When I was pregnant with my first baby I decided I was going to have a natural birth.
My first mistake was telling anyone and everyone.
I got so many negative and unsupportive comments that it left me feeling flat and questioning my own sanity for trying to attempt it at all.
Luckily I have a super supportive family, who reminded me that it didn’t matter what other people thought. I knew I was doing what I thought was right for me and my baby.
But, it got me thinking about pregnancy etiquette and what’s REALLY appropriate to say to a pregnant women, especially one who’s preparing to go al-natural during labour.
Here’s some ANNOYING comments that I had … (and I’m guessing you’ve probably heard too) that I believe you should NEVER say to a pregnant woman who’s preparing for a natural childbirth.
1) “You don’t have to be a hero”
Yes, thanks for that, I was planning on donning a red cape while I go into labour. I think it will match my birthday suit perfectly.
But seriously, I’m not trying to be a hero, I’m trying to do what best for me and my baby. My understanding is that birth is normal and natural.
However, if something unexpected arises then I’m super grateful to have trained professionals to help me out.
2) “Just do what the doctor tells you sweety”
Ugghhh! … actually, I’ll get informed and ask questions using my B.R.A.I.N.
B – What are the BENEFITS?
R – What are the RISKS?
A – What are the ALTERNATIVES?
I – What’s my INTUITION telling me?
N – Do NOTHING and ask for more time (as long as there’s no emergency)
Sometimes by asking these questions you may find out that the REAL reason a doctor is requesting certain things happen during a time frame is so they can go home early because it’s Friday afternoon. Trust me. It happens.
3) “Hahaha … oh honey, you’ll be begging for the drugs when you’re in the delivery suite!”
Yeah, thanks for the vote of confidence. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t, but I’m still gonna try.
4) “There’s no prize for doing it natural you know!”
Well, technically we all get the best prize of all – a beautiful baby!
But, my prize was knowing that I did everything possible in my power to birth my baby as safely and comfortably as possible.
Many mothers who prepare for a gentle and natural births also report having very calm babies and find their transition into motherhood fairly easy compared to women who haven’t prepared. That sounds like a pretty cool prize too.
5) Why don’t you just have the drugs?
Hmmm … where do I start?
In a nutshell:
- Pain-killing medications aren’t 100% effective
- Some don’t work at all
- And … there are risks and side effects (for mother and baby) to taking any drug while pregnant and during labour. (Did your doctor tell you that part?)
If I need the drugs, I will take them and be OK with it, but if I can avoid them, GREAT!
PLUS … I know that we have a whole resource of pain-killing drugs in our own bodies called HORMONES.
Some of these hormones wok better than any drug ever designed.
We all have them, but most people just don’t know how to access them.
If I can access those natural pain-killing hormones during labour, wouldn’t it be safer for me and my baby to use these, rather than injecting artificial medications that may or may not work?
And … a Special BONUS Thing NEVER To Say To A Pregnant Woman Who’s Preparing For A Natural Birth:
“Oh my labour was the worst! … blah, blah, blah (insert traumatic birth story here in excruciating detail)
Awesome, thanks so much for sharing your traumatic birth story with me. I’m giving birth in a few weeks and I feel so much better now … (said no pregnant woman EVER).
Seriously, I get it, birth can be horrible for many women and that really does break my heart to hear horrible birth stories.
But … can I just give a word of advice?
Don’t relive your terrible birth in front of a pregnant woman.
It just doesn’t help her in ANY way.
In fact, I bet it made YOU feel better, because you got to vent your frustrations and release some of the negative energy you’re still holding over that day.
But guess who is quietly freaking out on the inside?
Yep, the pregnant woman you just told.
And … she waiting until she can go home, shut herself in her bedroom and cry like a baby because now she’s so FREAKIN’ scared of giving birth.
That’s exactly what happened to me.
And … I know many other pregnant women who feel EXACTLY the same way.
Just remember, birth is NATURAL and NORMAL.
And … there are many simple things you can do to create a positive day for you and your baby.
Listening to positive birth affirmations is a great place to start. The GentleBirth kit has some great audio tracks you can download to your iPod right away.
I hope you found this list helpful, even if it just gave you a giggle or made you feel like you’re not alone. Maybe you could pass it on to some of your friends and family and they’ll finally get the hint
OR … can I add something else to the list?
What stupid things did people say to you when you were pregnant and preparing for a natural birth?
Leave your answer in the comments below.