"At Least You Have a Healthy Baby"

I am so sick and tired of hearing this phrase. Do women not matter at all? Do we not go through pregnancy and childbirth to bring the baby into this world or is it just a game we play, pretending we do all that?

Women to Women had a great post on this very topic. Reading it made me cry because that is what I went through. The apple picture is just sad…

I hadn’t though much about the post until I read Skeptical OBs post for today. It made me so angry hearing a doctor completely discount a woman’s feelings after the birth of a child. Like they don’t matter.

She used the picture of a herse at a funeral to describe her point. She says that natural childbirth people and home birth people all think a healthy child is guaranteed. She says that no matter the outcome, they just want a happy birth for them. The child does not matter.

I hate hearing this point of view… just freaking hate it.

So, I commented on it. It might not be the best comment, but it is what I could come up with.

They do not assume a healthy baby is guaranteed. I had an awful birth experience. My doctor and midwife assured me that everything about the procedures they were going to do would be perfectly fine and the baby would be great. She ended up in the NICU because she couldn’t breathe.

No one thinks that having a dead baby makes a woman feel better because she had a good birth experience. Your birth experience is completely tied to how your baby is after.

What you are doing is taking away the feelings of mothers after they have a baby. It is a big step. One minute you are pregnant and the next you are a mother. It is a beautiful and meaningful thing. Discounting a mother’s emotions is just cruel.

I am so glad that we have modern medicine for birth. I am so glad that we have cesareans and forceps and vacuums and pitocin. I couldn’t imagine a world without them. They have saved countless mothers and babies.

But just because we have them doesn’t mean that you can make a woman feel terrible for not enjoying her birth experience. It’s wrong, especially since you are a woman and a doctor.

Being cut open isn’t one of the greatest things to get over. It was one of the worst days of my entire life. I am so glad my daughter is healthy now, but on that day she wasn’t. Even with the great medical establishment we have, the interventions that were done without my consent that caused my daughter’s prematurity made me question the medical establishment.

I understand where you are coming from with this post, but the women’s options and feelings after the birth do matter. No one goes into it expecting a completely healthy baby. Things can go wrong. But women are allowed to grieve if their birth wasn’t the greatest days of their life like it is supposed to be.


5 Responses

  1. This is a good essay on that too.

  2. I am glad you said what you did to the doctor who wrote about that. I hope people realize that birth experiences are important in not only the baby's health but the well being of the family. If the experience was horrible and traumatic, how easy will it be to bond with your baby?

  3. Good for you for commenting. I don't think I could handle reading that blog. What a interesting/sad picture of the apple. And yep, I heard it all the time "A healthy baby is all that matters" Well, my baby wasn't healthy thanks to her c-section. Mothers and babies matter.

  4. I applaud you for taking the time to comment. A women AND her child matter before, during and after the pregnancy. I don't know why that is so hard for so many to understand. Thank you for standing up for both women and children.

  5. I think you made a great response to that post. I completely agree that in most situations the mother's physical and emotional health is discounted during birth. People don't realize that when a mother is harmed either physically or emotionally etc during birth or after, that it takes a toll on the baby's well being. Because of my c/s, and the fact that I was starved for almost 24 hours and kept up by nurses all night, I didn't have the strength or energy to hold or feed one of my daughters in the NICU.I could list several more instances where MY negative birth experiences effected my babies, and I felt that I had no control over it.

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