How to Deal with People Who Don’t Support Unassisted Childbirth
If you’re one of the few pregnant women who have decided to give birth unassisted, then you’re probably reading tons of books and articles about childbirth and postpartum care. Most people who decide to give birth unassisted are not first timers. And while it helps to know what to expect of the birthing process, no experience is required to give birth on your own. But as you get further along, you’ll inevitably have people asking you about your upcoming birth. Now how do you deal with people who don’t support unassisted childbirth?
Keep It a Secret
You don’t have to lie to people when you talk about your birth. You could just let them know that you’ll be giving birth at home and leave it at that. But there is definitely no reason to tell other people that you’re planning on giving birth at home without medical assistance. In fact, that might cause you problems down the road. Horror stories of “well-meaning” relatives and friends abound. Whether they end up calling child services or an ambulance for you doesn’t really matter; their interference is just not welcome.
You’ll probably share your plans with your significant other. But if you don’t feel comfortable brazening it out when people become judgmental about your birthing choice, then the best thing to do is to keep your plans secret. Your significant other will probably be on board with that.
Defend Your Choice
If you have already told a few of your friends or family members about your planned unassisted birth, then you might have to defend your choice. For people who are skeptical and are trying to scare you away from doing it, you should recommend they read a book on unassisted childbirth. At the very least, you can point out to them that hospital interventions can be a lot scarier. Most likely, they won’t care to do the research. In fact, they’re afraid of childbirth without really knowing why.
If the other person is someone who really cares about you and is truly worried, then you can be nicer and try to reassure them. Let them know that you are doing your research, and that giving birth is natural and safe. If they are concerned about something specific, then you can let them know whether that’s on your radar. Finally, you should ask them to support you in your decision or avoid bringing up the subject, because you are not going to change your mind.
Challenge Their Opinion
Most people who will judge your choice of giving birth don’t know much if anything about childbirth. Even if they have given birth themselves, they probably haven’t done near as much research as you have on the subject. Most likely, they’ll be inclined to share horror stories where the doctor at the hospital was necessary to save the baby’s life.
Having to defend your choice of birth can get really tiring. But it’s a free country after all. You can reassure anyone who asks that you care very much about the well-being of your baby. That’s one of the reasons you choose an unassisted childbirth. But the people who are not supportive also need to realize that it’s your decision, and that they can’t change it.