Natural childbirth advocates, help me out here. I’ve read many times about women having a “healing” birth after a previous C-section or a “healing” homebirth. What is a “healing” birth and, more importantly, why would you need one?
According to Dictionary.com, the definition of heal is:
[T]o make healthy, whole, or sound; restore to health; free from ailment.
I guess my real question then is: What was unhealthy, unsound or broken after having a C-section?
Was your body broken? Your spirit? Your self image?
Where did you get the idea that any or all of these things were broken by having something other than an unmedicated vaginal birth without interventions?
I’m sure it was not from your obstetrician, because obstetricians view C-sections as life saving procedures, not a sign of “broken-ness” of the women who have them. It couldn’t have been the nurses at the hospital, since they couldn’t care less how your baby was born. I suspect it was not your husband or partner who convinced you that you were a lesser woman for having a C-section. He was probably thrilled to be a father and considers the method of birth to be irrelevant. I doubt it was your parents or in-laws who chastised you for the C-section, either.
So who convinced you that you were broken and needed to be healed?
I have a guess: it was the natural childbirth industry who managed to convince you that not having the birth that they have deemed ideal meant that you were broken.
How convenient for them that after the books, websites, childbirth courses, tapes, midwifery care, doula services and affirmations failed to produce their version of the ideal delivery, the fault was with YOU not with them.
How convenient (and profitable) for them that they can double down and offer you more books, websites, childbirth courses, VBAC workshops, midwifery care and doula services to help you “heal” from the stigma of being broken, the stigma that they themselves inculcated in you in the first place.
How convenient for them that at no point are they forced to re-evaluate validity of the books, websites, childbirth courses, workshops, midwifery care and doula services from which they earn their income. They are always correct; they are always ideologically pure; they are always the best mothers; YOU are the one who screwed up.
And they would never, ever have to stop bleating about “birth trauma,” which they pretend is the result of obstetric care, but is the inevitable result of natural childbirth indoctrination.
It’s just like the fashion industry. The same people who spend millions marketing the idea that thin women are better, make millions by marketing the products that will supposedly make you thin. And if your self-image and self-confidence are undermined because you failed to achieve the ideal weight, it’s YOUR fault for failing, not their fault for creating unrealistic expectations.
In the world of natural childbirth, the same people who spend their time and money marketing the ideal of the unmedicated vaginal delivery without interventions hope to make more money from marketing their products and services that will supposedly ensure an unmedicated vaginal delivery without interventions on the next go-round. And if your self-image and self-confidence are undermined because you failed to achieve the ideal birth, it’s YOUR fault for failing, not their fault for creating unrealistic expectations.
Ina May Gaskin, the grandmother of American homebirth midwifery, is often quoted as saying:
Your body is not a lemon… Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo…
But who ever implied that having a C-section or other childbirth interventions means that your body is a lemon?
Why none other than Ina May Gaskin and her natural childbirth buddies, of course!