Most women, having just given birth, have the feeling that they have done something amazing. They have. Most women do feel like Mother Earth the moment they hold their baby. At the end of the day they have given life to another human being!
Now, how many women have been made to feel that they should be banished for having an elective c-section or an epidural or even worse, AN INDUCTION? Who’s been made to feel bad that they selected to deliver in a hospital rather than have a home birth? How many have been made to feel they should apologise because they haven’t breastfed because they needed medication to deal with the aftermath of childbirth or because they just didn’t want to? Hands up. Be honest. Is the first year of motherhood a popularity contest?
The pressure of the perfect birth
There is so much pressure out there to have the perfect birth. What is that exactly? Surely it’s different for everyone? I had one blogger make me feel like there was something wrong that I had a hospital birth … ummm … that’s what I wanted and I never asked for her opinion. I am happy she wants a home birth but I certainly wouldn’t tell her that I think it’s a risky choice which could be considered downright irresponsible in today’s day and age. So why did she feel she could pity me for my “substandard delivery?” I dread to think what she’d say about my induction which turned out to be the perfect choice for me. Every situation is different, everyone has a different pain threshold, a different agenda and guess what? That’s OK.
The pressure of breastfeeding.
Often I meet mothers who, when I say I breastfeed, automatically jump on the defensive saying that they couldn’t breastfeed for whatever reason. I never asked, I don’t care, feed your baby, love your baby, that’s all the matters. Yes, I breastfeed but that is my choice! It’s not easy and it’s not for everyone. If you have done your research then I will leave you to make the choice that works for you, your baby and your family. At the end of the day we are lucky to have alternatives. Ok, those who do breastfeed do look for support and celebration for reaching milestones – I know as well as anyone how much I NEED that encouragement and support but it doesn’t make me look down on someone who stopped before I have. EVER.
So, where is my medal?
I don’t do any of the things I do with BiP for any other reason than that is what I WANT to do with her. Yes, I breastfeed, yes I do Baby-Led Weaning (BLW), yes I part-time EC (Elimination Commuincation) her, yes I occassionally cloth diaper her, yes I occassionally, every minute of the day, love her. Do I get a medal? NO of course not! No medals for dealing with pain from childbirth, no medal for refusing an epidural when you can’t take the pain, no medal for dealing with chapped nipples or that first bite that you daren’t look down at for fear that your cherub has actually bitten your nipple clean off, no medal for struggling losing the weight, or for being tired … no no no! NONE of that!
So, what’s the deal? I’m all for putting the info out there and encouraging other mama’s but we all have to do what we CAN within our capabilities and sensibilities.
What do you think? Is childbirth and the first year of motherhood a popularity contest?