I’ve always been a Megan Markle fan and admired how she’s adopted herself as part of the Royal family. Lately, the media is describing Megan Markle as a ‘birth brat’ because of her strong and unwavering stance on how she wishes her child to be born. It is this stance that makes me want to admire her even more!
She’s making a stand and using her voice to stand for something that is usually swept under the carpet. She is not letting have anyone tell her how or where she will be giving birth and it’s causing a massive royal ripple.
It was only this morning I was listening to a horrific birthing story ofa friend. By horrific, it was not only the birth that was hard, laborious and long but it was the lack of empathetic care and emotional support she was shown by the hospital staff. Both during, and after the birth. I’m not sure if it’s the current state of our public health system, or maybe perhaps she lucked out with hospital staffing that day, but she was very much treated like a number and was regarded as an inconvenience and a hassle rather than a woman who’s just gone through the most monumental experince.
This is a time when women are at their most vulnerable, physically and emotionally. A time when it seems everything is out of our control, but can be the handled right, it can most empowering experience.
The birth of a baby whether good or bad is an experience with for a lifetime. It’s so important that women need to feel respected and listened too.
Megan is (respectfully) laying her rules down now. Women should have choices in how they birth their baby, it’s their body therefore their choice, whether they’re royalty or not.
You hear far too many traumatic birth stories which is perhaps why elective c section numbers are on the rise! Women are afraid to put themselves put in that position where they have no control. There is even the term ‘birth rape’ which has been legalised in Venezuela. It seems hideous that this term should ever exist, let alone needed.
Birth rape, or obstetric violence, is the term for when a woman has strangers looking and/or touching her private parts of her body, often with little appropriate measures being taken to acknowledge her ownership of her body and always against her consent.
A bad birth experience ruins the joy of having a baby, it’s a terrible beginning to transition to
motherhood. Instead of being able to absorb yourself into that beautiful baby bubble bliss, they are being haunted by their birth experience. The effects of this will ripple through to the early days of effective breastfeeding and bonding with child.
We now know that postpartum isn’t hormonal based, it’s due to social and environmental factors and a mum recovering from a birth with a lack of sufficient care, could well lead to postpartum depression or anxiety.
What upsets me most is that there is no emotional aftercare to support the new mums who have just given birth whether this was a positive or more importantly a negative experience. Mothers are left to find their own support (if they are happy or able to seek it) otherwise majority of women are left to deal with the mental and physical scarring of the birth.
When I have been speaking to women of a different generation who stayed in the hospital a week after giving birth, (whether it be traumatic or not) they were given the opportunity to be cared for by nurses, midwives and auxiliaries, leaving them feeling nourished which they had the time and the space to bond and care for their baby only.
All women deserve and have the right to be treated respectfully whilst they are at their most vulnerable. I understand that home births are on the up and I can understand why. In your own home, the mother feels safe and secure to birth her baby naturally in peace and on her own terms.
Good on you Megan for reminding the world that women deserve the birth how they want and most importantly they have the right to do.
Blogger, Postpartum Doula & Wellbeing Coach.
Jo is a postpartum doula & mama well-being coach. She is passionate about nurturing mum’s to create calm, and happy families.Jo run’s a Facebook pregnancy & postpartum well-being group, offer’s one to one support (both locally and online) and run’s various group online course’s.
If you would like to work or collaborate with her, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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