I had to laugh the other day. One of my favorite midwifery authors and researchers, Dr Denis Walsh has got himself into hot water.
Suck it up!
The world press has latched onto something Denis has said - essentially that us women should 'suck it up', and get on and 'grin and bear it' when we give birth. Suffice to say, this has drawn mixed reactions from women not least because he is a man and has no right to tell us girls what we should or should not put up with in terms of pain in childbirth.
Rite of passage
I haven't been able to access the original article so I am unable to make a judgment about what he said. However, I totally agree that childbirth is a rite of passage that has been heavily medicalised to the detriment of women and their experiences of motherhood.
However, I also think that we have forced women into very unnatural birthing environments and subject them to procedures that make childbirth far more painful than it would be in more natural environments. Is it any wonder that women request epidurals when we do things like induce their labour, give them drugs to force their uterus to contract and make them spend their whole labour lying flat on their backs?!
Supporting women in labour
What midwives need to be doing is looking for ways that they can support women so that women do not need to resort to epidurals to control the pain of childbirth.
Have a listen to what he says here. What do you think about Denis's comments?
As for poor old Denis...it was years before I realised he was a man - I always thought he was "Denise"!
Image: 'The moment of birth' salimfadhley