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'Women have forgotten how to be women, we've forgotten how to conceive, how to give birth, how to breastfeed and how to parent'

(215 Posts)
Reality Wed 06-Jul-11 14:50:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wem Wed 06-Jul-11 14:57:34

I don't know. I'm suspicious of anyone who says that what's natural is automatically what's right. The human race has been messed up by evolution which has left us with a body that's just not designed to give birth easily. Mostly what's happened is that far far fewer women die during child birth. Having said that, I've had one home birth and one where I had to be induced, and I know which I prefered and felt more in control of, but who knows what would have happened if induction wasn't an option.

Breastfeeding as a lost art is perhaps more convincing, more as social norm than anything else.

HengshanRoad Wed 06-Jul-11 15:00:21

Women have forgotten how to be women? That implies that the only a way a woman can be a woman is by giving birth and raising children? If so, that is awful.

colditz Wed 06-Jul-11 15:02:20

All animals suffer PND, including rabbits. The difference is, is a rabbit comes down with PND, she eats the babies and thinks no more of it. Problem solved in her eyes. No repercussions. We can't do that.

AitchTwoOh Wed 06-Jul-11 15:03:42

i didn't forget so much as decide not to be a woman, if being a woman means having my pesky kids under my feet 24/7. wink

EveryonesJealousOfGingers Wed 06-Jul-11 15:07:14

I don't agree with the title of your thread but I do agree (in the main) with the points she made. I have my own view of the last point though in that I feel women are under a lot of pressure to parent and work, or if they don't work to be some kind of super-mum, and a lot of people don't have local family support to allow them time away from their bundles of joy, which I believe we all need!

ROFL at colditz and baby eating rabbits - I have PND but don't have a big enough roasting tin... unPC grin

AMumInScotland Wed 06-Jul-11 15:13:37

I don't think its about women having forgotten how to conceive - how many women are leaving it till later by genuine choice (or ignorance), and how many because they (feel they) can't afford to have children yet, and/or the potential father of their children "isn't ready" for the responsibility. Plus those who do have children at the biologically-optimum time (mid to late teens?) are often vilified by society.

TheAtomicBum Wed 06-Jul-11 15:19:28

The optimal biological time for children is 20-25 years of age.

TrillianAstra Wed 06-Jul-11 15:23:01

Well I can't say I've tried to do most of those things but I think I have a pretty good idea how they work.

TrillianAstra Wed 06-Jul-11 15:28:26

grin at colditz

No, we can't eat our babies and be done with it.

UsingMainlySpoons Wed 06-Jul-11 15:31:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dreamingbohemian Wed 06-Jul-11 15:35:59

So by that logic, women should all get pregnant in their early twenties, have homebirths, breastfeed, and nurture their children 24/7 for two years.

How many women can or want to do this in our modern society? Very few. So why bang on about it? It just makes women feel guilty for not doing enough or being some idealised mum.

I think there is a lot of fetishisation of 'the natural way of things' and a lot of ignorance about the amount of suffering and oppression women experienced back in the good old days.

And where are men in all this? Are there hordes of men wanting to procreate during the most fertile years for women? No. Is it women running the global economy and national governments in such a way that it's no longer possible for most families to get by on one salary? No.

'Women have forgotten' -- pfft. Women have had to adapt to changes in society that they have had little influence over.

(Sorry for the rant. It's probably a good thing I couldn't afford NCT classes smile)

Yama Wed 06-Jul-11 15:38:23

See, I don't think we all need to go to ante-natal or NCT type classes. I don't think we all need to be told that we don't know how to do all these things.

If NCT woman tells women that they are crap and need to be told how to be 'real' woman or whatever that results in ££££ for NCT. No?

Greythorne Wed 06-Jul-11 15:39:58

Usingmainlyspoons
If the optimal time to have babies is "when you are ready" then lots of women would be having babies in their 40s and 50s and yet we know it's much harder to do so. So there is an optimal time, biologically speaking, and it's not 40s and 50s.

UsingMainlySpoons Wed 06-Jul-11 15:40:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TrillianAstra Wed 06-Jul-11 15:41:01

I think the plan is

session 1 - you don't know how to do anything, you must pay £££ and come to many more sessions
sessions 2-10 - this is how you do (thing you thought you already knew)

Telling you that you don't know how to conceive is a bit rich isn't it? Does this woman know why you are there?

UsingMainlySpoons Wed 06-Jul-11 15:41:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TrillianAstra Wed 06-Jul-11 15:43:26

There's a difference between optimal time for society or psychologically and optimal biologically.

StayFrosty Wed 06-Jul-11 15:44:57

what i don't get is why it is considered helpful to tell heavily pg women this sort of thing. who is going to be filled with confidence by this stuff? what is it supposed to achieve?

Ormirian Wed 06-Jul-11 15:45:48

I don't think I have forgotten how to be a woman <checks to see if breasts are still present>

I managed to conceive, giver birth and breastfeed as well as work. Maybe I just have a good memory hmm

TheRealMBJ Wed 06-Jul-11 15:46:56

Hmm... I think it is a ridiculous notion that 'women ave forgotten how to be women' it is a completely nonsensical statement if you think about it as it is not possible to 'forget' you sex.

However, I do think society is not family friendly. We live isolated, often unsupported lives, that make the difficult task of having babies and raising children even more so. Delaying childbearing does have an effect on fertility, but women who do delay are aware of this and make an informed choice to do so and due to medical advances and low infant and childhood mortality, it is no longer necessary to have a rugby team's worth of babies to esre our genetic survival grin.

Natural birth and breastfeeding have been the casualties of a progressively more medicalised (and male controlled) birth and post-partum period and I although I am not of the home-birthing, no-intervention camp, I do think that the male dominated medical fraternity have succeeded in undermining women's faith in ourselves and our natural ability to birth and feed our children. I do believe that breastfeeding I'd a feminist issue.

Reality Wed 06-Jul-11 15:49:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TrillianAstra Wed 06-Jul-11 15:50:25

So she was there in front of a room of pregnant ladies and said "women have forgotten how to conceive"?

NightLark Wed 06-Jul-11 15:50:27

I think there could be some good points hidden in the, erm, opinions laid out in the OP. Mainly to do with childbirth, breastfeeding, child rearing being so very unfamiliar to so many women before they embark on that path themselves.

Neither I or any of my friends had ever seen a birth, thought about bf, had much to do with children at all before becoming parents (in our mid to late 30s).

I vividly remember a member of our NCT class coming to the last session with her newborn baby, and not one of us wanted to hold it. We'd never held a baby before and were all too scared to try. Despite our own imminent births...

I think that unfamiliarity adds greatly to the fear of birth, to confusion about what to expect from bf, to isolation and uncertainty and a huge reliance on 'how to' books in the early days of parenting, and could all be framed as a society 'forgetting' how to do these things.

"Birth is terribly medicalised (which is A Bad Thing according to the NCT but a very good thing in terms of mortality rates, nonetheless it means that we have 'forgotten' how to do it naturally)."

Hmmm. Not sure that's true. If you look at the US which has very nedicalised births the mortality rates are higher (for both mothers and babies). Better hygiene has been a major factor in reducing mortality rates.

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