Recently a friend asked my thoughts on unassisted birth. Here is my response.
Birthing at home with an educated midwife is fabulous. It is not for everyone nor does it need to be. I think every choice with birth should be have the precursor of education, contemplation, and a removal from the "world's view" of birth. As with any "debate" or exchange of opinions, there inevitably are some who are wacky, who do brag, or who overshare, frankly and make the rest of "us" look bad. It bothers me. Big time.
Back to the topic you asked about, however-- unassisted birth. As I have had more children, more experiences, I have become more "open" to the idea for others, if that makes sense. Its not really my place to decide what is right for them. I can only hope that all people do educate themselves about all the ins and outs. Being in labor puts you out of your normal state and I think women deserve the support of educated care providers who can help them make the best choices in that state... who KNOW them and know how to communicate with them effectively. Women are vastly under supported in many ways in our country, but it is glaringly clear with birth. I think for some doing it unassisted may be out of fear of being manhandled-- they're more scared of having a baby in the hospital than having one ALONE... and that is really sad to me.
Also I think the internet has helped create this false "superbreed" of women. They take pride in doing things on their own because they are too scared to ask for help because it has been denied to them too often. Its like, "I can't rely on anyone to help me the way I want so screw you all, I don't need you I'm doing it myself...." Of course, there are some who approach it prayerfully, etc, and that is their conclusion, to stay home, without additional help... so I don't think those who are going for "superpowers" are the majority, I don't think. I also take pride in doing things for myself, but its the bragging about it online, the judging others based on your own situation and choices that seems so detrimental to getting anything to change in the way women are treated in their birth care.
Every topic has lots of different angles and facets, but those are just some of my thoughts about this. Mainly, my worries for these women in terms of what their choices MIGHT say about our society and women's resources.