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I was talking to someone about 'birth disappointment' the other day, and was told "women should not have such high expectations! Honestly women these days are just so fragile". I took a deep breath before responding. If a healthy woman is expecting a 'normal birth' that is not a high expectation. That is a reasonable and minimal expectation. It is not 'fragile' to be disappointed by a birth that does not met this expectation. For women to lower their expectations of birth, to the reality of the current birth climate, would set a new (horribly) low benchmark. Along with "all that matters is a healthy baby" these comments tell us that women do not matter. First Class Maternity Care - it's a political choice (first class care should be the MINIMUM we expect!).
You see...this birth disappointment may just be putting new mothers at greater risk of Post Natal Anxiety and Depression (1). They begin their mothering journey full of self-doubt, and uncertainty. This can then be compounded by a mothering reality that does not meet their expectations.
This is the speech given at The Book Launch.
The internet is Big. Mind blowingly Big. You won't believe just how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is.
Yes, I am a Douglas Adam's Fan
Birthing is not always a walk in the park. The birthing 'playground' has many options, and like all playgrounds you need to watch out for bullies. You may want to avoid the slippery dip...
The maternity system provides ‘standard’ or ‘routine’ care.
Standard care follows a set of assumptions. The focus is on numbers, measurables and averages.
The process is designed to look for problems and provide solutions, but can in fact create problems (see The Nocebo Effect).
Whilst the far majority of people plan an assisted birth for their primary pathway when creating a birth map, the benefits of considering unassisted birth are undeniable.