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to think the natural birth at all costs ideology is fucking crackers?

(910 Posts)
burnagirl Fri 22-Nov-19 09:54:48

We have a scandal on our hands. Shrewsbury Maternity Unit.

I couldn't believe what I was reading, but to be honest, I wasn't all that surprised, having had many a run in with the natural birthers/earth mothers in the past.

There is a toxic and insidious ideology permeating the 'birth culture' in the UK. This culture that tells women that our bodies were 'made' to give birth, that our bodies KNOWWWW what to do, that any intervention means failure on our part. That childbirth pain is something to be endured with happiness and joy - I mean, really? Is it some sort of a more 'noble' pain? Something transcendental and sacred and good?

Nah, fuck off with that. You wouldn't have a root canal with no pain relief, so WHY do we fetishise female suffering in childbirth? To me, there's this mile-wide misogynistic miasma around this narrative, probably rooted in religion.

Then there's this totally daft idea of intervention/c-section being a failure. Such bollocks. We don't seem to realise that, from an evolutionary perspective, it isn't even necessary for MOST mothers to survive childbirth. All we need is ENOUGH mothers and babies to survive, so no, our bodies are not sacred temples that somehow magically Know Best.

Can we please do away with the woo around childbirth and just do what needs to be done to ensure that mothers and babies come out of the (let's face it, fucking painful and dangerous) process alive and well, however the hell it happens?

churchandstate Fri 22-Nov-19 09:56:25

Agreed.

However, it’s just as important that mothers aren’t rushed into interventions they don’t want or need. That happens as well.

Velveteenfruitbowl Fri 22-Nov-19 09:56:52

Here here! This myth kills women.

DogAndCatPerson Fri 22-Nov-19 09:59:04

Absolutely agree.

HotSince82 Fri 22-Nov-19 09:59:06

If men gave birth we'd have had C section as standard about a thousand years ago.

burnagirl Fri 22-Nov-19 10:00:03

I've met quite a few women who were seriously unhappy about their birth experience because they needed intervention. They felt like failed women. Why? Because they'd been fed this absolute bullshit that they're goddesses who should be able to give birth with no intervention, no pain relief, preferably in a field in the moonlight. This makes me furious.

DogAndCatPerson Fri 22-Nov-19 10:00:14

I also agree with The point made by churchandstate.

HappyPunky Fri 22-Nov-19 10:01:22

I had an elective c section and was massively shamed for it by the midwife.

My memory of it is that she hated me and thought I was chickening out but I just thought she was a cow and DD and I were absolutely fine afterwards.

Pregnant women need to be supported in their choices over their own body however they want to give birth.

I was given an A4 sheet of risks of a c section, I didn't see anything detailing the risks of a vaginal birth.

Zebraantelopegiraffe Fri 22-Nov-19 10:01:24

Agreed - live, well baby and a safe (physically, spiritually and emotionally) mother.

DogAndCatPerson Fri 22-Nov-19 10:02:29

hotsince, csections aren’t without risk. They are major abdominal surgery and aren’t necessarily the safest option for every birth.

daffydowndilys Fri 22-Nov-19 10:03:35

Agreed!!!

I know many children who were born and needed immediate care (including my own dd). Both my daughter and my nephew would probably have died if I had gone down the home birth route.

churchandstate Fri 22-Nov-19 10:04:02

I wanted to avoid a c section when I gave birth. I really didn’t want the recovery. I had a long labour but at the end of it I could get up and walk around, which I wanted. But if I had needed a c section I would expect that advice from a consultant, and in a timely fashion.

GrumpyHoonMain Fri 22-Nov-19 10:04:11

I think the problem is midwife led care / units. If we all had consultant led care as is standard in other countries then we wouldn’t be shamed for making informed medical choices during birth.

burnagirl Fri 22-Nov-19 10:04:19

I think a predictable and routine, if major, planned surgery is far safer than a notoriously unpredictable vaginal delivery.

BertrandRussell Fri 22-Nov-19 10:05:02

I would agree with you if I had ever come across anybody in real life who thought like that. I know a lot of people, like me, who wanted to give birth without intervention if at all possible, however, which is an entirely different thing.

churchandstate Fri 22-Nov-19 10:05:50

I think a predictable and routine, if major, planned surgery is far safer than a notoriously unpredictable vaginal delivery.

That simply isn’t true, though.

Maneandfeathers Fri 22-Nov-19 10:06:41

I had a pain relief free birth, not through choice.

If I ever did it again, which is extremely unlikely, I want an epidural from the second I go into Labour!

burnagirl Fri 22-Nov-19 10:07:38

If pertinent, I had a natural delivery. Was awful. Prolonged, painful despite pain relief, and generally an awful experience all around, despite having great midwives. What's so empowering about being in so much pain that you're beginning to consider jumping out of the nearest window? Next time I'm going for an elective section. And good drugs for the recovery.

Blackopal Fri 22-Nov-19 10:08:47

Yanbu

OrangeSlices998 Fri 22-Nov-19 10:08:54

You’re right to say maternity services need to do, and be, better. That much is clear.

However, everything I have read about this, starting here www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.independent.co.uk/news/health/shrewsbury-maternity-scandal/nhs-maternity-scandal-shrewsbury-telford-hospitals-mothers-babies-report-a9207176.html%3famp and then lots of other reporting and information, doesn’t suggest a ‘normal birth at all costs’ agenda but rather a totally failing maternity unit that failed women and babies across the board for decades by providing substandard care, not learning from mistakes and not acting appropriately when tragic events occur.

As I say, you’re right that there is a problem within the maternity unit but my understanding isn’t that it’s related to pushing a normal birth agenda.

BertrandRussell Fri 22-Nov-19 10:09:35

You might need to be a bit careful about being so dismissive of those of us who want intervention free births. I am certainly not a martyr, a slave to misogyny or primitive.....

burnagirl Fri 22-Nov-19 10:11:02

Nope. I might not need to be a bit careful about anything.

headshoulderskneesandtoe Fri 22-Nov-19 10:12:02

I've met quite a few women who were seriously unhappy about their birth experience because they needed intervention. They felt like failed women. Why? Because they'd been fed this absolute bullshit that they're goddesses who should be able to give birth with no intervention, no pain relief, preferably in a field in the moonlight. This makes me furious.

This. I felt so ashamed that I couldn't 'give birth naturally' after needing pain relief and ultimately an emergency c-section. I wish I had never done my hypnobirthing course, as it really affected how I felt about labour and my apparent failure afterwards. I know some people get a lot from hypnbirthing, but for me it had the opposite effect.

StripeyTopRedLips Fri 22-Nov-19 10:12:45

Of course YANBU. Any time someone parrots the ‘it’s a natural process, far too medicalised these days, all you need is instinct’ I wonder to myself whether they have even the faintest grasp of how maternal and neonatal mortality rates have fallen since the development of modern medical support for childbirth. Fine, anyone is entitled to weigh up the risks and decide to eschew any medical help whatsoever, but don’t kid yourself you have just as good a chance of a successful birth at the other side as someone who avails them self of medical care.

There’s a trend in a group I’m part of towards what’s called unassisted pregnancy and birth. Which literally means not accessing any medical care whatsoever, no antenatal checks or scans, and labouring without any support or pain relief at home. Which seems bonkers to me but is an individual’s choice.

Currently 36wk with my first and a few women have suggested I go for a home birth because it’ll be stressful being in hospital and that will delay labour. Personally I think I’ll be the least stressed in hospital knowing I’m surrounded by people who know what they’re doing and minutes away from intervention if it’s needed! I’d feel far more worried at home knowing that if something went wrong we might not be able to get to hospital at time. The risk just seems too massive. Definitely planning to use whatever pain relief is available too, as a friend of mine said ‘you don’t get a better baby if you do it without painkillers’ 😂

I’ve also seen a lot of super unrealistic birth plans, with all kinds of things on that just don’t take into account the reality of delivering in a busy hospital where you’re not the only person giving birth: stuff about dimmed lights and whale music and electric candles and putting photo frames up around the bed lol. One woman printed twelve copies of her birth plan, laminated them, and insisted anyone who entered the room was given one. It’s bonkers and incredibly entitled, I kinda get that it’s generally an expression of anxiety and feeling afraid of losing control but I don’t think it helps: she ended up with an emergency caesarean and was devastated it hadn’t gone the way she expected it too. It was a rude awakening for her that you can’t plan what’s going to happen on the day and ultimately what’s important is that you leave hospital with a healthy baby, uninjured, something some women would kill for and have been sadly unable to have.

GiveHerHellFromUs Fri 22-Nov-19 10:12:44

I wanted to give birth as naturally as I could because I was absolutely terrified of the idea of an epidural or surgery, nothing to do with societal expectation.

But I do think it's so sad that mothers who can't do it in exactly the way they had hoped feel guilty because of it.

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