In this episode we explore the debate around “natural birth” vs. “medicalized birth” — an issue that has been quite controversial among women, feminists, and, more generally, society as a whole. But is that dichotomy a necessary one? Is natural birth “better,” is medicalized birth “worse?” Is there a middle ground? What kind of pressure is placed on pregnant women as a result of these debates?
Ness Fraser is a full-spectrum doula, reproductive rights activist, and midwifery care advocate. She has supported low-income and immigrant women in Toronto through pregnancy, birth, and abortion and hopes to attend midwifery school in the future. I spoke with her about the natural birth movement, the medicalization of birth, the debate that’s happening within feminist discourse, and options for pregnant women in Canada, over the phone from her home in Ontario.