Staying safe from negativity during pregnancy!
“She acts like she’s the only woman to ever be pregnant”… followed by an eye roll….
Who says that?! Oh, I’ll tell you who says that! WOMEN! Close friends, co-workers, sisters, in-laws, out-laws etc… The onslaught of birth negativity starts the moment we share our amazing news!
There are some bizarre behaviors that surround pregnancy in our culture that I will never understand.
Here is a perfect example.
Sister in law: So, (excitedly) when are you due???
Newly pregnant mom: My midwife said my estimated due date is Sept 12th.
Sister in law: Hmmph…That doesn’t mean a thing. If you don’t have your baby by that day, they will induce you.
Newly pregnant mom: Really?
Sister in law: Yup, that’s what happened to me. They made me go to the hospital, hooked me up to this crazy medicine called Pitocin. I was contracting like crazy! One after another for hours! I begged for an epidural! I thought I was gonna DIE!!!!
Newly pregnant mom: What if I want a natural birth or a water birth?
Sister in law: What are you nuts?! Go to the hospital and get an epidural the second you go into labor!!!
Newly pregnant mom: (walks away feeling terrified and confused)
This happens every day in our culture. Women seem to enjoy creating fear for one another around labor and birth. Why do you think that is? Why do women want other women to be afraid? How is that productive to anyone? Why do we not lift each other up? Show some support? Encouragement?
Our culture mocks birth. From comedians to sit-coms we mock birth. When a woman is strong enough to weed through the ridiculous-ness of her society’s interpretation of birth and find her own philosophy about birthing naturally, she is mocked. She is not lifted up. She is not encouraged. Instead she is said to be an “alternative birther”. Eyes roll, she is told that home birth is unsafe, she is told that a water birth will drown her baby, she is told that she is being a martyr or trying to win an award.
I say, hire a doula. A doula who nurtures the spirit of a woman searching to find her personal birth philosophy. A doula who asks thought provoking questions and provides resources and evidence based information to support that woman’s desires. A doula who will praise her for being true to herself and will provide a safe and positive place where that woman can, without judgment, explore her childbirth options. A doula that will lift you up and support you during your pregnancy while you sift through the often confusing decisions that must be made. And most importantly, a doula who helps you feel absolutely amazing about your body, your birth and your decisions!