Moms, you have rights!

Hello, all! It’s been awhile. I wanted to write a quick note to say this blog is still active and I’m going to post more birth stories and resources very soon!

I wanted to address something I see in a lot of birth stories. In our society, women are largely brought up to please others. In addition, we are also often raised to follow what people in authority say without questioning or saying “no.”

Moms, I am here to say that you have the right to say “no.” You can say no to your doctor, your husband/partner, your mother in law, your mom, anyone who tries to direct your birth in a way you do not want. YOU are the momma here.

You have the right to ask for space. If you don’t want someone in the room with you, send them away. As I have said before to pregnant women, you are the most important one. You are two (or more!) people together. You are a sacred vessel. You are the most important. If feelings are hurt, you can work it out after the baby is here.

You have the right to be informed. You can research the heck out of things. Get second and third opinions. Get access to your tests and labs. Ask your OB or midwife questions. Get answers from others. Go to childbirth classes. Read books. Practice comfort measures. Your knowledge beforehand can be your biggest strength.

You have the right to change care providers. For serious. If you feel your needs are not best met by your current OB or midwife, you can get a new one. In fact, one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby is make sure you and your care provider are on the same page. As I go forth in my training as a doula, I’ll write a post about interviewing and choosing a care provider.

You have the right to seek the wisdom of others. Part of the reason I want to post birth stories — good, bad, indifferent– is to look at common threads. Stories give us power. We can say “Well, this is something they did that worked.” we can also say “Well, this is something I definitely don’t want to try.” Many people seem to think keeping women in the dark about this topic — because it can be scary — is the best way to go. I think further mystifying birth in order to protect women actually has the opposite effect. We share our strength when we share our stories. We take these narratives in as a part of ourselves. We learn from them. And they make us powerful.

Most of all, remember that you are your own best advocate. YOU know exactly what you want. YOU know when you are uncomfortable with proceedings. YOU are the sacred vessel here, remember?


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