2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 18:44
After dreaming, planning, imagining the big day, many women are disappointed, bitter, even completely demolished after a more difficult delivery. How to put an end to these disappointments?
It's a fact: many women who do not experience the ideal childbirth will be disappointed, frustrated and, very often, will feel guilty. However, childbirth is not something you can control. Of course, we can wish it perfect. But knowing that some situations are beyond our control, why do some women who fail to deliver naturally perceive their epidural or caesarean section as a failure? We put the question to Virginie Lanoix, nurse clinician in obstetrics and author of the book A birth without disappointments, a book she wrote to help and simplify the lives of future mothers, but also to comfort and relieve some of the guilt.
The madness of perfection
It's no secret: we live in a society where perfection and self-surpassing are celebrated, and motherhood is no exception to this trend. “There is, in Quebec at least, a kind of invisible social pressure floatingover the heads of new parents,” explains Virginie Lanoix. “As soon as she becomes pregnant, the woman is questioned, observed, monitored, advised… from all sides and all sides. We want the pregnant woman to take care of herself, to eat well, to be active: to produce a perfect child, in perfect circumstances. And for most, the perfect birth is, of course, a natural birth.
Natural childbirth at all costs
In recent years, we have seen the pendulum swing back and natural childbirth is becoming more and more popular. “It probably settled in gradually… Already trust in doctors has diminished among certain groups of women, following the “asleep” births of the 1950s. their baby in their arms. Some felt that their bond with the baby was not done properly, as they were unaware at the time of birth. All the same, in the 1960s-70s-80s in Quebec, most women gave birth in the hospital because it was considered, in society, to be safer. But the more the information age, the media, the internet, social media has grown, the more women have had access to information: sometimes good, sometimes wrong. »
And that is exactly the problem. “People withoutmedical knowledge can confuse relevant information with falsehoods. Especially on the Internet, blogs, unofficial sites, medical professionals are not there to sort things out. You have to be careful not to believe everything you read: anyone can write anything! »
The Perfect Childbirth
The trend is therefore towards natural childbirth, without medical intervention, and in books, it is often compared to an almost spiritual experience with baby: the ultimate experience, the experience of a lifetime. We explain to expectant mothers how to navigate the waves of contractions and how to breathe. It is added that, during the push, the pain changes, and, in a way, it even feels good: after all, some women have felt something akin to an orgasm, while giving birth! In short, we wish each other the perfect delivery, during which we will be in control. But in practice, things don't always turn out that way. “During labor, some women are angry, because they are in too much pain, because their contractions do not resemble its famous “waves”. However, in their birth plan, these women had already specified: “I absolutely do not want anyone to talk to me about epidural. I want a natural childbirth without medication. »
Virginie Lanoix is somewhat against the expression “ birth plan ”, which she considers too rigid. " Apregnancy and childbirth cannot be planned in the same way as a day at work! Indeed, as all women are different, each childbirth is different and it is better to be prepared for any eventuality. Wanting to plan the uncontrollable sounds like a nice promise of disappointment, right? “You have to be prepared for everything when giving birth. But above all prepare realistically. I have heard so many women say to me, “I am so disappointed, I thought I would be able to give birth like it was written in such a book. I had read it all! I was ready! I hadn't even considered having a cesarean! Of course, I had read about it, but I felt capable. But capable of what? It's not a competition, it's a birth! According to Virginie, it would therefore be more desirable to have realistic expectations, and the birth "plan" should be written with a certain flexibility, so as to leave room for the unexpected. This would prevent many from leaving the maternity ward with the sad feeling of having failed. “What you need to keep in mind when writing this plan is that the he alth professionals are there to ensure that the birth goes ahead first and foremost. The plan should not be a list of absolute, inflexible commands. The problem is not wanting a natural childbirth, but rather not being mentally prepared for the other possibilities in the event of complications. »
The Missing Chapter
A few years ago, the author and journalistHillary Frank interviewed Ina May Gaskin, “the mother of authentic midwifery”. The book by Ina May Gaskin is, in a way, a must for the woman who wishes to give birth naturally. That said, some women who have studied the writings of the midwife, but who have not succeeded in giving birth naturally, have emerged extremely bitter from this experience in the delivery room. Hillary Frank was one of them, and she explains, in this excellent interview, how she felt like she had failed. She had failed to accomplish something purely natural, which all women should be able to do.
The experience she had planned was therefore far below her expectations, she felt personally responsible for this failure. In addition, she was angry with Ina May Gaskin, who did not mention all these other women in her book: all these women for whom natural childbirth was not a possibility. To the journalist's surprise, the priestess of natural childbirth admitted that her book might be missing a chapter, since, in fact, not all women experience pain in the same way and not all couldn't give birth naturally. More than anything: they should absolutely not feel guilty, or have the impression of having failed.
A birth without disappointments
Virginia Lanoix's book, A birth without disappointments, is a little pearlfor the mother-to-be who wants information to make informed choices. Without passing judgment, the nurse and author exposes a new, more flexible and liberating look at pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. Extremely honest, the book tends to give back to each future mother her decision-making power, and could well help some women who feel like they have failed their delivery ortheir breast-feeding reduce their feelings of guilt. A must!
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