Thursday, February 25, 2010

When I get to it...

I believe in the importance of sharing birth stories - positive birth stories and sometimes scary ones as well. They are powerful, personal experiences which women have stopped sharing with each other - fearing that we might alienate each other.

Here's an idea, become a birth-choice advocate. It frees you to take a non-judgmental, neutral, supportive position. Once, I was a natural-birth advocate and I certainly still am for my own family and any woman who knows that's what is best for her and her own family. However, women who are not interested in natural childbirth for any number of reasons may feel judged and they have certainly lashed out at me for my choices. In no way can I define or experience another person's pain - I have not lived their life. And certainly, I have been blessed with a supportive partner, mother and family who have helped me stick to my choices and my labors have been textbook - slightly longer but not by much.

A healthy fear inspired me to thoroughly prepare for labor and birth - as well as you can prepare. And in our childbirth preparation classes they introduced me to a novel idea: many women prepare for birth but few for breastfeeding - preparing essentially for something that (hopefully) lasts less than a day while neglecting a relationship that will (again, hopefully) last a year or more. We have been told that breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, what we are not told is that it is a learned behavior and we might not have grown up seeing it, and there may be challenges that we cannot possibly anticipate.

All this is to say that I will be sharing my boy's birth story when I can get to it...

2 comments:

Kristin Marsh said...

Looking forward to hearing the story of Simon's birth. I agree completely that preparation for the more difficult transitions AFTER the birth is largely overlooked. And I love what you say about promoting birth choices, without judgement.

MommyFace said...

Thanks Kristin! While I do think it's important to prepare (I could almost be a boy scout... except for the obvious) it's also impossible to have any idea what to expect after birth. The transition is overwhelming, as we both know, to say the least.

Lacking preparation perhaps better support is truly what we need. I owe you so much for helping me in my transition - giving me so much information and being a supporting mother-friend. Truly, thank you.