I'm Pregnant and the Baby Has to Come Out - Culture's Deeply Rooted Fear of Childbirth
The typical story, lines in television show, a book, or a movie mocking our own progression as women. Little girl enters high school, goes to college or gets a job, spends infinite amounts of time trying to find the "one", marriage or finally finding that person you want to be with. The next reasonable step is to consider starting a family. With a culture that strongly guides us in our personal beliefs and sways the beliefs of those we trust around us, we have deeply rooted our foundational thinking of childbirth based on what we see in media or the stories we have been exposed to. Everyone has a story, some are good and some are bad. We internalize what is shared with us, it creates the very basis for what choices we make during the childbearing year. If you have come to that point in your life where you are now caring for someone other than yourself, consider the next few points of this article.
Influence of the media
Television, social media, and the internet has, as a culture, allowed us to access vast amounts of information. If we have a question, concern, curiosity, we simply "google" it. The ability to access any type of information at any time of day has greatly increased the amount of value we put into in the information we are being exposed to. It has allowed us to be swayed by information that may be good or may be bad. Television programs themselves treat labor as if it were an emergency. It usually starts with:
1. My water broke
2. Immediate intense, painful contractions
3. Woman very quickly goes to the hospital
4. Lots of blowing and a scene of intensity (which everyone views differently)
5. An immediate baby cry and woman holds her baby
This is truly a very different scene than what women really encounter. The mystery behind childbirth allows one's mind to create different scenarios and have a preconceived idea of what labor really is. The unknown is usually frightening to most people and not pleasant.
Social groups, although well meaning for the most part, have also turned into a place where people are receiving information that breeds fear. Birth stories where mother's have experienced a poor outcome, many times use social media as a way of informing others of her experience at times a way of warning others of what may happen. Women in these situation usually do not understand what truly happened and rely on what they have been told. Often, what they have been told reinforces the propaganda of the birth worker. This is the next topic.
Influence of birth workers
Birth workers are highly motivated by their training, education, and experience. Birth workers who are exposed to high risk experiences and situations work out of those experiences. At times, those experiences breed fear. When a birth worker is working out of a motivation of fear, many times it exudes an attitude of "I know what is best". This is why some health care practitioners are threatened by the idea of a mother making her own choices. In order for women to be well informed and to have a positive birth experience, unbiased education and holistic health care must be offered. In order for women to be able to trust their birth processes, women must have a birth worker that also trusts her body and its processes. Demand that your birth worker gives you the opportunity to search out the proper information needed to help you make your own decisions about birth. Encouraged them to show you where you can find unbiased information that will help you make the right decision for you and your family. Find a birth worker who is positive about birth, who enjoys what they do, who is educated, and who will ultimately support you and your choices.
Finding peace in you experience
So many women walk in fear and doubt of what will come. If you have experienced a tragedy, seek answers, find love in friends and family, go through maternal counseling and restoration. You are not broken. Birth should not be the place where women state "me too".
Women rise up and take your rightful place as mother, wife, partner, sister, daughter, and elder. Speak encouraging words to each other, love on each other, and support each other. We once came from a society that supported each other, gave good sound advice, loved each other. You will influence generations to come. Your sons, your daughters, your friends, your sisters, everyone you come in contact with. Have joy, have peace, be patient, be kind, be gentle, be good, have self-control, but most of all be loving towards each other (Galatians 5:22). Where these attributes lie, there is no place for fear.