Oh do stop – people are not whinging about childbirth

childbirth

The other day my mum passed me a cut out from the Daily Mail about childbirth. I took one piece at the title which was: “Oh, do stop whinging. The truth is, natural childbirth can be glorious”. My first reaction was to throw it into the bin – after all, leading with a statement like that… to my mind – it was rubbish, and that was clearly where it belonged.

But then curiosity kicked in, and I began to read the words thoughtlessly spilled out by Julia Lawrence.

Yes apparently, her baby was a breeze to birth. Oh well done you! (can you detect the sarcasm in my voice?) – oh congratulations for being able to pop out a baby and take a stroll down to the hospital canteen afterward to get a bowl of soup because you felt fine. Yes, hooray for you for feeling so utterly smug.

I’m so sorry for you that you have had to keep quiet in parenting groups for years because your birth experience did not reflect the more challenging ones of nearly every other mum I know. I can count on one hand the number of mums who have crossed my path – and as a parenting blogger there have been MANY – who had a joyous birth like yours.

Believe me, I wished I had. But the truth is, I felt like hell had burst out in flames inside my body most of the way through my own labour. THAT was my experience of natural birth, and I don’t really talk about it, or “whinge” about it. It’s just a fact.

Yes the odds “might be in your favour” as you say…after all, we’ve been doing this since the beginning of time. But it doesn’t mean that women shout keep schtum about their birth experiences which are less than positive.

I know mums who have almost lost their life in childbirth, who have lost their babies in childbirth, who have been permanently physically changed beyond belief through childbirth, and who have plunged into terrible post natal depression after a traumatic childbirth.

So well done you – yes natural birth can be glorious for some, and that really is fantastic. But please do not tell all others who have not had the pleasure of experiencing such an amazing birth journey that they are “whinging” or that they are trying to out do each other with their painful birth stories. How terribly unsupportive and judgmental of fellow women can you be?

What are your thoughts about such an opinion? Do leave a comment and share. And if you’re interested you can read all about my own birth story here – and no, I’m not whinging.

 

16 comments

  1. I don’t compare my birthing experience to anyone as I don’t believe there is anything to compare really. Fortunately it was a natural birth, but, unfortunately we don’t all get to experience the easiest side of it. For me it was an experience where I’m not sure I want to go through it again. My boy is 18 months now, im still not sure I want to go down that road again. I think it’s insensitive to rub others people’s noses in it, however, good for her I guess. I don’t really get how it becomes a story in a news paper. But if it’s the daily mail, then, anything goes I guess.

  2. I am proud if the fact that I managed to have 3natural births, I achieved this by having a mind over matter attitude and thought that every contraction was one closer to seeing my babies, if I can manage this anyone can, but there is nothing wrong with having pain relief if you feel that you need it!
    Karen, the next best thing to mummy recently posted…Juggling ChildrenMy Profile

  3. I’m with you on this one! I hate such articles in the Mail (standard!) they infuriate me. Every birth is different – for me it was traumatic and it has had a huge reflection on why I am having a c section this time around. I love to hear peoples birth stories but in a way where we are saying we are all in it together and supporting each other xx #coolmumclub
    Fi – Beauty Baby and Me recently posted…Be You – Baby Bjorn EventMy Profile

  4. I’m so glad I missed this Mail article, what a load of nonsense. Yes, I’m sure some mums do have a positive birth experience. But it still hurts, that’s just the way it is! And maybe for some it hurts less, but why be so bloody smug and judgemental towards others. The vast majority of women say birth was the most painful thing They’ve ever gone though. Both my deliveries were so hard, not disastrous, but just bloody painful and tiring. Does that make me a whinger to say that? I don’t think it does, I’m just stating fact. I believe this woman wrote an article and it had an inflammatory headline stuck on it by a nasty editor to get people riled up. Another reason to never buy the Mail! X #coolmumclub
    The Mummy Bubble recently posted…NEWS: Toddlers risk losing fingers in home door crush accidentsMy Profile

  5. I have to say, for me personally, I found birth amazing and very empowering (don’t hate me!! Gas and air is amazing, ha!!) but then we both know from my recent posts that I struggled with the actual “having the baby here” bit. I wouldn’t at all look down on anyone that has a traumatic or difficult birth. As you say, people still lose babies, and even if mum and baby are healthy afterwards, we are all entitled to our feelings and they are no less valid. Thank you for highlighting that with this honest piece. #coolmumclub
    Mrs Lighty recently posted…Mrs Lighty’s Lessons from #BML17My Profile

  6. I’m always amazed that women can write things like this! I had a pretty good birth I think, but I’ll still moan about it if i want to. A person came out of my fanny!! #coolmumclub

  7. What a stupid article, not surprised it was found in the daily mail. Anyone speaking about their childbirth is not whinging! They are sharing their experience and more often than not finding comfort in hearing that other people found the whole thing horrible too. After I had my first when people asked how labour was I just said ‘horrific’ because it was. I wasn’t whinging though, just telling it like it is cx #coolmumclub

  8. Live and let live…why can’t more people just let each other get on with it?! Our birth stories are so personal and often life changing, so I say tell your battle stories women!

    All the #coolmumclub love

    x MMT

  9. I’m genuinely pleased for her that she had such an easy time of it. It’s sad she was so unsure of herself and didn’t actually have any real friends she could share this truth with. But I don’t think I’ve ever heard any woman whinge about their experience. Rather I’ve only heard them share their story, the good, the bad and the ugly truth. But then looks who she’s writing for, truth isn’t really part of that deal is it? #coolmumclub

  10. Well said! I couldnt agree more 🙂

    I remember one woman telling me, long before I ever had kids that if any woman told me it hurts they are lying, as it doesnt hurt its just woman being dramatic! If only I could meet her now #coolmumclub

  11. The “whinging” comment is just stupid. It’s just a fact that some births are more straightforward or more traumatic than others for whatever reason, usually, out of our control. It’s a bit like babies that sleep I think, it’s just a bit of a luck of the draw. Yes I’m all about preparation (did/doing hypnobirthing and yoga) to help one achieve the best they can, but at the end of the day, nothing can be planned. I do think for pregnant women it’s best not to listen to any “scary” stories though (of which yes there are a lot) and try and focus on it being positive, because as hypnobirthing taught me, fear can make labour/contractions harder to deal with. #coolmumclub

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