Post # 1
There’s an interesting article at New York Magazine about how the new culture of “perfect childbirths” shames women from getting epidurals and makes them feel like they could have done more to prevent a c-section. There’s a new book called Labor Day where women shared their birthing experiences and a vast majority felt _guilt_ for getting epis, even though some 80%-90% of women use them.
I also notice a lot of women on these boards grieve when they have to have c-sections. My mother had 4 c-sections and I always took for granted that they were normal. Thought.
Post # 2
I had epeidurals both times, and I feel no shame. I have 2 healthy kids. The second time, I went so fast, I didn’t ger much relief from the epidural though.
As for c/sections, I think they are a medical necessity many times. I do think sometimes doctors rush to perform them because of worry about lawsuits, but I don’t think a woman is a failure for having one. the recovery time is longer and complications are more likely, so an informed decision should be made:-).
Post # 3
Dp,people actually read birth stories? Why? Who cares?
and what kind of nit-wit is going to take seriously any self-proclaimed “expert” who has taken up child birth like some new religion/Olympic sport?
Have an epidural, don’t breast feed, leave your kid with a sitter once in awhile. It’s fine. Really.
Post # 4
I’ve always been completely shocked by birth-shaming. I never knew it really existed until getting pregnant myself and coming to the internet. To me, however you bring your child into this world is 1.) your choice and 2.) between you and your doctor in times of true crisis. I’ve even seen friends of mine mourn the fact that they had to have a c-section because its just “not what they wanted”, as though they somehow regret having to do a medically necessary procedure in order to bring their child here safely.
People often forget that pregnancy and labor (while natural) is a risk. Utilizing the technology and medicine available to have a less complicated, less painful, and less risky and dangerous delivery should never be looked at as “weakness.” There is no perfect birth anymore than there is a perfect parent or a perfect person for that matter.
My birthplan says “epidural” in big bold letters. No shame here. And I’m still extremely aware that I might not get it my way anyway.
Post # 5
Zhabeego: “Have an epidural, don’t breast feed, leave your kid with a sitter once in awhile. It’s fine. Really. “<br /><br />^^^^
You have enough stress around dealing with the idea of labour and preparing to have a new baby at home, I don’t understand the need to add more.
It’s a personal experience, same with raising your kids. Some things need to just remain private and not become the world’s microscope.
Post # 6
Love how this article about how birth shaming is bad turns around and dismisses natural childbirth as something pursued by moralists and “doulas with nose rings.” That’s like saying “racism sucks. And nobody is more racist than Koreans.” Ummm, what?
I can fully understand being disappointed by a C-section if natural birth was your plan. If you sign up to run a marathon but you twist your ankle before finishing the race, you’re gonna be disappointed. Doesn’t mean you were wrong to stop running, but it’s still a hard pill to swallow if you were hoping to go all 26.2. Being disappointed when things don’t go the way you wanted them to is not “birth shaming.”
Post # 7
I think the big problem in “grieving” c-sections is that many women realize that this most likely sets them up for c-sections again and again. It’s a longer recovery process. But I don’t think that it’s something over which people should feel shame — c-sections happen.
In the case of epidurals, you do what you gotta do to get through it. The pain is not the same for everybody, and the threshold for pain varies. It is sad that people have such a tendency to conclude, “I did blank, therefore, that’s the only way, and anyone who does it differently didn’t try hard enough.”
There are risks and benefits to every medical decision — but the risks are usually not BIG.
Post # 8
My aunt had a c-section way back in the early 80s and felt shame so much that she did a ton of research on VBACs when she got pregnant in the early 90s. She said she didn’t feel like a real woman because she didn’t have a vaginal birth. Meanwhile, my mom had 2 c-sections and was even knocked out during them, and didn’t care at all! I think it depends on what you allow yourself to feel.
This type of shaming exists everywhere for women! My Mother-In-Law even does it to me with “when I was your age, I had to work, and take care of my kid without help, and take care of my house without help…. etc., etc., etc., but you younger women make your husbands pitch in.” There’s probably a way of phrasing your story in a way that celebrates YOU rather than demeans anyone else that didn’t have your same experience. That’s the difference, I think.
Post # 9
Sanctimommies are obnoxious, whether it be those who believe natural is the only way to go, or that you’re poisoning your child if you formula feed them. However, I think it says more about you than them if you’re going to be that upset by their opinions of your birth.
I have never had the desire to go natural. i had an epidural and had a wonderful birth experience – probably about as perfect as I could have ever imagined. I didn’t feel any pain and was able to relax and enjoy the experience. My husband and I didn’t turn the TV on once while I was in labor. He sat next to me and we talked about our excitement and nervousness about becoming parents, how we would deal with certain situations, our hopes and dreams for our daughter, etc. It was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had with my husband. I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy it if I was in pain from going natural. That all being said, I could not care less what anyone else thinks about my having an epidural. I do get pissed when people spew incorrect facts to back up their view point (e.g., in another thread a sanctimommy said that you aren’t able to bond with your baby if you have an epi because it interferes with your “love hormones.”) That is clearly not true. I’m cool if you think I’m the worst mom on earth and not a “real” woman because I had an epidural, but don’t tell me I can’t/won’t bond with my baby because of it.
Post # 10
MrsWBS: Ah the oxytocin argument. I had a girl tell me that if you sleep with someone too much you may accidentally fall in love because “oxytocin”
Post # 11
I would never be ashamed of a c-section. I just want to set up some nice gut bacteria for wee one in the birthing process. Interestingly they are experimenting with putting vaginal secretions on the baby after a c-section to transfer the good bacteria from the vagina to them. If that was an option I’d be equally fine with either. My self worth isn’t really tied to my birthing process I guess.
Post # 12
I think it is SO SAD that people greive C-sections. UMMMM if you gave birth before they were available you’d be dead, or your child would be dead, or both. I think people lose sight of how at the end of the day, they have a baby that is ALIVE in their arms. This is a blessing that many women dream to have and some of these women, will never have.
Post # 13
I had a c section under general anaesthetic due to a cord prolapse and I was shocked by some of the comments I received afterwards. For some reason people seem to think it’s ok to share their opinions in this area, whether welcome or not. I’ve been told that I ‘took the easy option’ and called ‘too posh to push’.
First of all, it wasn’t that easy. Recovery is a bitch! Secondly, I certainly haven’t greived my c section, I’m just pleased my baby is alive! And not pushing the baby out myself doesn’t make me any less of a mother!
Post # 14
elindsp: screw the haters. I can’t believe people actually say that shit to you. Next time you should just say, “well it was either I decide to ‘be to posh to push’ or lose my baby” hopefully that’ll shut them up.
Post # 15
MrsWBS: Exactly. I could care less what people do but please don’t tell me I’m wrong in my choices and don’t make crap up or cite random facts you found on a message board or someone told you.
I had an “elective” c-section, god forbid. The internet would try to make me feel bad about that but I had probably the easiest and most pleasant childbirth experience of anyone I know. Its not my fault the baby didn’t want to go anywhere and that I wanted to experience the least amount of pain possible. I also don’t feel like less of a woman for not experiencing labor, like some people would say.
“There is no way to do labor “right” or “wrong,” and it’s damaging to perpetuate a one-size-fits-all approach to having babies.” I think that is the point of the article. That everyone should do whatever they want to in regards to childbirth and everyone needs to quit judging each other about their choices.