12 Feb Accomplishments In Childbirth
So when did childbirth become a competition?
When did it become this thing that women especially, use to compete with one another or to prove their ‘worthiness’ to wear the Badass Badge?
Raise your hand if you’ve heard any of these before. Raise both hands if you’ve said them!
“Oh yay on your baby! Did you go all natural??”
“Wow, you’re crazy! You didn’t even ask for an epidural?!”
“I just couldn’t do it anymore and gave up and got the drugs.”
“My body obviously doesn’t know what to do because I never dilated and had to have a cesarean.”
“You’re going to do a VBAC this time, right??!”
With each of these statements and questions, someone is judging and someone is being judged.
Judged for asking for pain relief.
Judged for not asking for pain relief.
Judging through future expectations.
Why. Why is it that we feel the need to judge decisions in childbirth?
Why is it that one way is seen as “the best way” and every other way is declared some level of sub-par?
My goodness, the person being judged just grew an entire human inside their body and then brought that human out of their body. That my friends, is an incredible thing!
What if we as friends, as family members, as co workers, as fellow Facebook group members…could manage to exercise a little common decency when it comes to respecting other families?
What if we were to genuinely treat these other families how we would like to be treated, in the midst of our own personal decision making?
I really think that we could change things on a big scale if respect and common decency became the norm instead of the exception.
What if the clients who come to Doulas Northwest found that more than just their Doulas treated them with unbiased support during their pregnancies and parenting?
What if measuring “accomplishments in childbirth” was kept to:
- is your baby/are your babies on the outside of your body and safe?
- did you make the decisions that were right for you?
- do you feel you were treated with care and respect?
Please tell me I’m not the only one who is insulted by the pressure of ‘accomplishment’ being put on expecting families.
I believe it’s possible that we could see overall improved physical and mental health in new parents if those three bullets were the criteria for accomplishment. And if their parents are healthy, I believe it’s possible that we could see overall improved physical and mental health in children as they grow.
Food for thought as we continue to work toward leaving birth better than we found it.