Friday, November 14, 2008

Birth & Babywearing

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend...ours was fun and productive! The weather here in Texas was enjoyably cold, which meant inside time organizing and drinking hot coffee and tea! There were a couple frustrations though that came to me via the great internet that I wanted to share, which involve two big passions of ours - natural birth and babywearing!

This NYT article ran last week on home births, and it's pretty positive overall I would say. What has been so disheartening though have been the response/comments to the article, or rather to home/natural birth, as seen at a couple different websites that Marvelous Kiddo linked to. I wish I hadn't read some of them honestly. They get me all worked up!

I feel so bad for many of the women that posted such vicious things regarding it. Most of the extremely negative ones are from women (or maybe girls I should say) who have never actually given birth. Some of the comments are so ridiculous they're hilarious (well, kind of, but also so very very sad). They cannot imagine that someone would want that "mess" in their home, they complain how annoyed they would be by a loud laboring neighbor, they say children would be traumatized by the moans (?), they say to "bring on the drugs", etc. etc. etc.

Like I said, pretty much every comment I read that was negative was by someone who has not given birth and was pretty much grossed out by the mere thought of doing so. These women (and some men) are so uninformed or misinformed and it saddens me greatly. I just wish people would truly educate themselves about their choices (and the consequences of them) before giving birth and making the decision where it's going to take place, which should be wherever the woman is MOST comfortable. For me, that would NEVER be in a hospital...too many unknown people, too many risks, too many germs, too many sounds, too many lights, way too many machines, drugs, and pressure, and not enough love, comfort, support, or intimacy.

Giving birth is a life-changing event and as such, really is something that deserves and requires a ton of research, thought, and prayer. If you have not already, I highly recommend renting or buying The Business of Being Born, Birth As We Know It, Birth Day, Birth into Being, Orgasmic Birth, and others at this website. Plus there are so many incredible books out there that need to be read while pregnant!!! Sadly, it seems most people get their misguided information and opinions on birth from movies and tv shows, which are all far far far from reality. Lovebug's birth was neither messy or loud by any means! It was peaceful, beautiful, and amazing...and I know many mamas whose experience was the same. The above dvd's all are reality - real-life mamas and real-life births, so check them out. Birth can be, as it was for me, incredibly empowering and that empowerment has extended to every other aspect of my life. I so wish and pray that every woman could experience that!

Anyway, it's been sad and disheartening reading the responses to the article, but I'm so glad the NYT decided to cover such a topic!

The other frustration was a Motrin ad campaign that was directed at babywearers...I'm sure most of you have heard about all of this by now, but you can read the ad copy here. It was just bad advertising and has made many of us babywearers (the target audience with the campaign) very mad. Following all of the blogosphere feedback, Motrin pulled the online ads, but unfortunately it's already in magazines. It makes babywearing sound like a new fad, something everyone is doing to stay "in fashion" or to be seen as an "official parent"...which isn't why anyone I know wears their baby and babywearing is certainly NOT anything new! :) It is also sexist as it's certainly NOT just mamas that wear their babies.

Further, babywearing is NOT supposed to be painful, but actually quite the opposite. It's supposed to offer a pain-free alternative to carrying or holding your baby all day. If you're experiencing pain, then you have the wrong carrier or are wearing it wrong. It also kind of questions whether or not babywearing actually promotes bonding, which it certainly does, as well as helps make breastfeeding easier and can soothe babies to sleep, amongst SO many other benefits! Anyway, what's most frustrating about it is that the ads put more misguided information out there for people to get a wrong idea of natural parenting methods.

BUT, here is something WONDERFUL...did you know that tomorrow is the last day of International Babywearing Week?? Well it is! So all you mamas and dadas, get out and proudly wear your babies! And HERE is a wonderful cause that the incredible local Peppermint Baby Boutique is helping with - it's called No Mother Left Behind which believes the MANY benefits of babywearing should be available to all mamas (and daddies) regardless of their financial situation. So send in any gently used baby carriers to either of them in honor of Babywearing Week or you can make a financial donation as well.

Let's all have a fabulous week!!!

OH and the pics are some babywearing favorites from the last year of my gorgeous Love wearing Lovebug, which he has been proudly doing since the day she was born.


Amy said...

He was born on the bedroom floor between the dresser and the closet. He went into the sling on day one and only recently came out of it.
And I never, never had to take a Motrin. Funny.

..... Carmen said...

I'm stopping by for the first time via Maria-Rose's blog. That motrin campaign got me all fired up. I couldn't believe it and am so glad they are taking it off of their campaign profile. I couldn't believe they had actually made it in the first place, and that a woman believed it was bad! My husband and I tried hard to birth our daughter at home with midwives. After 36 hours we transferred with the midwives to hospital, and she was born after 48hours with the assitance of an epidural. I would do it all over again though, the whole thing, trying again for a home birth, drug free. She has been in a sling from day 1 and my husband I wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks for your reflective post.

maya said...

Wow. Great post. Let's see, 3 boys born at home. 1st ne helped with the 2nd one. He was four & very proud of us. 1st & 2nd helped with the 3rd. The 2nd one was 2. Lots of loud moans & he was so calm, he watched the whole thing & this is what he said: "Hmm. Here comes the baby. Can I have another Newman-O (Organic Oreos)?" And "Here comes the placenta!" I recommend the book "Welcome with Love." for expectant kids. You rock.

loesveen said...

I live in the Netherlands and most baby's are born at home.
No drugs is given... not even when you are in the hospital. Only when its absolutly necessary.
If you ever think of a second baby... try to stay at home. Here we look at the risks and from that we decide if we stay home or going to the hospital.

love your blog and your little family.