When is intervention ok during birth? By Octavia Hamilton, Founder & Physio.


Watching Jeremy Clarkson on the Farm 2 a thought came to me. There is an episode where they are calving and, having missed the first births, Jeremy buys a monitor so they don't miss another.

The camera crew enter the barn and the labour does not progress. My oxytocin levels would have dropped too with an audience like that! After 3 hours, it's clear she needs a little help. They call the vet and assist the delivery with the most mind-boggling contraption. A heavily assisted birth but one healthy, happy calf born. 

The next labour, there is a problem. The sack has burst meaning it’s an emergency! The calf needs to be out ASAP. Caleb heroically assists the delivery single handedly.

Both outcome's are what everyone wanted. I do wonder however, if the camera crew hadn’t been there for the first birth, might it have gone smoother and without intervention. But, clearly, it was a good thing they were there for the second as it is likely the calf might have died without intervention. 

Now the relevance of this, is the debate about intervention.  This article below states 'the push for the perfect birth is damaging'. But I think the messaging is all wrong. 


We all know birth is a difficult process. Women have been dying in childbirth since time immemorial. But, thanks to modern medicine we can have epidurals, c-section, and an assisted supported births where necessary. But, you can’t deny the evidence that one intervention leads to another and often many are unnecessary. 


I wish I had known the benefits of learning more about the birthing process before I had my first daughter. Following a 72 hour labour I thought, well I am never doing that again! I didn’t need forceps, tear or have an emergency c-section but it was enough. They were close to pulling the cord though as A was getting understandably distressed. Needless to say I had an elective second time around. It is probably worth stating that I had done no birth prep for the first birth.

I now work closely with the most amazing team of women who educate and support women through the process of pregnancy and birth, in a realistic and supportive manor. They talk you through every eventuality and what options you have in those situations. 

I recommend all of my clients work with a birth preparation practioner of some sort. And I know the good ones. Who arn't pro "au natural". They are pro choice and informed consent.

Sometimes you need drugs, intervention and or surgery and every women would take it 100 times over to save their baby, so why on earth are women feeling like they failed. 

There is no right or wrong way, but the most important thing is to know what might happen and how to manage it when it does. 


We need to find a way to empower women and give them confidence in every situation. We can’t predict how your birth will go but we sure can help you prepare in the best possible way.