And we’re back at it again.
Last week before I went on annual leave (Currently soaking up all this free time I have), I ran a parent education class to prep mothers and fathers for parenthood. I really enjoyed doing this, because I got to answer their worries and concerns, boost their knowledge and get them excited for this new chapter they are about to embark on.
A few of the questions I received, required me to answer with the same responses: “It’s completely up to you” “It is YOUR choice” “Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do”…It seems like it should be obvious that the parents are in control of their own decisions, but sometimes this can get lost amongst health professionals’ advice, the mother-in-law’s instructions and the various parenting books parents-to-be can get their hands on. So in turn, parents feel like they must listen to everyone’s advice…
Imagine, if you created this brilliant idea (the baby is the idea in this example lol) and began to develop this idea into reality, then all of a sudden – people began to impart their ideas onto you – telling you you’re doing this wrong, it would be better this way, they would never do it like that….WOULD YOU NOT BE PISSED OFF? Yeah, me too.
As midwives, we are our women’s advocates. That is, we stand by and support them in their decisions, and be their voice when they may not be heard. Although we dish out months and months of advice, suggestions and recommendations – it is up to you to decide whether you follow them. One question I have heard surface many times is
Can I give my baby a bottle?
Now, I know there are some midwives who disagree with bottle feeding and despise formula milk. However, whenever I get asked that question, I do not bat an eyelid – I just say “of course”. Before you judge me, hear this: I have sat with women who have erupted in tears, because they were made to feel bad about giving their child a bottle – BY HEALTH PROFESSIONALS. How is that okay? We all understand the amazing benefits of breastfeeding (to be discussed in another post) and why we should always encourage it. However, there are circumstances where babies do need a little extra, possibly in the form of formula, to get them by. We need to educate mothers that it is okay, while of course, advocating breastfeeding.
We also need to educate mothers and fathers that it is perfectly okay to make their own decisions, challenge your midwife or obstetrician before agreeing to something because it is YOU that will be going through it – not us. Whether it is your birth plan, your options for induction or where you would like to give birth, use your voice. Be your own person!
And here endeth the motivational speech lol.
Catch you all later,