Competition in Labor and Birth. What's the Point?Devan McGuinness
Competition seems to follow us everywhere we go. It’s a big part of life for many people and there are a lot who seem to thrive on it — need it and crave it. Competition exists even when we don’t realize we are in a competition — people will compare their experiences to yours and form their own ‘the way I did it was better then what you did’ opinions.
I honestly had no idea this type of behavior really existed until recently. I have written some articles here on Being Pregnant which seemed to have stirred up this who idea of competition — that has some people fighting for the way they labored and birthed being an ‘attack’ on how they labored and birthed.
Women seem to love to create these invisible divides between our personal choices and those of others. If you look at areas of pregnancy, motherhood and parenting you will see these divides over nearly every topic:
Stay-at-home mom vs working mom;
Breastfeeding vs formula feeding;
Circumcision vs intact;
Public school vs home school;
Home birth vs hospital birth;
Vaginal birth vs c-section birth.
That is only a small handful of the competitions women intentionally or unintentionally put themselves in. I believe that it all stems from the very personal nature of each of these topics and anytime we feel our personal, well thought out decisions are being questioned, we put our guards up. That makes sense to me.
What doesn’t make sense to me is why there is this automatic divide even when others choices are not questioned. It seems the mere mention of a home birth will set off those who had a hospital birth. The mention of a medication free birth sets off those that chose differently. The idea that if someone chose an induction or c-section that they are just ‘not informed’ or ‘not educated’ because they didn’t chose to do differently. Where does this way of thinking get anyone?
Personal choices and how we chose to define them should have no bearing on how other people define their labor and birth. If a woman defines her birth as ‘successful’ because she had an unmedicated home birth then that doesn’t automatically mean she defines your hospital birth as ‘unsuccessful’; and vice versa. There is no competition when it comes to labor and birth and truly the only thing that matters is how each individual feels about their own experience.
:: Have you noticed a feeling of competition when it comes to labor and birth? ::
More on Being Pregnant:
Reader Submitted: Show Us Your Last Pregnancy Photo
25 Beautiful Photographs of Women In Labor
Image credit: winnod via FreeDigitalPhotos