Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Love Letter to Drug-Free Birth Moms

I recently read A Love Letter to C Section Moms on Facebook. *insert collective swoon here* It was followed by about a bazillion comments by moms who had c-sections and their proud supporters. I could not help but say my piece about this.

First and foremost, this "letter" seems unwarranted because since when are women who have c-sections the underdogs? Think about how many you have known that have given birth in the past 2 years. Now calculate the percentage of them that were born via c-section. It's not exactly taboo. The United States is boasting a 33% and rising national c-section birthrate. Are you kidding me? We are certainly not ostracizing women who have had c-sections. On the contrary, we are all too frequently encouraging women to have c-sections!

Second, I don't know anyone who regrets having a c-section. The doctors and nurses all stand around you telling you that there is no other way. You feel like you are a bad mother and putting your baby in danger if you do not opt for a c-section. Once the baby is born via c-section, the medical staff tell you all of the horrible ways you or the baby would have died if you had attempted a vaginal birth. You leave there feeling relieved and satisfied with your decision.

I am not a c-section Nazi. Of course, I realize that there are situations where c-sections save the lives of both mom and baby. A very dear friend of mine had a baby whose skull had fused in utero so obviously, a vaginal birth was not possible for her! I am not delusional. I want as many healthy babies and mamas as possible! I just don't believe that c-sections are as necessary an avenue to that end as doctors want us to believe. That's all.

Third, women need to take more responsibility in educating themselves about labor and delivery so that they are armed with the ability to make informed decisions when the time comes. Maybe they could avoid some of that c-section regret that way. Some women do do the research and make a plan and, quite frankly, I think we are in much greater need of a love letter. When people hear that I had a drug-free birth, I wish they would just say "Oh". Instead, they immediately get defensive. They roll their eyes, their mouths drop open, and their eyes bulge. Here are the million reasons they could NEVER do that! Why would I ever do that? Am I crazy? Do I have something to prove? Except that they never actually want any answers to those questions or have any kind of educated discussion on the matter. I would LOVE a love letter. My decisions to have a natural birth had everything to do with the health and well-being of my baby and nothing else...just like your decision to have the c-section you had to have.

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