Friday, January 4, 2013

Mommy Support

As I've made mention before, I gave birth to my daughter at home. I chose to do so after a lot of researching and praying, and it was the right decision for me. I didn't want drugs, or even the option of drugs. I didn't want to be pressured into interventions I view as unnecessary unless medically needed. My labor was 16 hours long, and the hardest thing I've ever done, but I wouldn't change anything about it! I absolutely loved my birth experience.

One thing I noticed after I gave birth was how many women, when I explained I did a home birth, seemed to feel the need to defend their birth. "I needed pitocin." "I'm just not strong enough to do it without drugs." "I didn't progress and had to have a c-section."

While I am a huge advocate for homebirth, natural birth, and such, I also believe you shouldn't have to make excuses. Whatever birth you choose, you should OWN that birth. I know mamas who had to have c-sections. And their births are just as amazing as mine, and just as amazing as the woman's who had an epidural.

Which ever way you choose to birth, my only wish is that women would make educated decisions. I do not like the risks and effects of the many drugs often used in hospital birth. I feel before making any decision you should research it and learn the positives and negatives about it as opposed to just doing what the mainstream do, or what doctors say. If you have done all that and decide an epidural is for you, or perhaps you are one of the few women who do need artificial oxytocin (pitocin) or should an emergency arise and you need a section... We should ALL feel supported and encouraged in our birth experiences.

The fact that I birthed at home, had a baby with out drugs, this shouldn't make a woman feel bad for her choice. If you had a bad experience and don't feel good about your birth, that's different. In the many "mommy" pages and groups I'm a part of on Facebook, women so often bash each other for different births and parenting styles. This is not something we should do. We are mommies! We should support each other and build each other up in our parenting.

The same thing that happened with my birth, happened with my breastfeeding journey. "Oh I couldn't make milk." "My baby was allergic to my milk." "My milk never came in!" Many women have unsuccessful breastfeeding journeys, often due to stress, lack of support, belief in nursing myths, not eating or drinking enough, traumas to the baby, or in the case of NICU babies, being unable to nurse enough to build a supply. Being unable to physically breastfeed or actually make milk is actually quite rare, and is an actual condition (I know a mommy who does have this). When mothers hear that they feel bad or don't want to believe it, when it wasn't their fault they couldn't continue. Women need support and learning in that area as well.

Sometimes, a parenting or birthing decision is made because of lack of knowledge of some part, and women should not be judged by that. Even if someone makes choice knowing the negative (or dangerous, depending on the situation) effects, our job is not to scream "BAD PARENTING!!!" it is to continue to support, and then educate to the best of our ability. Share your views, your opinions, the facts you know. Sometimes you'll talk to someone who is totally accepting of what you have to say, and others will choose not to listen. All you can do is hope to help. Other times, you are the one who may not have known something. If you hear something that makes you go "Whoa! I didn't know that, is that true?" Don't feel like a bad mommy. Research it to the ends of the earth to see if its true and works for you.

Mommies join groups to be a support to each other, to get and give advice, and to share stories. No one needs to be told they did a bad job or are bad mommies, and you shouldn't feel that way either.

"When you know better, you do better."
-Maya Angelou

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