Well, yes, but….

As anyone who has been to a certain kind of pre-natal “support group” knows, for a woman to say – admit, even – that she will avail herself of all the pain relief and opt for a c-section is tantamount to admitting you plan to give your kids heroin to keep them quiet during EastEnders. The attitude in these groups is truly something to behold, with women being berated for opting for a birth plan that involves anything more sophisticated than giving birth in a woodland attended to only by twinkly-eyed foxes.

And entire column about natural childbirth and intervention and how women get shouted at to go for one, not the other. And the right answer too. Bugger off, up to the about to be mother.

There is one bit missing though. Apart from the occasional self-promoter with a book to sell it’s almost never men who are doing any of the insisting on the natural stuff. Rather the other way around in fact. Most about to be fathers will do absolutely anything their pregnant partners desire. It’s the screaming harpies in the midwife and feminist movements who are insisting on the as much paid as possible is good for you and the baby routines.

Which leads me to a law that will come in when I’m dictator. No one may become a midwife until they’ve had two children, one with drugs and one without.

12 comments on “Well, yes, but….

  1. “Greer added that because Elton John’s husband, David Furnish, is named as the mother on the birth certificate of their sons, “motherhood has emptied out”. I can’t help but feel that Greer doesn’t have much respect for “the concept of motherhood” herself if she honestly feels it can be destroyed by Furnish.”

    Because to Hadley, as to Humpty Dumpty, words mean precisely what the progressives say they mean…

  2. When I first came from the colonies, I found the notion of a “birth plan” highly entertaining such as when the father to be proposed to get naked to join in. There is absolutely no guarantee that any particular birth will be routine, more so first time mothers. Modern obstetrics has dramatically reduced maternal and infant mortality because it can intervene when necessary, midwives permitting. My daughters have been raised to say, “I want an epidural NOW please!”, in order to reap the benefits of civilization.

  3. When we attended antenatal classes, the NHS midwives were quite clear about what methods of pain relief are available, when you might need them, and so on. Nobody in the class ranted about natural birth and everyone seemed quite happy with the idea that at the slightest hint of a problem you’d be whipped into the operating theatre and sliced open. I can’t imagine why anybody would choose a Caesarian without at least trying to push first, unless they’d had problems in previous pregnancies.

    Then again we don’t live in a fashionable area – maybe they do things differently in Islington.

  4. @ Andrew M
    “I can’t imagine why anybody would choose a Caesarian without at least trying to push first, unless they’d had problems in previous pregnancies.” First possibility – they had previously had a Caesarian, second possibility – for convenience, to fit it into a chosen space in one’s busy schedule with one’s couturier, hairdresser, beautician, manicurist, personal trainer, therapist …
    I don’t live in Islington either and when we went along to a pre-natal class (all but one of the husbands attended all, or most, of the sessions) run by the Natural Childbirth Trust, which was set up to protect mothers from being forced/bullied into *unnecessary* caesarians, there was no demonising of those who opted for caesarians and certainly no objection to pain relief – there was one session on epidurals and anotherr on alternative ,pain relief. [Water birth was presented as an option for those who wanted it – only one did.] So the “certain kind of pre-natal “support group” ” can be identified as *not* one run by advocates of natural childbirth but one run by her fellow lefties, who demand rigid adherence to the party line.

  5. Tim: as much paid as possible is good for you.

    Combine that with squirrels in pendants and you have another long-running gag.

  6. And back on topic, midwives as a rule don’t have kids. Ever wondered why?

  7. Is that true? My mother is a trained midwife. Of course that was in the 60’s so things might be different now.

  8. Shocked that you didn’t mention that caesars are more expensive.

    The chief obs/gyn who we discussed this with when we were (ok, I was) agonising over this observed that: “if men had to give birth, there would only ever be caesarians”. That shut me up.

  9. @ Ben S
    WTF? The NHS is free.
    Most men tolerate pain better than women – my wife periodically expresses shock at my failing to notice pain.

  10. > I can’t imagine why anybody would choose a Caesarian without at least trying to push first

    So imagine a bit harder, then.

    Just from people I know:

    . Baby so long overdue that the bones in its skull have started to fuse and it is therefore literally impossible for it to pass through the birth canal. (Should have had a C-section quickly, but wasted time and experienced much distress and danger due to the influence of a [spit] doula.)

    . Has a fistula, so pushing would cause dangerous rupturing.

    . On vital drugs which cannot be taken during surgery. Therefore, an emergency C-section either can’t be done quickly as they wait for said drugs to leave the system, or it is more dangerous than need be because they need to try and compensate for the drugs. (Blood-thinners are the obvious example: quite common during pregnancy. The Ulster Hospital even has a dedicated pre-natal haematology clinic (introduced in the wake of lessons learnt from the disaster following my wife’s first pregnancy).) A planned C-section makes the drug-free window shorter and more manageable.

    We went to just one pre-natal training course, and they were perfectly reasonable about drugs, explaining all the options, explaining that some women do use no drugs at all but it’s not for everyone. We found midwives to be a variable bunch, and most of them were superb. The ones who are fascistic, though, can really dominate your experience of them. If you’re on a ward with five reasonable midwives and one milk mafiosa, you’re still on a ward with a fucking milk mafiosa.

    Doulas are a much bigger problem than midwives. I’ve known a few women who’ve had them. I also know one. In my considered opinion, none of them should ever be allowed to opine on anything baby-related without immediately being smacked in the mouth.

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