By: Shirley Broback, Producer of the Vancouver Island Baby Fair
When you are pregnant, it can feel like it’s open season for unsolicited advice & birth stories from other parents.
In the end of my pregnancy with my daughter (see photo below) it felt like I was as wide as I was tall. I was huge! Everywhere I went there were stares. Everyone wanted to know how a short woman like me could give birth to what seemed would be a gigantic baby or made comments like “looks like you could pop any minute!” Although these comments started when I was only six months along.
Yes, I knew I had another big baby. (My son had been 9 1/2 pounds)
When the midwife palpated my belly she knew too.
But she was pretty confident in me based on my previous “uneventful” birth experience. (Right, like giving birth can EVER be “uneventful”!)
So all we could do was wait and see. And try to surrender to the labour that awaited me.
When people see a pregnant woman, it’s tempting for some to feel the need to warn her or provide their detailed stories whether she’s interested or not. It is likely that her birth experience will be much different than yours, regardless of the “helpful” advice you provide and even the best of friends might have different fears or make different choices about their birthing options.
Decompressing and sharing our birth stories is a really healthy, natural thing to do. It’s a life-changing experience we have just been through and most women want or need to talk about it, especially in the early postpartum days.
However, I think it’s important to not flood a pregnant woman’s thoughts with our own stories in those last couple months of her pregnancy. She is busy getting ready for her own experience, physically and emotionally. This is her journey right now.
In the last trimester of pregnancy we need to plant the seeds of confidence in women. Share your own amazing moments & perhaps some good tips- if she’s interested- but save any epic battle birth stories for later during mommy bonding coffee dates.
A friend gave me a little pin to wear that said, “Happy birth stories please. My baby is listening.”