Saturday, September 08, 2012

Why Do Women Care How Other Women Birth Their Babies?

On Sept. 4, 2012 Birth Without Fear posed the question: "Why do women care how other women give birth? Genuine Question." 

I noted that just an hour later, more than 100 facebookers had posted responses. Answers varied wildly, ranging anywhere from, "I don't care; it's nobody's business." to "It's in our nature to care about others--that's just being human." (which was my husband's sentiment).

So Marcia, why are you such a birth nut? I think my feelings would be best expressed in the form of an interpretive dance. But, since I don't have time for that today, let it suffice to say that I think God just made me this way (?)

A few initial thoughts...

What I've found is that most women want to have a safe, happy birth experience, they're just misinformed. I just want people to be as informed as possible, so that they can make the best, safest choice for their family. How can we make safe birth choices if we don't even know about all our options? If we don't know our options, we don't have any. The decisions that are made on that day affect us and our baby's health for the rest of our lives. Birth is unpredictable, but parents can make a plan for the controllable parts, as well as decide in advance for different possible scenarios. We can educate ourselves so that even if something undesirable happens, we can look back with no regrets.
Giving birth is a rite of passage. It's a day that is forever etched in a parent's memory. It can be incredibly powerful, or cripplingly traumatic (or somewhere in between, but we try to shoot for better rather than worse).

We don't have to hand our rite of passage over to a care provider out of fear (or, heaven forbid, laziness). The way birth is portrayed on TV shows and in movies is all wrong. Don't be fooled by it.

We need to educate ourselves about REAL birth for the sake of our babies' safety. (Plus, it will make birth a lot easier and less painful if you know what you're going into & how to cope!)

I strongly encourage moms to: carefully select your birthing place, carefully select your prenatal care provider, and educate yourself as much as possible. You wouldn't have your wisdom teeth removed without carefully weighing the risks/benefits, and you wouldn't let just anyone perform the surgery. This concept is also true--even more so--for the birth of your baby.

So, yes, I do care how other moms birth their babies. For pregnant moms: I genuinely want them to have a positive experience and healthy babies. For moms who've been through it: sharing our past experiences is how we learn. I learned a LOT from my first birth that helped make my second birth and amazing, beautiful experience. 

That is why I am working toward becoming a childbirth educator. We are all in this together.

I look forward to your comments!

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