I went on a tour of the Women’s Center at a local hospital recently & was given a folder of information related to their pre & postnatal services.
There a sheet listing the agenda of the tour, and a brochure of their childbirth education offerings. The tour is a rattling off of hospital procedure. If you need any in-depth answers, don’t ask the tour guide. If you’re not planning a “normal hospital birth” but a physiologically normal birth you will make the guide quite nervous. It’s clear that not many people just give birth.
Much of the rest of the folder is focused on breastfeeding. I thought, “This is better.”
That is until I sat down & looked at it all.
It was wonderful to see all the support they have set up for area women, but it is far from making breastfeeding normal. There is a lot of information about support, support groups, classes, pumping & where & how to buy or rent pumps. So many gorgeous glossy pictures of beautiful babies. Only one of a mother very very discretely breastfeeding her baby.
All the support is great, but without the depiction of breastfeeding being normal the message is lost.
My region is filled with support & some really great resources. I’ve lived in many places where this isn’t so. Regardless of where you live, it’s very important to search out all your options before you are in the throws of labor & realizing that your birth plan can’t be & won’t be followed because the facility you’ve chosen has a completely different definition of normal that is not the same as your own. Make sure that your care providers, birthing facility and after support are fully vested in you. Some issues can be solved through self advocacy, but you shouldn’t have to fight uphill when you should be completely zoned out in Laborland or blissfully snuggling your new baby. You shouldn’t be worrying about what you have to give up to get the care & support you need & deserve.
You Are Worth It.