Mom wars are everywhere today. From breast vs. bottle, to vaccinations…but it seems like they are becoming more bold and wide spread. Recently I have noticed them drifting into the field of childbirth. Epidural verses no pain medication… home birth verses hospital birth… VBAC vs c-section… but what I noticed is the arguments aren’t coming from a stance of education, or evidence based medicine. They are coming from snark, insecurity, and defensiveness.
Since I have become heavily involved in the childbirth community over three years ago, one thing I have always noticed on the side of the natural childbirth advocates, is the information as to why they feel a certain way on childbirth, hospitals, pain relief, or other type of childbirth interventions, and often have studies, or information to prove a point. While there are always going to be extremists who sound like whack jobs screaming their point of view or opinion, we cannot let these extremists in advocates cloaks speak for an entire population.
When it comes to many of the other sides whether it be the scheduled cesarean crew, or the epidural loving moms, or those who simply want things the way they feel most comfortable with there is another trend. Not caring about what the information, studies, or risks say. That is fine, as long as they are comfortable with the choices that they have made for their own care. But we also need to look at the reality of decisions when it comes to childbirth. There still are risks, and certain procedures carry higher risks than others. That is not opinion, that is fact.
Telling mothers that just because they want an epidural means that an epidural does not come without risks is nothing more than a disservice to mothers. Same goes for home birth, episiotomies, and c-sections.
But the most important part is looking at the risks verses the benefits of what you may want for your birth experience and forming your own educated opinion. Personally for my third birth, I had to do that. Was VBA2C (vaginal birth after 2 c-sections) a safe choice for me? Was it an option? Was it the best option? Or was a scheduled c-section a better option? Or even waiting till I go into labor on my own, and then having a planned c-section. I looked at all of the studies, information, factors, and made my own educated decision. I didn’t just walk into the decision and say well… I want to have a VBA2C so that is what I am going to do. My wants were outweighed by education, and we all know in the end I made the choice to have a c-section.
Do these decisions make us better mothers? No. Does becoming educated on these different choices and procedures make us more informed consumers? You bet your bottom dollar they do! Should we be fighting over them? No… it is a waste of time. There are still going to be mothers who want their home birth, and there are still going to be moms who have no desire to even consider a VBAC despite the research on safety, and opt for a scheduled c-section. And ya know what…
That is ok!
How boring would the world be if we were all identical and made the same choices in life?
As long as mothers are educated, and accepting of the risks and benefits their childbirth plan contains, we need to respect their choices. Maybe they are not choices we would personally make, but by firing back with rude remarks, where is that going to get us? No place!
photo: getty images