We all want a healthy baby, there's no question of that, but I suspect there are underlying beliefs to the common phrase "As long as the baby is healthy" that deserve closer examination.
To me, it sounds like we're giving up elements of birth we think may not be important when we say this. What are we really sacrificing when we say "As long as the baby is healthy?"
I have identified 6 underlying beliefs to this common phrase, but there are bound to be more. Please comment below if you think there are others!
The underlying beliefs I have uncovered are:
1. “I am not qualified. Someone else needs to manage my birth.”
2. “My rights and my health and safety are subordinate to my baby’s. I must comply with my carer’s treatment.”
3. “The hospital/my maternity carer wants the same outcome as me.”
4. “Birth is dangerous and needs to be managed medically. Positive births are due to luck.”
5. “Labour and birth are simply painful, pointless torture. My partner has only a limited ability to support the process.”
6. “My experience is irrelevant and women who seek a positive experience are selfish and exposing the baby to risk.”
In Part 1 of this series, I cover beliefs 1-3, which focus on women's rights in childbirth and informed consent. Please give us your feedback. Do you think this information speaks to expectant parents, new to the world of birth and probably concerned about risks and that talked about a lot in society?
In Part 2 (due in May 2017) I will cover beliefs 4-6, which relate to the physical aspects of the birth process.
My thanks to Bashi Hazard and Bec Jenkinson for their invaluable contributions to this episode.
NE PLUS ULTRA
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