Have you been criticized for natural birth?

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AnnaRO's picture
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Have you been criticized for natural birth?

I found this article and, I'm not sure why, but was surprised to find so much criticism regarding the photo and natural birth. What is it with people?


That being said, I haven't told anyone yet that I am going to be trying for an unmedicated VBAC. Since I wanted an unmedicated vaginal birth with my DD, and told people, I had just about everyone doubt my ability to accomplish it.

cactuswren's picture
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I didn't read that because I'm not in the mood to be enraged, but I just wanted to say that I encountered, more than direct criticism, a lot of snarky "Oh, you just wait and see" and otherwise disbelieving comments, or not-that-thinly-veiled "questions" that really meant "You're nuts." I learned pretty early on to keep my birth plans to myself unless directly asked or in a group of reasonably like-minded people. I think much of the negativity toward NCB honestly comes from a place of defensiveness--nobody wants to feel that they could have made a better choice, or are weak, or something, so they jump to lots of conclusions about what your choice means about their choice and act nasty as a result. It's sad, really.

Last seen: 4 years 2 months ago
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Ya, the responses are really bizarre. The woman does like great, but some women do...

Personally, I haven't met any sort of weird reactions for having unmedicated births. In fact, just about all my friends have. BUT, our local hospital is very natural birth friendly and has quite good c/s rates (best in province) and pretty low epidural rates.

However, I did meet some criticism about having a homebirth last time. Nothing too terrible, but I knew some people thought I was nuts (even if they didn't say it). I didn't tell many people ahead last time because I didn't want to bother myself with anyone else's opinions. This time, of course, everyone knows I will birth at home again, but I'm not sure what they could say since it went fine last time.

If the thought of telling people makes makes you anxious, then don't. Do whatever brings you peace, confidence, etc.

Starryblue702's picture
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Some people are just weird... that's all I can say. There's a woman who's child is in my son's class and she looked like this woman in the photo when she was pregnant as well. She looked incredible the entirety of her pregnancy (at 9 months along she looked like I did at 4 months lol!), and was back to her normal size just two weeks later! Some women are just built like that and no one should judge them for it. Taking a photo like this is nothing that I would do, but I think it's a beautiful photo and mother looks beautiful in it.

tink9702's picture
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UGH, yes, tons of criticism prior to having DS. A lot of "just wait and see, you won't be able to handle the pain" comments. No one said a peep with DD because I'd already had DS naturally! Smile People can be mean even when they don't want to be. Some of my aunts, who I know love me very much were the ones saying stuff like that. I also think the majority of women are NOT well educated on epidurals and the benefits of natural birth, so that often means they don't even understand Why we would want to have a NB.

jolly11sd's picture
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That is a great photo, and she does look great. I can't believe some of the comments people posted Sad Obviously it was photographed by a photographer and if you go further and read her birth story it was a really fast labor. Anyway....

I've found that its best to keep my mouth shut about wanting an unmedicated birth (forget about mentioning homebirth) to anyone that isn't like minded. Even best meaning close family tend to let their fear and emotions dictate their responses. I've had a few negative comments in the past when I've let my guard down and shared my desires but have mostly learned that less info is more when it comes to my birth choices in general. Its sad too cause you want to share your excitement and joy about something you are passionate about and want others to share the same excitement. Also you want others to support you and build you up but I've found that isn't usually the case. We are not telling any of our IRL friends and family about our birthing choices this time cause everyone has their 'own' opinion. Luckily most have learned not to ask us at this point.

kmm123's picture
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Mostly people had to comment to me about not understanding why I'd want to go unmedicated. Knowing me and my nature I don't think many people that knew me well doubted I'd do it but they still had to offer some comment about why it was crazy etc. For some reason all aspects of pregnancy and childbirth seem to give people license to lose their filter and say idiotic things on topics that really are none of their business.

beccasweet's picture
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Interesting article. I can't believe some people would say its a staged photo. I am not as beautiful as she is but I can honestly say that my belly wasn't much bigger than that after giving birth and my hair didn't look horrible either because I showered before we went to the hospital, labored sitting up, pushed squatting, and was only at the hospital 3 hours before she arrived. Its a beautiful picture and it is horrible that people can't just leave it at that.

I also liked this article that was linked in that one.

I have several pregnant friends and friends who have had babies recently and I just stopped saying anything about my birth plan. If they asked I said I was doing hypnobirthing but left it at that after having several get defensive about their birth plans. I think the worst tho is the people that you tell and they just say "oh, it won't matter, you will get an epi once you feel the pain" They were also the funnest to tell later that I had my baby naturally Smile

ange84's picture
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I was when I was pregnant. Some of my family thought I was nuts, others just said if I laboured like my Mum I wouldn't have time for it anyway. The other women in my antenatal class told me I would give in and beg for the gas and pethidene (our hospital does not have epidurals as an option) because no one can do it naturally. Luckily the midwives were excites that I wanted to go naturally, sadly I didn't get the chance because the little guy had other plans.

kridda_88's picture
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I've never had negative comments about natural birth but I have about home birth. I've even been told I will kill me and/or my baby.

As for the photo, i didn't read all the comments but the ones I did read were very rude. Heck, I am only 5'3" and 95 pounds starting out a pregnancy and by the end I only look like I am about 6 months pregnant tops. As soon as I have the baby I don't look like I had a baby. It's just the way I am built. People really need to think before they say anything. Just because someone doesn't look like THEY do when THEY are pregnant doesn't mean something is wrong with them or it's fake. I am 37 weeks pregnant and if I were to take a belly picture I would be the same size as this lady is without the baby in her belly and I have a baby in there still! Some of us just have small baby's no matter how much we eat.

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Honestly I see nothing wrong with the photo (it is powerful).....but the slant of the article you linked to bothered me. I don't believe that every woman who might not want to share such an intimate moment with the world, or who might not want to birth like this woman are just "jealous", or failures. That is a really weird take from the author of the article. It's one thing to want what you want, it is another to assume that everyone who wants different is just jealous of you. Very arrogant, IMO. I was supported in all of my birthing choices, and offer the same support to other mothers, even those who choose EC'S or whatnot.

To me, this is a case of "put it out there". I was very protective of my birth photos, they were some of the most intimate moments of my life. Had I felt differently, had I chosen to try to win a contest with them or whatnot, I would accept that people may not be polite. Thats life. Is it nice? Not really. But when one is trying to win money with ones birth photo, one should probably expect comments for and against. That is why I (personally) would not enter my birth photography into a competition. If anything in life ought not be competitive, it's birth.

Lots-o-Tots's picture
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This will be my third planned homebirth, and I think my friends are just resigned to my being somewhat of a non-conformist (though that's certainly not my motivation for having homebirths). I haven't gotten any flack, really, concerning this one, except my one good friend emphasizing "Well, at least you're right down the street from the hospital in case something goes wrong" numerous times. I think people definitely thought I was crazy when I was planning my first hb. After Finn was born (at home) and we had to rush him to the ER later because he was spitting up blood and it turned out he had a duodenal atresia and Down syndrome, later a good friend asked me if I was still glad I had had him at home. As if having him at home caused or had anything at all to do with his having Down syndrome. A resounding YES, I am to this day glad I had him at home.

I definitely think that it's common for people to become defensive about their own choices and experiences when faced with a very different choice/experience, even if that different scenario isn't asking anyone to defend their own choices.

Jbaum2's picture
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I find that the most supportive for a natural birth are MEN. Women tell me how crazy I am, that I will give in to the pain, why would I put my baby through that...oh the list goes on and on. I have started laughing when women go on like this. (Possibly rude, but I find it very funny).

Men on the other hand, I have found are incredibly supportive. Many say hey it's how our ancestors did it, or how they do it in 3rd world countries and how animals do it so why can't humans...