|Holly, supported by her husband and doula, switched|
from an OB to a midwife late in pregnancy. She received
support for her VBAC.
I find this an interesting way to ridicule the normative process of birthing. Once again, the body of a woman working as it was designed/evolved draws criticism in our culture, as if women who want to experience normal birth are asking for too much.
If mamas who want a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-section) are called natural birth fetishists, then men who exercise, change their diet and take medications after heart surgery must be artery fetishists. And people who struggle through physical therapy after spinal surgery are spine fetishists. Yet, instead, we find that the man who goes against the odds and climbs a mountain after doctors say he won’t walk again is applauded as a hero. Or the surfer who loses an arm to a shark and gets back on her board becomes a living inspiration. They aren't called fetishists!
Our culture commends and praises those who are recovering from non-birth surgery and who work hard to restore their body so that they can use it in the way it was intended. Someone who wants his body to work normally receives encouragement, support and advice. But for women who want a normal birth? Clearly, nothing but surgery is good for those pregnant women. Hack them open, yank at them, drug them and pay those surgeons! Their bodies are unreliable and untrustworthy. Or so society tells them.
|Michelle goes on to nurse her baby after cesarean surgery.|
Female breasts are for sexual foreplay only and a female vagina is for sexual intercourse only. A woman who wants to wear provocative clothing receives praise. A woman who wants to nurse her child in public receives condemnation. A woman who goes in for surgery to remove her child is making the "safe choice" while a woman who tries to birth vaginally is a "fetishist." Because of this inequality, each person within the family unit is turned in violence towards the other, with both the mother and father turned against the child. The child, once seen as a symbol of the couple's unity and love, is instead looked upon as a thief, one who steals the woman's body and ruins it, so that she cannot meet the objectifying demands of our culture.
To say that violence against the smallest in our society has no impact upon us is madness. It is this violence against and rejection of the woman's offspring and the rejection of what her body is designed to do that represents the greatest inequality against women. For nothing so strongly proves her inequality than to cast off or demean the purpose and abilities of her body and the child that she bore in her womb or that she nurses at her breasts. In so doing, her very womanhood is denied and devalued.
To respect normal birth is to respect women. To promote and encourage normal birth is to promote and encourage equality. To applaud and support women who work hard to restore their bodies is to show support for all people. Our culture cannot be brought back from the brink of objectifying women until we restore equality and respect within the family unit.
|An involved, supportive partner|
Those women who were trained to offer their bodies to others must come to recognize the power and beauty of their own bodies and the duality they wield within the family unit. They must learn to refuse objectifying behavior from partners, friends, doctors, the media and our culture overall.
And everyone must accept that children are people with rights and dignity, who represent the power of bodies working as they were designed/evolved to work. Nowhere else can this be achieved faster than during pregnancy and birth. For our culture, peace on earth really does have everything to do with the events leading up to and surrounding birth.