|Posted on August 24, 2015 at 10:15 PM|
Imagine you are sitting with a group of women, they know you are pregnant and for a moment you feel safe enough to announce that you plan to have a natural birth!
Wait! What? What is their reaction?
"Oh MY God!", "Why would you even do that?", "There is not a gold medal at the end", as they continue you feel like you are being backed into a very lonely dark hole. The judgement, the lack of support and the outrage and god-for-bid you announce you plan a home birth for the love of chocolate the explanations get bigger!
Have you ever been on the receiving end of this? Better yet, have you been the one to protest a "friend" or loved ones choice?
I have spent a lot of time wondering, asking and researching this very topic. Time and time again I hear clients second guess themselves and cry, yes I said CRY, because they were made to feel like bad moms; already and baby hasn't even arrived! I've hugged those moms and wiped their tears over and over again. They aren't bad moms because they want to lessen the exposure to unnecessary interventions (that aren't without risk) or because they want to heal quickly so they can meet the needs of their brand new baby. These are well educated moms, who took the time to research their options and found that this was the best choice for them / not you. You may have decided differently and that's ok too, your should never be made to feel bad because you wanted a medicated birth or to birth in a hospital, that is certainly your right and you too should feel supported.
If you have been on the receiving end of this, come from a place of compassion for the woman who isn't being supportive. Sit back and ask yourself if she ever shared details about her own birth with you and what that looked like. Chances are she wanted to have a normal birth too but along the way she was scared or unsupported and it dictated the decisions she made and ultimately she may have some regrets.
Women please stop judging other women for their birth choices, either way is ok - for that person!
Here is my theory on the subject and I encourage anyone who disagrees to email me, because I am not done trying to learn more on this subject. If a mother-to-be announces she wants a natural birth, do you then feel she is judging you because you didn't have a natural birth? Do you protest her choice because it is a reflection on how you birthed your baby? Do you feel by her saying she wants a natural birth, that she is in some way annoucing that she is better than you? So you reaction is to critcize her choice or denounce that there is no way she's going to be able to handle the pain, nor will she meet her goal of a natural birth? Think about it...
My job as a Doula isn't to tell women how to birth their babies or convience them to have a natural birth, in fact I don't even call it natural birth! I call it "normal birth" left alone, this is what their body and baby would do. But I know 100% without a doubt you CAN birth your babies normally, I find it's my job to convience YOU that you can do it! To help you drown out the ney-sayers in your head, to lift you up, encourage you to stay your path - because you chose a normal birth for all your own reasons and you will do it!
Let's lift women up with where they are in their vision for birth, encourage her to birth her way! The entire team needs to be on the same page as HER (the partner, the family, the entire support team, the Doula, the hospital and yes, the care provider). If there is a missing link in this chain, you will have a harder time in achieving your birth goals. Do not compromise, your baby is relying on you to make decisions throughout.
Ask yourself if you have an agenda for someone elses birth!?!