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This addresses how women feel like failures when faced with messages such as 'Natural Childbirth is Best' and 'Breastfeeding is Best', and when faced with stories of women who pop out babies painlessly when in a paddy field of rice.
Midwives in the UK have backed down on a campaign for natural childbirth because it makes women feel like failures (Daily Mail, posted 12 August 2017, accessed 16 August 2017). One issue was that women believed that midwives were only interested in women who give birth naturally. Another issue was midwives appearing to seek natural birth at all costs, which seems extremely rare.
Instead, we now have a better births initiative, where interventionist birth is now called normal.
The way I see this is that interventionist birth is like smoking was in its heyday, where it was ‘normal’ and widely practised. You might say it was abnormal or antisocial or very difficult NOT to smoke. Cigarettes were even given to WW1 allied soldiers to boost morale. So, mothers, do not feel like a failure when undergoing interventionist birth when all around are doing it! It is very difficult to do otherwise.
Nowadays, we know otherwise about the dangers of smoking. But to change this, it took decades of work to overcome financial interests and societal fashion.
So, for women to birth naturally needs more than the evolutionary and scientific evidence. It needs society to support Natural Birth.
Society does NOT support Natural Birth when almost every birth that is seen in movies and TV is NOT a natural birth. Movies need to depict natural birth.
Society does NOT support you when it makes birth a medical, technological birth. Demedicalise! Birth is rarely a medical event.
Rather, birth is a massive rite of passage for a woman, a spiritual and mental and emotional and physical initiation – and society does not treat it thus. Instead birth has become a medical, technological event. Birth is NOT this!
Society needs to support women's precious initiation.
We need to hand over birth to women. Remove men and medical authority.
Society as a whole must embrace natural childbirth and its deeply transformative power.
Women on their own cannot do it. They just feel like failures.
We must embrace the instinctive female body.
Otherwise, what will become the next new 'normal'?
Will NOT breastfeeding be the next 'normal'?
Will not-breastfeeding accompany interventionist birth as the new 'normal'.
I'd say it already does.
Unfortunately, the 'Breastfeeding is Best' campaign makes women feel like failures and guilty when most mothers fail to breastfeed for even a short period of time. The magic potion is squandered.
There is so much evidence that is breastfeeding is the Way. Yet society sets women up for failure. See here and here.
Is this what you want in your society, compromising the health of future generations?
Interventionist birth as a norm is as damaging as smoking and formula milk as norms.
Yet, faced with messages that natural birth is best and breastfeeding is best, women feel like failures and guilt-ridden. Or else they avoid this with medicalised birth and formula milk, which compromises the health of future generations.
Is this what you want, society?
Is this what you want, women?
Is this what yo want, men?
Instead of women feeling failure and guilt, maybe it’s time for all of us to be angry with a society that medicalises and commercialises birth, that only sexualises and monetises the breast?
Maybe it’s time to rebel against an unsupportive society that neglects the initiation of birth.
Let us embrace the powerful, instinctual, spiritual woman.
Let us value the nurturing breast.
Let us respect the life-giving vagina.
Let us empower women.
Let us create Success for Society, a Culture of Touch, a Culture of Love.
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