A post on MDC got me thinking about the way that birth is thought about by UCer’s vs the Mainstream.
Many people on each side many believe that the other is putting themselves and their child in danger by making the birth choices that they are choosing. Personally I can see where each is coming from but of course I would more easily side with the extreme UCer.
On a post asking that was talking about the need of others to put UCer’s down because of the choices that they are making a poster said that it has to do in part with the lack of trust in others.
I read this and thought about it…
I think that the lack of trust in others is part of it but I do not think that it is the initial problem. The problem in not in the lack of trust in other people but the lack of trust in one’s self…
I see the problem being that women just don’t have the experiences of seeing how things are naturally done… in birth, breastfeeding and all of the other things that used to be taught by seeing (seeing sisters, mothers, cousins, friends, aunts etc) and trusting instinct…
Now most women seem to turn to books and “experts”… they have lost touch with the way things were and have lost touch with the confidence that comes with seeing these things throughout a lifetime, and instead have gained confidence in trusting others (books, doctors etc)
Some Women seem to have lost touch so much that they no longer trust their instincts at all and learn to put them aside and ignore them. They have lost touch completely with their selves in favour of listening to others… As a consequence they become helpless in a way… not uneducated really because they believe that the “expert” knows it all and will tell them what they need to know and they do internet searches or book searches and find the same information from other “experts”. (Though there are still some very uneducated women I believe that make very uninformed choices in pregnancy and birth) The next logical step in the slippery slope after losing that confidence in self, it is then to look for permission from the experts on most things (or for experts to “give” permission with use of certain language without giving the impression that they are taking that confidence away)
When things become normalized in a society then trust shifts… Until very recently trust within the realm of birth, breastfeeding, the raising of children was in the hands of women. Women of the community, women of the family and in the woman herself. When the shift started, and the trust was handed off to men and “experts” then not only did the trust shift but whole views shifted also. Knowledge that as once passed down from generation to generation was lost, knowledge that was once an integral part of womanhood was lost. The only way to normalize these things again is for women to regain trust in themselves and regain trust in other women that trust themselves.
At this moment I can not see it happening soon. Many women seem to not understand not trusting the “experts” on everything. Some women seem threatened by it. They have been taught, have learned from the people around them, and have learned from the women around them that the experts are to be trusted… it becomes what is normal, what it comfortable, what is to be done…
I do believe that there are some aspects of birth and health that are best handled by some experts. Though I don’t agree that we have the best experts in our society…
Our “experts” are products of the same society that puts all their trust in them. Such as many women seem to have lost touch with confidence in them selves and put all of their trust in doctors, those same doctors believe that they have all of the answers, should not be second guessed and expect the women to have little or no say in their care. This shows when women seem to be scared to talk to their “expert” doctors about doubts they have and why some doctors will be so insulted when woman goes against or second guesses their point of view (as seen by women who are “fired” by their OB’s for refusing tests, or families that are “fired” by the pediatricians for refusing vaxes)
In some places in the world premature babies are not kept in incubators, sterile environments with wires and monitors and tubes etc and deprived of human contact except for when an “expert” gives permission… Instead, they are released with their parents who are taught how to feed them and keep them warm by utilizing Kangaroo care 24 hours a day for weeks and months on end. Instead of being placed on oxygen to help them breathe they are places on their parent’s chest, instead of having monitors and machines to control heart rate, they are placed in their parents arms.
We have to start trusting nature, trusting our bodies and trusting ourselves again… when we do, I believe that birth will start seeing the shift it needs.
x-posted in my pregnancy journal
And many of us have a hard time trusting ourselves because our communications were often not trusted by our mothers, because our mothers trusted experts instead of simply responding to us. Since we felt a need to trust our moms, we had to release a great deal of our trust in our own ability to assess the situation, and recognize and communicate our needs.
I learned to trust myself while devouring birth stories and pregnancy information during my first pregnancy. It’s interesting now to remember that before I read that first Bradley childbirth book, I wasn’t sure if I would use pain medication or not. A little bit of info and stories, and my mind changed very quickly. My whole way of interacting with the world changed during that pregnancy. I hadn’t even heard of attachment parenting at that point. When I read natural birth stories, I felt as if I’d been given permission all of a sudden to trust myself, and I went for it. I felt liberated. I became aware of a part of myself that I hadn’t known was subdued.