Is ‘crowdbirthing’ the next big thing?
It’s been said that it takes a village to raise a child, but now one might say it takes a village to deliver a child thanks to a trend known as “crowdbirthing.”
Crowdbirthing involves inviting numerous people into a hospital delivery room or documenting the birth on social media, and is becoming especially popular among new moms in their teens and 20s. A survey published by Channel Mum, a British blogging website, found that an average of eight individuals were in the delivery room for new moms under 30 years old.
While having numerous people by their side during labor can be helpful, 60 percent of women surveyed felt that as childbirth is becoming more public, they are feeling increased pressure to deliver a certain way. Approximately 15 percent also felt pressure from celebrities who seem to breeze through delivery.
In addition, more than 33 percent of the women surveyed reported that they want to refuse pain medications because they are afraid of being judged. Another 20 percent felt having a C-section would make it seem as though they failed at giving birth.
While American celebrities like Kim Kardashian gave birth in front of a large number of people, locally, some physicians say they aren’t seeing a large number of moms opting for crowdbirthing, but do offer some caution.
Dr. Susan Mitchell, an obstetrician/gynecologist at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill., cautions patients that having too many people in the delivery room can take the focus away from the mom and baby, and can make it harder for the doctor and nurses to safely provide care.
“If there is someone you are considering inviting to come to the hospital while you are in labor – if that person makes you feel strong, empowered and supported – that is an excellent person to invite,” says Dr. Mitchell. “If someone wants to be there for your delivery and it is a person who makes you feel criticized, self-conscious or inadequate, that person is not invited.”
For those who are invited into the delivery room, attending a prenatal class can help them learn what to expect during labor and how to be helpful. In addition, Dr. Mitchell suggests supporting laboring mom by:
- Getting her water to drink
- Rubbing her back or shoulders
- Reminding her that she is wonderful, strong and doing a great job
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.