Ruminating on Gisele’s son’s birth

3 February 2010 at 12:37 pm Leave a comment

In a fit of utter boredom I spent some time yesterday trolling a celebrity gossip site and came across a post about Gisele Bundchen’s birth where she blissfully declared it “not painful.” The comments that followed were fascinating. They started out remarkably positive, along the lines of “wow, that gives me inspiration, I hope I can have a birth like that.” 700+ comments later the conversation devolved into the usual mud slinging. But a few things really stood out to me about the whole dialogue created by this unusual celebrity birth story.

1. Positive role models can produce positive results: It was lovely to see how just the mere acknowledgment that childbirth can be a pleasurable experience led some woman to shift their own thinking. I know this reflects my own experience with a mom and siblings who always spoke of the virtues of natural birth and clued me in to the reality of intervention heavy births. It allowed me to see births in film and on TV for what they really were: fiction intended to create drama.

2. How pervasive the negative image of birth is: Despite the comments starting out positive, it didn’t take long before Gisele was accused of lying about her birth experience. So many posters could not accept that it was possible for birth to be anything other than painful and horrible. The most common reason I saw: “My (mom, sister, friend) said childbirth was the worst pain ever. They were cut, the baby’s head was huge, they were in labor for three weeks, etc..” See point one.

3. That many view being sliced open via surgical birth as preferable to the possibility of tearing from vaginal birth: This never stops surprising me. I hear it all the time. It’s as though they’ve blocked out the reality that in order to surgically deliver a child an OB needs to cut through your entire abdominal cavity and then sew you back up. How is this better or less painful than even a larger tear? As if that’s even a foregone conclusion… (shakes head).

In related news:
A new California state report concludes that the number of woman dying from childbirth has tripled in the last decade. And guess what? The usual scapegoats (obesity, maternal age and fertility treatments) were ruled out as likely causes. What could not be ruled out? (wait for it) C-sections and inductions. Shocking, right?


Entry filed under: Articles to read.

Nursing a toddler (in public), comments on SIDS

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February 2010


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