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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.
Kim Lock is the author of three novels, and is currently working on her fourth. She is a long time advocate of women's rights - particularly in breastfeeding.
Explore more about Kim on her author website (with links to her editorial writing), or rare-to-post but very awesome blog and her facebook page. Send her some love, buy her awesome books and tell her I sent you!
What follows, Kim originally wrote as a facebook post. It is shared here, with permission. Thank you Kim - your words are wise and need to be spread far and wide!
This Guest Post has been provided by Corinne Henderson.
Corinne is the ACT Volunteer coordinator for Miracle Babies Foundation. This organisation provides support for families that have experienced the birth of a premature or sick baby.
The 'vogon day' happens to us all, maybe you have had a vogon week, your throat is sore, your voice is lost - you want the earth to open up and take you - you may as well be invisible..