It’s unavoidable. You announce your pregnancy and the flood gates open – the never ending barrage of ‘advice.’ Some will ask the rhetorical question, “Can I give you some advice?”, others will just assume you really want to hear what they have to say. Most of the time, it’s just things you really don’t want to hear, quite possibly not even true (it happened to a friend of my friend’s sister’s cousin) and a lot of the time, are uneducated opinions rather than educated.
I watched this video this morning, and once again, it depicts beautifully the problem with our birthing culture and our attitude about who we should trust. Watch the first-time expectant couple react to all of the ‘well-meaning’ advice, and note their conclusion:
“All we can do is listen to our doctor, and then decide what we think is right.” That, right there is the problem. We might have been laughing about some of the totally ridiculous things we just heard this couple were ‘advised’ on, but what this video does is further ingrain in us that people around us might be crazy, but we can always trust our doctors.
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How would I re-write the script at the end? Like this: “All we can do is continue reading and researching, keep going to our (independently run) antenatal classes, and make informed decisions together which feel right. We have to remind ourselves that we might feel overwhelmed sometimes by the enormity of it all, but we can trust this process, and we can trust our intuition.”
Just as I’m so fed up with seeing birth depicted as a horrific mess in the media, I’m tired of the indoctrination of women. That we don’t know what’s best for us, our doctor does, and it’s always meant to come across in a way that suggests we were crazy to think otherwise.
This video is not just designed to give you a chuckle, it’s designed to bury the concept in your subconscious a little deeper – whether you’re pregnant now, or planning to be in the future, doctor knows best.
I’m not saying that no doctors are trustworthy, there are some brilliant and dedicated practitioners out there who really listen and validate our intelligence, what I am saying though is that none of us should rely on the advice or opinions of doctors and take them as gospel. We should also know how important it is to seek out another care provider if we just don’t feel safe and supported.
We need to see how we feel about the information presented to us, ask as many questions as we need to to feel that our questions are answered sufficiently, and that we can then go away and do our own independent research from a wide variety of sources to arrive at an informed decision which we feel most confident and at peace with. Again, this is also the time we need to be asking our innerselves for guidance, too. So, where are the mainstream videos, adverts or movies which attempt to get this message across to women? Where is the mainstream video which shows the woman or couple awaiting their antenatal appointment with their midwife, instead of a doctor? Care in pregnancy does not have to automatically equal that of an obstetrician. We. Have. Choices!
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