Wise beyond her years

Several weeks ago, I was looking through a copy of The Compleat Mother. (I’d surprisingly never read the magazine before, but a childbirth educator friend of mine shared a copy with me because she’d had an article printed in it. Great magazine!) Anyway, Ava started looking at it with me and we came upon a cartoon of sorts – see below – with the message “JUST SAY NO.”

Just say no

Ava: “What is that?”
Me: “A woman having her baby in a hospital ‘bed.’”
Ava: “Why?”
Me: (thinking to myself – Good question!) “Because some doctors want women to be in that position to have their babies.”
Ava: “She should be squatting down.”
Me: “Yes, she should be.”
Ava: “But, sorry, she has a seatbelt on.”

Yes, it is sorry indeed. Sorry that this woman has to be lying on her back, with an IV in and a fetal monitor strapped on, and with her legs/feet up in the air in the most unnatural birthing position possible (except for maybe standing on one’s head) for the convenience of the medical profession to have a baby.

Ava is a smart cookie, and makes her crunchy mama proud.

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14 thoughts on “Wise beyond her years

  1. You know, I had this with both my kids. And, I don’t know why with my second. I can understand with my first because there were some complications, but my second was totally fine. No signs of distress, pretty quick labor, and was out in three pushes.

    I would have liked to be free of constraints DURING labor. The second time pushing like that wasn’t a problem, but I didn’t like being confined to a bed on my back.

    If we have more kids I’ll be questioning a lot more things, that’s for sure!

  2. Ava is not only observant and smart but she also exhibits empathy, which is a wonderful character trait to have. I am so proud of my oldest daughter and the job she is doing of raising my grandchildren and I just love that little Ava girl sooooo much.

  3. I think you forget that, regardless of whether it’s “natural,” this is still the way many women do prefer to have their children. I feel that you consistently make it sound like a “sin” to give birth in a hospital. It’s not. And not all medical professionals are in it for convenience. There are plenty of decent OB/GYNs who will wait for the baby to make it’s entrance on it’s own good time and who will respect the mother’s wishes and choices during the birth. There are also women, themselves, who prefer scheduled C-sections. Maybe it’s not the best choice, medically, but it’s their choice, and that’s the most important issue.

    I do respect that this is your blog and you’re certainly free to have any opinion you want, but I bristle at the fact that in this case, it seems that you are judging those who don’t make similar choices.

  4. aww, caroline. please don’t become one of those people who faithfully reads my blog only to comment when you have something negative to say. :(

    it’s no secret that i’m in favor of natural childbirth whenever possible. i believe it is healthier for the mom AND, possibly more importantly, the baby. yes, women have a right to do what they feel is best for them, but i think the rights of the baby are not always at the forefront.

    whether women chose to birth in a hospital, in a birthing center or at home, i think it is also their right to chose what position they’d like to birth in. whether you want to admit it or not, the fact that many women give birth on their backs (going against gravity) is because it’s the standard procedure at that hospital and because they don’t know they have other options. it’s easier for a doctor to catch a baby when he/she can stand at the foot of a bed rather than when mom is on hands and knees on the floor.

    like i said to ava “SOME” doctors prefer women to give birth this way. i know there are doctors out there who are supportive of women’s choices and i commend them, but that’s not what this is about. it’s about the fact that the majority of babies are born while moms are in the lithotomy (on one’s back) or semi-lithotomy positions. not being on your tail bone while pushing can open up your pelvic outlet an additional 30%.

    here’s some information about the lithotomy position:
    http://www.birthingnaturally.net/barp/lithotomy.html
    some of the problems include:
    - narrowing the pelvic opening
    - and reducing the oxygen supply to the baby.

    women are told throughout their pregnancies that they should not lie on their back in the 3rd trimester because it reduces oxygen to the baby so why is it ok to assume that position when trying to birth the baby into the world?

    i had a hospital birth where i lied on my back while i pushed and a home birth where i squatted while i pushed. i know which position i preferred.

    i believe in letting women know what their options are (“Knowledge is POWER”) and letting them make informed choices from there. ultimately a woman should be allowed to birth in whatever position feels best for her – if it is on her back, fine, but she should not be “forced” to be in that position.

    and, i’m not even going to get into all of the risks for moms AND babies associated with elective c-sections. we’ll save that topic for another day.

  5. Very wise little girl! It’s getting a little better in Irish hospitals… I birthed my daughter on all fours on the bed, midwife had to get assistance as she’d never attended a non-lithotomy birth, so we all got to have a new experience that day!

  6. Heh – a seatbelt ;) Fortunately the hospital I went to here is enlightened enough to encourage all sorts of positions. Mind you, midwives mostly do the deliveries, but the on call obs are good ones.

    I think the point to remember is that where ever possible, the labouring mother should have choice about the position in which she labours and delivers. Sometimes the position of the baby dictates how the mother has to be during labour and sometimes delivery too. I had to give birth to Tim like that picture because a) he was posterior and I couldn’t get him out b) I needed the help of the ventouse extractor. But that is kind of hard to explain to a small girl ;)

    Although – my midwife wouldn’t let me birth Lydia on the Swiss ball!! That was fair enough – hee hee!

  7. LOL Great kid and great mum for teaching her right. Love the things the say . I lay down for both – first did’t know any better and to be honest second time around it was what felt the less painful position

  8. Yes, ma’am, sorry indeed! Smart child you have there. I’ve had my 3 naturally, the 1st in a hospital (wasn’t making THAT mistake again!) and the 2nd & 3rd at home in an inflatable kiddie pool in my foyer.

    My kids are just-turned-5, 3, and 20 mo. They haven’t said anything clever about birth yet, but my 5 y.o. whispers in my ear, “That mommy needs to nurse her baby,” if she sees a crying baby anywhere.

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