Birth Advocates or Extremists in Disguise?

In the past week I have been watching twitter closely and observing a first time mother become overdue and some of the comments she got as she considered talking to her provider more about labor induction. While I am not someone who supports labor induction for non medical reasons, I am someone that supports women being able to make their own educated choices in their health care.

Now, we all may favor natural childbirth over medicalized childbirth, but when we start telling women they are uneducated, or putting them down, this is not going to reflect positively on the natural childbirth community. I have had so many women pregnant, and not pregnant contact me via twitter thanking me for my information and not putting it in a radical way.  I always viewed myself as a radical when it came to passing along information regarding childbirth too.

I think it was about a year and a half ago I made the change from radical to true advocate. I had a couple people in our local community talk to me about my approach on childbirth and give me some tips that could help me get my message across in a more positive manner. One of these women is a highly respected local midwife, and also internet blogger. So when her words came out, I listened very carefully and then started to understand and see that the message I had, and information I was passing along was received better when backed up with facts, information, and given in a positive delivery than it did before when I would just rant and rave about how bad hospitals are or about how women are idiots for listening to their provider and taking their word as gold.

While those are certainly some things I believe, there it just a better way to approach things that wouldn’t make me look like a raving lunatic and in that period of time, I also found my message is reaching more people. From increasing my own blog traffic, writing for our local newspaper about childbirth, pregnancy, and early parenting, and getting on board the new Giving Birth With Confidence Blog powered by Lamaze, and reaching more women in my local community, it has really put my message and approach into perspective for me.

Certainly there is a time and place for rants, and for raves. I saw some amazingly authored ones this week by Kristen at Birthing Beautiful Ideas, and from my all time favorite blogger Gina The Feminist Breeder, which talked about Doula Bans and birth plans. Well authored, amazingly worded, positive outcome rants. Which is how we should all work to word our rants instead of spur of the moment words we can’t take back that will in turn make others look differently at you, or maybe not take you as seriously as they once did.

The purpose of this is not to hand slap anyone, or to say you should or should not be approaching childbirth the way you do, or the way you council women, or tweet, or however you are involved. The message is simply step back and take a look at your approach and ask yourself… Will this be helpful or hurtful to the cause I am working for?

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