Paging Rosie: The Polarizing Nature of Pregnancy & Childbirth
I’m having a hard time formulating what I am trying to say on this topic, as I certainly don’t wish to offend anyone (which I suppose kind of proves the ultimate point I’m trying to make). Let me also say before I launch into this that I support all childbirth choices that end up with a healthy mom and baby, and that these choices can be different for everyone.
Now that we have that all cleared up, I want to talk about the polarizing nature of decisions relating to pregnancy and childbirth. One might expect the choices made in parenting and the techniques employed will indeed be polarizing, as they can shape a human being and that, after all, is the most amazing responsibility one can ever be given. I would also expect the types of choices you make that will directly affect your baby’s health, such as alcohol or caffeine consumption, to also be controversial. But I can honestly say that I never expected the methods by which one chooses to give birth to be so polarizing. In my line of work, I come across many different pregnant women who have different wants, different hopes about how they would like to give birth. I am so pleased to say that in most cases these women get to have some version of what they originally wanted in delivery and I am also so delighted that in this day and age, women mostly have a choice. What I find disconcerting however is how angry people can get if others make a different choice than what they see as the “right way” to give birth.
The two main delivery camps seem to be natural delivery (meaning absolutely no medicine) versus a delivery with medication and possibly planned intervention such as induction and C-section. There are of course a thousand camps in between these two polar opposites. In my experience, choosing one path over the other does not make you a better mother than someone who chooses the other option, and neither one gives you the right to judge another’s pregnancy or choices, provided they are healthy ones for mother and child.
I know people will also debate the whether or not something is a healthy choice. But I’m not going to go there in this blog.
So, I am completely unclear why one group of moms is giving the other group of moms such a hard time. Look, I get that if someone wants to give birth underwater with the dolphins in Aruba with very limited access to medical assistance, it might cause some to get angry, while others might think that’s the best choice in the world. But if someone wants a hypno-birth or, on the other hand, wants every safe medication the doctor will give them, I really don’t see a reason to make someone else feel inferior, crazy or like less of a woman warrior for making a different choice.
I am also not sure when doctors became the enemy. Of course, there are doctors that are not amazing, just as in any profession. But you should make it your job to find the best possible healthcare provider for you and work with them to achieve the pregnancy and delivery that you want. If you are not willing to listen to your health care provider because you don’t respect their decision-making when it comes to you and your baby, then they shouldn’t be your health care provider. Having a baby involves many people (a tribe, if you will), so collect the best team around you and make educated choices that are best for you and your baby and try to ignore people ranting about what was best for them….or people that have never had children, for that matter offering very pushy advice.
Remember motherhood is hard enough we don’t gain anything by tearing each other down.….Kumbaya my lovelies