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Literary Mama

March 31st, 2004 · No Comments

Via Home With Penelope (Owl Mother’s Journal) I read A Good Enough Birth; A Good Enough Parent by Rebecca Steinitz at Literary Mama:

While I concede that our medicalized birthing practices have their shortcomings,the pressure for natural childbirth has its own problems, not the least of which is that it fosters the idea that birth can be planned and controlled.

The fact is that just like raising a child, giving birth to a child is fraught with factors we cannot control. In fact, we can see the unpredictability of labor and birth as a kind of training for child-rearing. We can prepare for both; we can plan; we can do our best to create the right environment, and those things will matter. But perhaps the most important thing parents and parents-to-be have to accept is the unexpected.

If that means an epidural because the pain is making you black out; if it means snuggling a baby tight while giving her a bottle because she refused to nurse; if it means feeding a two-year-old noodles three times a day because that’s all she will eat, so be it.

A good birth is one that ends with a healthy baby and mother. It’s wonderful if carefully-laid plans produce that result, and it can be terrifying and traumatizing when labor doesn’t go as expected. Still, we owe it to ourselves to remember that different paths can lead to the same destination, and childbirth is one of the times in life when there isn’t much question that the destination far more important than the journey.

Other interesting essays at Literary Mama include two perspectives on grandparenting: Milennial Grandma and Where Have All the Grandmas Gone?

I’ll be returning to that site – or better yet, I signed up for the Literary Mama Ezine on yahoo groups…

Tags: motherhood