Tuesday, July 7, 2015

20 Lies We Tell Women About Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum

Things women are taught by our culture that aren't necessarily true. 

1) Getting pregnant is very easy. If you can't get pregnant you probably just need to relax! And pray more.

2) Learning about your body's fertility signs and cycles in order to prevent or achieve pregnancy is ineffective and a waste of time.

Boring and pointless!

3) The best part of being pregnant is buying lots and lots of new things! Newborns need MANY material items and no nursery is complete without a: crib, bassinet, cradle, co-sleeper, swing, bouncy seat, jumperoo, activity center, rocking chair, changing table, dresser, high chair, bathtub, pack n' play, bumbo, sound machine, humidifier, lots of toys, lots of clothes, etc.

That's a lot of presents! But they probably only contain a fraction of the necessities for newborns.

4) Your OB is like a God. They are the absolute authority on your pregnancy and birth and you should always do what they tell you to. The health and safety of you and your baby is always their top priority (hospital policy, medical malpractice insurance, and their personal lives never affect their decisions). And all OBs practice evidence based care, so they're all pretty much the same!

5) Pregnancy is awful. The physical and emotional transformation your body and mind are going through aren't part of the process to prepare you for motherhood but are unnecessary and annoying. Thankfully there are lots of drugs that can mask any uncomfortable issues!

6) Pregnancy is a disease and birth is an emergency medical situation. Hospitals are always the safest place to have a baby and outcomes for hospital birth are vastly better than planned homebirths for low risk women.

7) Homebirth midwives are crazy, earth-worshiping hippies who have no real experience or training. Their birth supplies include a tambourine, flower wreath for your hair, and smudge sticks. They will respond to an emergency situation with chanting and lighting candles.

This is what a typical homebirth looks like: Birthing woman in the kiddie pool, lots of other people there staring at her, bright lights, screaming, and the token tambourine lady!

8) Natural childbirth is excruciating and worthless. It's better to be emotionally and physically separated from the birth process. Pain medications have no real risks for you or baby!

9) The only important outcome of birth is a healthy (alive) baby and mother. The birth experience itself is of no consequence. And no one wants to hear you talk about how your cesarean was medically unnecessary - who cares that you had major abdominal surgery for no reason??

10) After birth (and maybe a half hour of skin to skin, if you're lucky) your baby should go to the warmer for assessment, routine procedures, and to stay warm. But you'll get to hold him soon - he'll look so cute all swaddled up like a burrito with a hat!

Aww! Just how I want to meet my newborn! You can kind of see his face... Not any other part of his body, but that's ok - they all look the same anyways!

11) Your partner's wishes on how your son's genitals look are the most important aspect of making the circumcision decision. Since you don't have a penis you don't really have a say in this like he does. But he is an expert on both circumcised and intact penises! And he knows what kind of penis your son would want. He went into the future to ask him.

12) Circumcision doesn't hurt your baby. He's just screaming because he doesn't like to be held down in the circumstraint. Hey! I can't move! Oh you're slicing away at my genitals, I didn't even notice.

13) Learning how to breastfeed is super easy and natural! But if it doesn't instantaneously click for you, then you aren't meant to breastfeed - don't bother getting professional help. It's a good thing formula is available because otherwise your baby would starve!

14) Formula feeding is just as good as breastfeeding. And it may be better because breastfeeding "ties you down." There are way more important things you should be doing! Like folding your husband's boxers or scrubbing out the oven.

15) If you do manage to breastfeed - that's great and very healthy for you and baby! But don't do it in public. That shit is gross. There are MEN and CHILDREN here and they might glance over and see your BREAST!

Stop whipping your boob out of your shirt! Disgusting!

16) When your baby cries he's trying to manipulate you. Babies don't cry to communicate their needs - they have no clue what they need!

17) It's important to get back to your regular routine as soon as possible after you have a baby. You should be able to jump right back in: take care of your baby, keep up with any work from your job, maintain a spotlessly clean house, run any errands, and entertain all the guests who come to see your new baby!

18) Speaking of visitors, it's important that they get to hold your new baby as much as they want, so they can bond. They will be seeing your baby every Christmas and Easter after all! You can take advantage of this time to wash the windows or dust. And don't forget about offering your guests some refreshments while carrying on an interesting conversation - Hospitality first!

This is almost right! The new mom looks like she just stepped out of a salon, so that's a step in the right direction. Now she just needs to get off her lazy butt and offer her guests some delicious appetizers and cold drinks!

19) If your baby wakes up every 20 minutes despite establishing a bedtime routine, swaddling, using a pacifier, white noise, lullabies, waiting to put him down until he's deeply asleep. and using a fancy contraption like a rock n' play or hammock bed your baby needs to learn how to sleep: Time to start sleep training! (This problem has no relation whatsoever to your baby's biological need to be close to his mother. That's just a silly myth!)

20) Only the experts can tell you how to parent. Your instincts are nonexistent and wrong. But don't worry, all the experts are in agreement on these subjects and they all base their recommendations on the latest research!