Monday, November 21, 2011

My mother taught me...

I was raised in a house where pregnancy and birth were a normal talked about thing. My mother is a nurse, childbirth educator and doula. I grew up hearing about women laboring naturally and breastfeeding. So, before I even got pregnant the first time around, I knew about the whole process. I understood why natural labor and breastfeeding are the best thing for my body and baby. I actually looked forward to labor, to the right of passage, to the life changing experience that only women who have labored naturally can understand.

It has been hard for me, watching dramatic births on tv, and hearing horror stories about labor. When I know why things are going that way. I get so frustrasted when I talk to women who are clearly uneducated about birth. I hate hearing, "well my child is happy and healthy so it doesn't matter that I had a medical birth and formula fed" when I know the research that says otherwise. I can't blame them though, this is the world that we have grown up in, this is the norm. It's not something that is talked about now, it is something that is feared. Fear can be a powerful influence.

I am pregnant again and more and more I think about my first daughter. How will she see labor and birth? What will the norm be when she is of childbearing age? Will she see birth as the challenging, empowering, amazing experience that I learned it would be? Or will she be scared? Will she just do what her doctor says, when that may not be what the research shows to be best? I hope and pray that I can raise her, and any other daughters I may have, the way my mom taught me. I want her to not be scared, but to be empowered that women can do this. What will she tell people when she looks back on her life and says,

My mother taught me...

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