When birth doesn’t go according to plan
One of the mums in the Wicklow pregnancy yoga class brought to my attention this podcast on The Longest Shortest Time. Its an interview with birth guru Ina May Gaskin. The interviewer, Hilary, challenges Ina May about the way the ‘elitist’ natural childbirth movement talks about birth, setting women up to feel like failures if they cant achieve a natural birth. Its an interesting point and Ina May addresses it beautifully in this interview. Not in any way to place myself alongside such an amazing expert in pregnancy and birth, I concur with most of what she says here. Because of the way I teach my antenatal classes, advocating natural birth as the safest and most ideal way to deliver a baby in most instances, I have often wondered if perhaps some women feel judged by me for the kind of birth they had.
I understand the multitude of challenges that may present during birth and I agree with Ina May when she says “not everyone has a great time, sometimes it’s really rugged, really hard and you’re not alone if you experienced a lot of pain”, (or ended up having an unexpected caesarean). I would never judge any woman for the kind of birth she had. Most antenatal teachers know, that its never the mother’s fault when things don’t go according to plan and she doesn’t get the kind of birth she hoped for. Its not something she did or didn’t do. So if you’re one of those women still blaming yourself for not having what you perceived as the perfect birth then maybe it’s time to let that go. Could be that the only person who may be judging you is yourself.
I think giving birth in itself, no matter how it happens, is an incredible achievement and in fact the women who faced the biggest challenges and had the most difficult time may have achieved the most. We should be able to put it on our CV, just imagine… Other special achievements: “I offered my body for the furtherance of humanity. I trained for nine months on a special diet avoiding all toxins and enduring many associated ailments including disturbed sleep which continued for years after the main event. The event itself was full of challenges such as ……… which I faced courageously etc.” Seriously! An officer or NASA astronaut would get great commendation for this kind of dedication and achievement for which they would be medaled and decorated! #pregnancy #inamay #missingchapter