A blogger from Our Green Nest recently said something that I can’t stop thinking about, “It’s so sad that many people still don’t see the importance of the birth experience…they think that as long as the baby is healthy that’s ALL that matters…obviously that’s the most important thing, but nearly as important is the overall experience – for the mom and baby.”
For a long time, I’ve said that phrase: “well, a healthy baby is all that matters.” I said it to comfort friends – who had an unexpected Cesarean or who had an epidural when they were hoping for a natural birth. I thought I believed it in my heart of hearts.
But I don’t believe it anymore. A healthy baby IS the most important outcome, of course, but it certainly is not “all that matters.” On the contrary, the birth experience matters a lot – perhaps more than we would like to think. It is the beginning of a new life, of motherhood…and the more peaceful it is, the more natural it is – the better it is.
In the next few posts, I will write about birth in hopes that we – as mothers – can have respectful conversations about birth. About what it means to us. About what it is…and what it should be.
And the maternity care system should be different than it is in America:
- The Cesarean rate shouldn’t be 31.8% (nearly 1 in 3 women).
- The US shouldn’t rank 29th worldwide in infant mortality (nearly 7 U.S. babies die of every 1,000 live births).
- Inductions and epidurals shouldn’t be the norm.
One thing is sure: the maternity care system is broken in this country – and we all have a responsibility to help fix it. Even if it’s just by the choices we make.
The upcoming posts in this series may not be politically correct. But they will be sincere and tempered with grace. I hope you’ll participate in the conversation.
Because a healthy baby isn’t “all that matters.” Even if that’s what everybody says.