Harrison Farm

for now, the only thing we're growing on this farm is kids - not the goat variety

Hats off to the Women of My Town — the Positive Effects of Peer Pressure on Natural Childbirth


When I was expecting our first child, Carman, we lived in another city, another state. Of all the other expectant moms I spoke with (many who were first time moms), all would speak of their desire to have a natural, unmedicated birth. Very few (I can only think of one) were able to have such a birth in a hospital. Of course, those having a home birth (a microscopic number in that corner of the world) really had no choice when it came to pain killers during labor: there were none. After my first unmedicated home birth, I remember thinking there was no way I could have a baby naturally in a hospital. Knowing that all I had to was ask and the pain would be removed would be too great a temptation.

Having a baby at home, in the comfort of my own personal space, with the support of marathon & my midwife, and knowing that there was no pain reliever around allowed me (and my babies) to experience natural childbirth.

Now I live in another city, another state. This state is friendly to midwifery & home births. And, I think consequently, the hospital climate is very different here as a result. About 20% of the moms in my circle here birth at home, and therefore naturally. Amazingly, the vast majority of the hospital-going moms in my circle of friends are birthing naturally as well.

I think birthing naturally has a viral effect. “If Sally, who births at home, can do it, then so can I.” Well, in this city, it is no longer just Sally, for many moms are birthing at home. Sally, Jane, Michelle, Carol….. Then, “if it can be done at home, it can be done in the hospital too.” So now we have Jennie, Rachel, Ann, Heather, Leslie, Kris, Maria,…..birthing naturally in a hospital!

Hats off to the women in my town! And hats off to Tennessee for not persecuting our beloved midwives. – milkmaid

* photo by kellyandangie (on flickr)


  1. I just discovered your blog (after borrowing a photo from it and giving you credit–that post will appear soon at http://www.fulltummies.blogspot.com). Anyway, I’ve been enjoying it and then came across this post where you mentioned TN–I, too, had a great experience with natural childbirth here in TN at a birth center. I had to have my twins at a hospital (my second pregnancy), but they were very willing to consider natural childbirth at the hospital as well. I didn’t get to have the boys naturally/non-medicated in part because Twin B was breach and they did indeed end up doing an emergency C-section on him. But, three cheers for TN for encouraging midwifery!!

  2. Milkmaid

    October 2, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    Hi, Betsy. Glad you’ve had good birthing experiences here as well!

    I love this picture too, but I can’t take credit for it. At the bottom of my post, you’ll see that I credit Flickr’s kellyandangie. They have several pregnant bellies pictures for creative common use.

    Your blog looks interesting – lots of yummy looking recipes. Thanks for visiting!

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