It’s the fear of childbirth, and it’s on the rise.
Some women are refusing to have any more children, begging for caesareans, or demanding heavy dosing of powerful pain-relieving drugs. Others are preaching about their natural births, boasting about the 18-hour marathon that was their third experience, or scoffing at those who are deemed too “posh”, too “lazy” or now, to “scared” to push. The official view of Dr Tracey Johnstone, a consultant in foetal maternal medicine at Birmingham Women’s hospital, is for women to simply “realise that childbirth is painful” and suck it up.
Why do we do this to ourselves? We should rejoice in the medicinal progress that allows us to have safe, healthy, and yes relatively painless births, not try to out-compete each other for ever more natural and gruesome experiences.
Becoming a mother is scary enough. The first couple of hours aren’t going to make a difference to how much you love and care for your child for the rest of its life. Pregnant women have too many psychological, nutritional and emotional hoops to jump through already. Let’s stop judging and preaching, and for God’s sake let them eat painkillers.