If you don’t support women’s rights in birth, don’t call yourself a feminist

I recently read a post (and a slew of supporting comments) on a popular parenting blog about birth plans and why you shouldn’t have one. Yes, you read that right — why you shouldn’t. I get where the author is coming from. Can birth be unpredictable? Sure. Can having a vision of your ideal birth set you up for disappointment if it doesn’t go exactly as you had planned? Absolutely. The birth of a child is, after all, a day that most of us have thought of and wondered what it would be like since we were children. I know I did.

But you know what is likely even more disappointing than maybe not getting your ideal birth? Getting railroaded into unnecessary interventions during your birth because you didn’t know you could say “no.” Feeling completely and utterly unsupported during your labor and delivery because you unknowingly picked a hospital with an unprecedented 50 percent C-section rate. Suffering birth trauma or postpartum depression or anxiety as a result of what happened to you in the hospital on a day you spent years dreaming about, but no time planning for.

Continue reading at HuffPost Parents… 

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3 thoughts on “If you don’t support women’s rights in birth, don’t call yourself a feminist”

  1. It’s probably the hospitals telling women not to have a birth plan. Put a pregnant woman in a hospital with no birth plan and there is a rude awakening – your body and your birth will be automated into the most dehumanized experience of your life! 30+ years ago I went in with a birth plan, discussed at length with the doctor – 1) no episiomety, 2) no drugs, 3) no light, 4) no IV, 5) no strap around my belly. 6) ability to walk around 7) no separation with the baby after birth 8) no water or formula given to the baby 9) delay in cutting the cord 10) natural removal of the plecenta. I was able to get 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9 and 10 – if I had taken drugs or wimped out it would have been horrible. As it was my body stayed intact (no incontinence or any other common ailments), my child was born alert and has always been extremely healthy, I was able to breastfeed with full time employment for almost 2 years, and instead of depression I experienced post birth euphoria. My second child was even better – at home without the strap and without the IV and without the constant pushing of drugs and formula so much less stress that the hospital. Do a birth plan and find a midwife – home is the best!


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