Zoe Foster discusses whether it's possible to have a “normal” birth within a medicalised system and looks for alternatives

Now that my firstborn is older, I can look back fondly on his birth and remember only the wonderful bits about it. Indeed, compared to the experiences of many women, I feel blessed that it was so straight-forward. And yet, if two fundamental factors had not been in play, I know for certain things could have been very different. 

The primary factor was of course me: since falling pregnant I had researched the history, process and other’s experiences of childbirth thoroughly to give myself (and my husband) the best possible grounding for what to expect. I joined a home-birth group and met a wonderful group of people, from new mums and second or third-time mums to midwives, doulas and dads – all with fountains of knowledge and experience to impart. We hired a doula and we took part in a Natal Hypnotherapy course.

In addition to all of this, I allowed myself to recognise and follow my own instincts – a tool which has proved its value time and time again through both birth and parenting.