Is Birth a Feminist Issue?

So this blog post started its life as a post about fear of birth.. it seems to have morphed into a Feminist rant, but a rant I think needs raising..

Are you pregnant? And approaching the BIG DAY with even a hint of ‘I can’t even go to the dentist so how on earth will I ever manage giving birth?’


Im going to share a secret with you..I haven’t been to the dentist for 8 years, the thought of having a filling or a tooth out sends shivers down my spine.. but I’d give birth again tomorrow. But I didn’t always feel this way.


As women, we are conditioned throughout our lives to stop trusting our bodies.. we are sold things to cover up or deal with everything that our bodies do which are wrong, or bad, or not good enough.. they sell us scented panty liners to cover up something that happens to half the population for one week of every month. They sell us special shampoo because our hair is TOO curly or TOO flat.. they compare our body types and we’re made to feel too tall, too skinny, too curvy, too short. They teach us our bodies in their natural form are NOT good enough.


Then comes a day when we are lucky enough to fall pregnant.. and positive birth advocates everywhere are preaching *just trust your body*!! I know this because I say it myself.. it’s easy to say when you DO, but a few years ago I didn’t.. I was more ‘HOLD UP? This body? The one I’ve spent years mistrusting?! This one here that’s a bit too short, with small boobs and a slightly disproportionately sized bottom? That’s blessed me with adult acne and an unruly head of hair? Most days I can barely get it to look like it’s complying with social norms.. how will it ever give BIRTH? This body can’t possibly know what to do.


Don’t worry, I haven’t stopped shaving my legs and wearing deodorant.. but after years of learning how incapable female bodies are, is it any wonder we question our bodies’ ability to give birth? It’s no one’s fault in particular.. but recognising that it’s happening, is the first step to rebuilding that trust.


And ultimately, this needs undoing! And it starts long before pregnancy! We need to be teaching our daughters how incredible their bodies are! When our toddlers show us their belly buttons with pride, we need to applaud them! (And join in!). We need to understand the physiology of birth! Look it up, or get to classes! Hell change the whole Secondary biology and sex ed curriculum. We need to SEE birth before we find ourselves in the throws of labour wondering how the hell a baby THAT big is going to fit through a hole THAT small! (Believe me, it does, it was made to, and its incredible!). BE THE CHANGE, talk about it, show your kids birth videos, talk about birth before you even start trying to get pregnant!


What do you reckon? Is birth a feminist issue? .



If you are keen to understand what’s happening in your body during labour, and how hypnobirthing can help things moving in the right direction, you can sign up for classes here or read more of our helpful

 

If you are interested in taking the next step to a positive birth, Positively Birthing Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Classes run throughout Surrey and SW London- areas including Surbiton, Esher, Teddington, Cobham, TwickenhamSt Margarets, Thames Ditton, Molesey, Richmond, Wimbledon, Kingston, Sunbury, Epsom, Ewell, and beyond. All bookings can be made here.