I was watching the Sky Atlantic show ‘Billions’ last night and heard a quote that made me immediately want to write about birth! (For fans of the show, I’m a bit behind with the series so apologies if this is an old episode!)
Chuck “We don’t have kings dad, we live in a democracy.”
Charles “You sound like a fucking hippy.”
Chuck “I know that this is difficult to grasp, but the age of the Kingmaker is passed....
......I don’t need a power broker, I have my own power.”
“So what has this got to do with birth?” I hear you asking!
Well when I was pregnant with my first child and preparing for birth, I had no idea that I had my own power. I felt helpless and scared, I had mostly heard stories about how awful birth is, how painful it is and how out of control women feel during labour.
I assumed I needed a ‘power broker’ in the form of a midwife, doctor or consultant, and plenty of drugs of course!
But then I discovered hypnobirthing and it changed everything. I realised that I did have the power, that I could take control of my birth, that I could make all the decisions, that I had options.
[And funnily enough, when I first discussed hypnobirthing with my husband he said something along the lines of ‘you sound like a fucking hippy’ just like Chucks dad!]
The sad fact is, many women these days just don’t know that they have this amazing power inside of them. They are bombarded with people telling them what they can and can’t do, what they should and shouldn’t do.
This covers everything from what to eat, drink, wear, how to lie down, what to put on their skin and hair, basically everything they do.
On top of that there is their antenatal care, which may immediately label them as high risk, and even if not, there is test after test, and with all the tests come niggling worries and ‘what ifs’. It is difficult for medical professionals to treat us like individuals, to take time to explain everything and ensure we have all the information we need to make our own decisions. Often it is easier, in the time allowed, to steer us to a course of action that fits within the hospital trusts guidelines and policies. Add to that the portrayal of birth in the media; as something horrific, scary and painful. TV shows and films mostly still show women lying flat on their backs screaming and swearing.
All of this negativity leads to many pregnant women feeling totally disempowered and ready to hand themselves over to someone else, to let someone else make decisions about their body, about their baby.
It takes a strong person to stand up and say “I am an individual, and I would like to be treated as an individual”.
I have written before about the dangers of ‘going with the flow’ during your labour and how important it is to research your options, find out alternatives, understand the risks and benefits.
Sadly not many women are supported to do this.
So what can you do if you want to take back control of your labour? Well hypnobirthing of course! It will help you discover that, as you plan for the birth of your baby, you don’t need a power broker,