Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Things I know - pregnancy and birth

I've had three babies, one of them turns 7 tomorrow. One is 11 and the other just 6 months old. Thats quite the age gap. It was not exactly planned that way, but then, Mr Man and I have never really been one for planning...we prefer challenges and risks and spontaneity. After three pregnancies and births, there are many things that I know, and this is the biggest thing of all...

There is no right or wrong way to conceive, to be pregnant, to birth, feed your baby or be parent. The only way is the way that works for you and your family. The way that makes you feel safe and secure, which ever way that is. And no matter how many pregnancies and babies you have, each experience is unique, as is every human.

There must be something in the water in our town, or so I am to believe. There has been a substantial increase in third and forth babies over the past couple of years, along with firsts. One only has to look at the waiting list for our three childcare centres in town to know this. Or is it just that I am in contact with these women and families more through my massage therapy business and the school community and circles we move in? We are of the child rearing age after all.

Speaking to different women who have had babies over the past year or so, there is a common theme - guilt and fear of being judged. The mother who feels guilt for accepting intervention during birth. The mother who felt judged by medical professionals and community for choosing to bottle feed her baby after 6 weeks of no sleep...her baby turned a corner and began to thrive. Then there is the guilt and judgement of the disposable versus cloth nappy, and not being 'Eco' enough. And the guilt of the mother whose baby sleeps all night and feeds well, also known as the 'good baby'. Don't you despise that question..."Is your baby a good baby?". All babies are 'good babies'. 

My final comment on things I know, or perhaps it's more of an observation, is that women and communities need to support each other more and judge each other less on the decisions that pertain to pregnancy and birth and the parenting experiences that follow. 

Communicate more, talk, listen, share cups of tea, cook for each other...nurture and accept one another. 

Nic Nurtures

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