Listening to heal and not proselytizing

Many of us desired a natural, medication and intervention-free childbirth. Turns out, most of us actually experienced at least some degree of intervention during our labour and delivery. As much as I advocate for natural, peaceful births for moms, I also feel it is important to acknowledge that some moms really do need interventions during birth. These women often have very strong feelings about what they had to endure during this crucial moment of their lives and as it is don’t need people nagging at them because they could’ve, should’ve done differently. Birth is journey for everyone and each one of us will learn something from it. Making women feel positive about their births is really important for their health and their babies’.

I really want to point out to this post by Navelgazing midwife where she talks about a mom who was hoping for a VBAC but had to undergo a repeat caesarean that was probably necessary in her case. She describes a “homebirth proselytizer” that made this mom feel bad about her experience. This situation reminds me a lot of people I have met during the course of my involvement in the environmental movement. For them, as for this woman described in the post, everything is back or white and they tend to forget that life is actually mostly in the grey zone. I have noticed that such people actually have a lot of fear and issues of their own that they tend to deal with by trying to be more royalist than the king. Needless to say their efforts are often counterproductive and tend to give a bad image of the movement they so want to put out there.

Many factors come into play during labour and birth and so do they in the environment. We should always keep that in mind when listening to someone else’s birth story. Listening is sometimes a hundredfold more important than giving unwanted advice or criticism. So let us remind ourselves to advocate with heart and not with judgement as each situation may be different. For me the most important thing we should really advocate for is the right for women to CHOOSE. The choice of my friend may be very different from mine, but she nevertheless deserves respect. Her needs may be very different from mine. Where I feel more comfortable giving birth at home, she may feel more comfortable giving birth at the hospital. Let's just celebrate our differences and ensure we both get the safety and the dignity we deserve in birth, whatever the circumstances.


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