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to really dislike the phrase 'ALL that matters is you have a healthy baby'?

(104 Posts)
Spidermama Mon 25-Aug-08 20:32:34

Because that's not ALL that matters. Of course it's the most important thing, but I fear some women allow themselves to be short changed when it comes to giving birth, or having the experience taken away from you, by medics and midwives who say 'ALL that matters is you have a healthy baby.'

Actually, a positive birth experience would be quite helpful too.

onepieceoflollipop Mon 25-Aug-08 20:36:39

Agree Spidermama. It isn't particularly helpful either to parents who haven't had a 100% "healthy" baby - whether they had been prepared for this or not.

Your op reminded me of that trite phrase "happy mummy = happy baby" - pretty crap for anyone going through pnd. Pile the guilt on why not?

To get back to your op, many women have horrendous and traumatic birth experiences and to be dismissed with that statement makes me sad and angry

alicet Mon 25-Aug-08 20:37:03

You're right it's not ALL that matters and you have the right to hope for a positive birth experience too.

Unfortunately I think a small minority of mums to be let this overshadow the healthy baby bit though which is probably why these professionals say this. They have probably heard lots of women say 'but I don't want asection / forceps / etc please read my birth plan!' when their baby is in serious danger. I know sometimes people are pushed into accepting interventions they do not really want when they are not really warranted though.

I'm not saying it's wrong to want people to respect your wishes or to plan for the type of birth you would like all being well. But clearly this is LESS important than the health of your baby

WhereTheWildEelsWere Mon 25-Aug-08 20:38:45

It just feels like 'sod you' to me tbh.

falcon Mon 25-Aug-08 20:39:50


Of course in the end it's the most important thing but it certainly isn't all that matters.

The birth involves both mother and child and their needs must both be taken into account, for the baby that mostly consists of arriving safely in good condition, as for the mother her needs are a little more complex but no less important.

alicet Mon 25-Aug-08 20:39:59

I am speaking by the way as someone who was totally and utterly paranoid about being f*cked over while I was incapaciatated by pain or drigs when in labour with ds1. And ended up with the only delivery I hadn't really considered - an emergency section.

Despite this I think I was handled with care and sensitivity throughout and kept well informed, and it was absolutely the right decision in the end.

alicet Mon 25-Aug-08 20:40:45

drugs not drigs!

alicet Mon 25-Aug-08 20:40:52

drugs not drigs!

tiggerlovestobounce Mon 25-Aug-08 20:54:55

I agree, obviously it is the most important thing, but it helps if other things go well.
It reminds me a bit of when people talk about their labours and use the phrase "Or course its all worth it when you have the baby in your arms" Which in my experience tends to be mainly said by people with what sound like fairly easy deliveries.
Yes, it is all worth it, but some people pay a much higher price than others.

Aitch Mon 25-Aug-08 20:56:56

people do say the weirdest things, don't they? i lost two pregnancies before having dd and my aunt said 'it was all worth it, wasn't it?'

to which i replied 'er, no, i'm sure i'd have been pleased with either of the other two and skipping the suffering, thanks'.

kekouan Mon 25-Aug-08 20:59:22

YANBU... and I think the friend of mine who just had her almost 14lb baby by emergency c-section after 5 hours of pushing would probably agree with you (seriously!!)

Gobbledigook Mon 25-Aug-08 20:59:49

'it was worth it'?! OMG! What a bizarre way to look at miscarriage.

ilovemydog Mon 25-Aug-08 21:02:35

Agree - hides a multitude of sins. I had a horrendous time with DD (the hospital of its own volition launched an internal inquiry) and when i saw my GP, she said, 'never mind. All that matters is that you're OK and DD is OK..' hmm

Aitch Mon 25-Aug-08 21:02:52

i know! it was ectopics, operation and meds and everything... nah, i'd have skipped it, i really would. grin

tbh i did get a few people saying similar things, she was just the only one who i said 'no, actually' to.

i think people just want to make a noise, sometimes. wink

MrsTittleMouse Mon 25-Aug-08 21:05:14

Yes, yes, yes. For what it's worth, I wanted an intact sex life too, as well as a healthy baby. It wasn't supposed to be a direct swap. angry
I was made out to be one of the "stupid brainwashed Mums" who wanted a natural birth (by the OB), and then a "too posh to push" when I wanted a C section after the natural birth plan didn't work (by the same OB). Having gone through my birth notes with a senior midwife I was right - my baby wasn't in distress (so there was plenty of time for a section) and in fact she was so high up that a ventouse delivery was not a good idea. Wish I could go back to the consultant who treated me like shit and bullied me into ventouse and point out that I was right. Too late now, as the enormous scar of my vagina is there and will never go away.

Aitch Mon 25-Aug-08 21:06:58

<squeeze> mrsTM

Dragonbutter Mon 25-Aug-08 21:08:51

but all that mattered to me second time around was to have a healthy baby.
i don't think that's unreasonable.

Tittybangbang Mon 25-Aug-08 21:09:24

People say it without thinking that what they're really doing is trivialising what might be very powerful feelings of sadness. They do it all the time in relation to breastfeeding going wrong too - "Don't feel guilty!" "As long as the baby's fed that's all that matters!", "In a few years time this will all seem like a ]fuss over nothing". I know they usually mean well - they're trying to comfort you in a sort of foot in mouth sort of way. Mind you, I suspect when it's said by a hp who's had a hand in a fucked up birth or bf experience there's probably a bit more to it than that.... hmm

"They have probably heard lots of women say 'but I don't want asection / forceps / etc please read my birth plan!' when their baby is in serious danger". I don't think so Alicet. I reckon it does happen, but not often.

spudballoo Mon 25-Aug-08 21:13:48

I do understand your sentiment but, for me, and this is VERY personal to me, having a healthy baby out of a dreadful birth WAS the most important thing.

I had a difficult birth and had a 4th degree tear which resulted in me having a colostomy bag for a few years. I got rid of it nearly a year ago, but it's unlikely I will be without it forever. In fact I've already started to be a little incontinent.

For me, the only way I got through that was the fact that my son was unscathed by a dreadful forceps delivery. I know that's not always the case, and I'm just grateful that it was me that took the blow and not him.

So, for me, it was very much a case that having a healthy baby given the circumstances was VERY much the important thing.

But, again, this is v personal to me and I do understand what you're saying. And I often think how cruel is must sound to parents of children with disabilities in particular.

scottishmummy Mon 25-Aug-08 21:16:31

pretty innocuous platitude,i can think of many more things to be incandescent about

also dont think it is a medic/mw only mantra either. that would be a generalisation

Janni Mon 25-Aug-08 21:24:02

I've mentioned t his before on a thread about gender of baby rather than birth experience...Having a third child who was born far from healthy, I actually find the platitude 'as long as it's healthy' a bit offensive.

scottishmummy Mon 25-Aug-08 21:27:51

that phrase was music to my ears actually
my pg was difficult and monitored.had emergency section, at the given moment for me,alive was all i wanted.having beeen prepared to expect worst

But for me it was what mattered.

Bluestocking Mon 25-Aug-08 21:30:54

What Spud said. My feelings about DS's truly appalling birth and the colostomy bag/multiple surgeries/totally fucked pelvic floor are only mitigated by the fact that DS was born perfect and breastfed like a dream baby.

Habbibu Mon 25-Aug-08 21:31:22

Umm. I do see what you mean, spidermama, but I did get a bit frustrated with the excessive focus on "the perfect birth" I heard from some people, when at the same time I was trying to comfort friends who'd had stillbirths, and who went through their next labours pretty much muttering "please don't die" all the way through. But I do accept that that is the extreme, and that a bad birth experience can be extremely traumatic and v. bad for mental health etc.

BabiesEverywhere Mon 25-Aug-08 21:35:54

I had this throwaway comment after both births by a midwife in both cases.

I think what annoying me about that phrase is the judgemental attitude behind it. i.e. That midwife has decided that your labour experiences/issues are irrelevent and minor in her mind.

After all, every mother's feeling about her labour is valid. It is not for outsiders to judge what is or is not positive, negative, traumatic etc.

I still don't know how I feel about my newborn DS arrival. I am happy that he is healthy (and that is alright for ME to say) but I would of liked to have an actual birth experience, not more medical intervention. That said I had a lot more control over things this time, unlike with my DD's entry.

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