Did anyone else listen to this piece on NPR on Monday morning? It discussed the seemingly endless sources of criticism and unwanted advice that parents, and especially expectant parents, receive from strangers. I too experienced this during my pregnancies. From “you know, labor hurts” in response to my desire to avoid pain medication during labor, to not being offered a glass of wine while dining at a restaurant, critics abound.
In this program, Claire Zulkey explores the enormous source of criticism and judgement that continues to grow on the internet. I’m not sure I agree that technology is the source of all this judgement – rather, I think it adds additional forums for the criticism to take place, but it would certainly exist without the technology as well.
She strives (as do I) toward a model of support for parents, and the assumption that everyone is doing the best they can, and what is best for their family and child(ren). Listen to the full story here.
What is particularly bothersome though, is that much of the work of “natural” childbirth and breastfeeding advocates seems to be misinterpreted as judgmental and critical. This is something I have struggled with in my own writing here on Birth Literacy as well. What do you think? Is it possible to question the non-evidence based standards of care without being misinterpreted as critical and offensive? By saying that our C-Section rate is too high (in fact, higher than the WHO says is beneficial to mothers and babies), do I risk offending every woman who had a Cesarean delivery?