all its cracked up to be?