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Friend judging me for choices Homebirth/ working when pregnant/ Hypnobirthing(39 Posts)
The choices I have made throughout my pregnancy have been overtly questioned and constantly almost mocked and I am feeling pretty put out.
A friend (12 years older than me) has been doing her best to make me feel unsure about my choices.
I have wanted a home birth for a myriad of reasons but am in no way extreme about it- if I need to go into hospital/change my plan at any point I will, but my county has a home birth team which means I'll have 2 midwives to myself and I'm really happy with everything about it.
My friend (who I meet with every Monday night) has been really rather patronising/ angry/ discouraging towards me about this decision. She herself had 2 really traumatic births and is so called "worried"'about me not opting for drugs and warns that it will be the most painful experience of my life.
I don't care what she says (it won't change my mind) I'll still go ahead with my plan, Im just sad that I stupidly thought that being pregnant would mean my friends were kind and supportive but instead she has just continually judged me for my particular choices to the point where I don't want to be around her much. sad
Has anyone else experienced this?
I don't want to fall out with her as we are practically neighbours and have a good friendship otherwise until this point but I just find the constant low level judgement from her is really getting to me and making me not want to be around her.
Surely everyone knows that we are all different aim just quite shocked at her small minded attitude.
I understand that my choices are making her feel in some way threatened and triggering the trauma from her own births but surely it's just basic manners to keep your opinions to yourself and u sweat and that its our choices that empower us.
Oh goodness yes! Sorry to say this but get used to it, everyone has an opinion on everything from the birth, to formula vs breast, weaning, potty training etc.
Some people are especially forceful! Try not to acknowledge it much.
Don't discuss your decisions with her. Don't engage. It's the only way to keep sane
Thanks... It's just really annoying, no one is like this about my other life choices why do they feel they can be about my descision around the baby?
I feel you OP!
I'm not sure what it is, something about babies brings out a horrible superiority complex in some people.
Agree with limiting the amount you share with her, give her less to have an opinion on. Answer with "haven't decided" and I'm sure she'll give you her opinions anyways but at least won't berate your choices
I was going to say the same thing, the comments and judgement about your choices start as soon as you are pregnant and never stop. I think sometimes people can be quite forceful because they want you to do it their way to validate what they did? I would just stop discussing it or shut the conversation down if she brings it up.
Good luck with the birth, I hope you get the lovely homebirth you want.
I'm almost embarrassed for her... It's a bit of a faux pa no?
My other friend said "oh no you're being that woman who frightens the pregnant lady" but she didn't care she just carried on...
I'm going to have to get more thick skinned
Agree with PP that people always seem to have very strong opinions on all pregnancy and baby matters, don't take them on. I had 3 lovely home births, it worked for me but everyone's experience is different!
Oh yes.,, I have had friends ask me how I will cope with labour given my low pain threshold. What?! I don't think I have a low pain threshold but according to one friend I definitely do (how she has come to this conclusion is beyond me as I have never really experienced much in the way of pain and not that she has ever seen) and others who laugh at me when I say I am not planning an epidural.
Anyway... I just ignore them and focus on what i can do to give myself he best chance of a positive birth experience. Of course plans may change and I'm not unrealistic but at the same time right now there's nothing to suggest that a drug free birth in a birthing centre (my current preferred option) isn't going to be possible so why worry about things that might go wrong. I'm leaving that to the midwives!
Good luck with it all!
Just for the record I had a drug free (if you don't count paracetamol) birth and have no real complaints! Obviously it's not comfy! But I do believe the recover is a bit quicker without meds. Good luck to you both!
And yes thick skin will definitely help OP! You know yourself better than anyone and will know your baby better than anyone so be confident in your choices and try to let others opinions brush off
Maybe just maybe she is not trying to be superior and is warning you cack-handedly about home birth. Which would be entirely rational if she has had two traumatic deliveries. Perhaps part of her wants to protect you. I say that as someone who had one totally traumatic labour that could not have happened at home and one textbook labour that could easily have happened at home. And as someone who would choose a home birth for any future births.
A traumatic first birth can be a profoundly shocking experience. Sounds like she hasn't got over it and doesn't want anything similarly bad to happen to you. I wish someone had warned me!
Thank you all, I'm a bit sensitive because my mum died in August so I'm feeling a bit out on my own in all this, I appreciate your positive stories
I wonder if it's more about her still feeling traumatised about her births and being unable to see past them than about your choices? But as she's unable to be supportive for whatever reason, I'd stop discussing the subject with her and change the subject if she brings it up.
Home births aren't a choice that was open to me, and probably not one I'd have taken if it was, but I can see the attraction. I hope it all goes well for you.
FWIW, my first birth, I only had paracetamol, just gas and air with the second, and while labour was undeniably painful, I wouldn't describe either labour as anything like the most painful experience of my life.
Both straightforward delivery so good quick recovery afterwards too, and all in all, I'd describe both my vaginal births as positive experiences.
Fwiw I had 2 totally drug-free births, using hypnobirthing and I'm very wimpy and I was completely fine and, would not remotely describe it as the worse pain of my life. Planning same with dc3. Good luck!
Thank you, yes it's definitely her 'stuff' and I shouldn't have had the expectation in the first place that all my friends would be equally supportive because it's led to my feeling disappointed, I'll see if I can avoid her until after the birth- hopefully she won't be so sanctimonious about my parenting choices.
Yep I'd agree that this is more about her than you. Everyone plans a lovely natural, drug free birth but the majority don't get it. Sounds like she's feeling a bit resentful that you might, and like she hasn't come to terms with her own difficult deliveries
Home births seem to bring out the worst in people. I am planning on a home birth and some of the comments I get are shocking. From mild shock to downright 'why do you want to harm your baby by having a home birth?' (yes someone actually said that to me). A lot of people straight away ask 'how far do you live from the hospital?' As if it's all going to go horrendously wrong as well.
Go with what you want, guided by medical experts. I am the same as you if they say I have to go in to hospital of course I will!! I'm not going to be pig headed and stay at home and put baby and myself at risk.
She's clearly unable to give you what you need from the friendship right now - I agree it's her "stuff" getting in the way of being supportive. Probably best to deflect and change the subject when it comes up again, and let any criticism roll off you as much as possible.
Sorry about your mum.
Make some new friends who aren't judgy, spend lots of time with them. Then your judgy friends won't make such an impact.
Get used to it. One of the most annoying things about pregnancy and having children is that everyone has an opinion on what you're doing.
Ignore your friend for now, she's obviously projecting. I'd have loved a home water birth, but had a few problems so had to be in hospital and on monitors. If everything is ok when we have DC2, I'd really like to try a home birth.
Good luck with birth and baby.
Have also found the opinions thing hard to get used to. Especially when I say I've done hypnobirthing and it's often met with "my friend did that and ended up having a c-section"
Seems like the only area of life that people feel like they can make comments on what you do. I've had 2 friends negatively comment about our local school and our baby isn't even born yet!
Keep going with what you want to do and try not to listen
Also sorry for your loss earlier this year
Lots of people have a very subjective attitude to childbirth and want people to do things the way they did them - I think it's defensiveness over their own choices and experiences. Re. home birth, some people have a very conservative attitude to risk when children are involved. They think you are unreasonable to prioritise your own wishes, even when the risk is negligible or minimal. I can't say I agree with them but I think that's where it comes from.
Are you sure you're not overly defensive? This is an area where she does, after all, have more experience than you. For most healthy young women, labour is indeed the most painful experience of their life - this has been the case throughout every recorded human culture so chances are, she isn't wrong there. She may be someone like me who was wooed by the magical stories of empowering "surges" that I could breathe through and was promised all would be well if only I believed hard enough, and got quite the shock when it turned out that this in fact wasn't true. She may be trying to use her experience (in this particular instance, two labours is a vast amount more than none) to protect you from unrealistic expectations and subsequent disappointment. Of course, it is entirely possible your experience will be exactly as you hoped and all will be well but the opposite is also true. She is also correct in having concerns about homebirth as studies show it carries greater risk for first-time mothers.
None of this means you have to agree with her but I can see her point of view as not being unreasonable. The obvious way of dealing with it of course is to agree not to discuss it. honestly, while the birth seems like such a huge deal right now, in the course of your child's lifetime it really is only a moment and it would be a shame for you to fall out with an otherwise good friend over this.
She is probably genuinely worried for you and your dc, which might be coming across as being sanctimonious but is really not so much judgmental as concerned.
I am so sorry for you loss OP. I hope you find support and comfort in your friend again soon, maybe after the baby arrives.
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