Ever since MAN started “helping” WOMAN birth her babies, women have had a major problem: Men deciding what will make birth better for women.
Men decided we would birth better against gravity by keeping us on our backs in the “stranded beetle” position. Men decided we needed to be separated from the experience with the use of drugs to dull or completely rob us of the feelings. They didn’t see the need for companionship in labor—birth centered around men (doctors), and that was all a woman needed. They decided our babies would do better if whisked away from us at birth—too icky to see or touch, too fragile for a new mother to hold. Many women, due to the lack of transparency at the beginning of “care” — awakened from a slumber marked by bad drug-infested memories surprised at what had been done to them. But they were and are still told these man-invented “musts” were “best for you, Little Lady.”
My grandmother huffed chloroform but did birth at home. My mother was alone, sedated and rendered unconscious when I emerged into the world. Again, alone she birthed my sister with no feeling below the waist. She was not allowed to touch us, did no skin-to-skin contact… tried to breastfeed… didn’t know how… failed and never tried again.
So, men (without vaginas and the magnificent cascade of childbearing hormones) remain clueless about what real childbearing women need and want. Even when given a list of those things we want, most dismiss us.
Occasionally, there are men (and others) who do listen to women. They ask what we need, want, and WHY.
We call these men REAL MEN. To serve women means being subservient to women. Helpful, never dictatorial. The brilliant doctor who delivered two of my babies used to tell me that obstetrics was as much an art as it was a science. He saw patients as individuals and did not treat each woman like the last 500 and the next 500. Sorry, Richard Lehrfeld, MD is brilliantly retired.
Have you considered what you want to have happen to you during the childbearing year? Have you chosen a care-provider who is an artist as well as a scientist? Have you done as much comparison-shopping as you have for buying a car, computer or phone? Have you interviewed the doctor of your friend whose birth was incredibly wonderful? Or have you chosen one who “delivered” your friend who had a horrifying birth? Do you go to a one-size-fits-all medical group/ hospital system where birthing individualism is never honored?
By chance do you have a partner who has a medical plan where you can pick your care-provider even if it costs some money? Did you know you can switch providers?