Incredible Birth Photo Brings Out the Worst in Jealous Moms

281

smiley face frownyMention you're aiming to not use drugs during labor and delivery, and it's like you said you're going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro without a coat. Mention you're birthing at home, and now you've thrown your survival supplies down the mountainside too. It can be hard to talk about your own choices as a mom without people thinking you're trying to compete with them. Both of my births were in hospitals, both with epidurals (one failed), but that doesn't mean I don't see the logic and reasons to aim for natural birth (and would do it different if I did it again).

I love seeing pictures and birth stories where women succeed where I didn't, because as awesome as babies being brought into the world in any form are, I feel like some of the best empowerment and emotion is often in birthing center and homebirth photos, like this beautiful one from Lynsey Stone in the National Geographic photo contest. But true to form, people decided her success was an insult to them, somehow.

Her description, by the way, is that she is screaming, "I love you baby!" as she introduces her third child into the world, into her husband's arms.

But apparently her scaling "Mount Kilimanjaro" angers everyone else who wanted to, or tried and didn't quite make it. The comments her photo received ... ohhh the comments. From "God, didn't she eat during pregnancy?" to "I think it's staged -- whose hair looks like that while giving birth?" to "I looked like that at 20 weeks." Some questioned if she was pregnant at all; others were skeptical of her husband being there in the perfect spot. There were those who suggested it was fake, wondered where the blood was, and more that said she wasn't giving birth in a 'normal' position.

Why do people feel the need to do this? The birth was obviously healthy, and a joyous and beautiful experience, so I fail to understand why people -- especially other moms who've been through the trials of labor themselves -- would feel it was acceptable to use someone's birth photo as a forum for attacking someone? I mean, obviously, she doesn't look pregnant because the baby is in her husband's hands, not her stomach, her hair isn't messed up because she's not laying down, and so on. Every woman carries and gains weight differently in pregnancy. It doesn't take five minutes to process the obvious, but more importantly, why even feel the need?

Another friend of mine recently had her third baby in a birthing center (a VBAC, too!) and someone decided her birth story post was the perfect place to start insulting "breeders" (people who have kids) as a whole!

We moms are always going to have differences in opinions, a different thought on what birth should look like, but we need to at least learn manners -- especially if we want our children to learn them.

Have you had moms attack a personal photo of your own? How about try to honestly, politely help you? Which happens more often?

 

Image via adhirespati/Flickr

delivery, motherhood, bullies, natural parenting

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Total... Totallysmitten

I was ridiculed for screaming during birth, praying during contractions, having my Hubby by my side, not wanting an epidural, and breastfeeding.

Lindsay Meyer-Harley

I am confused, where is the photo you are writing about?

tinyp... tinypossum

I think people get their backs up because of statements like this:


 love seeing pictures and birth stories where women succeed where I didn't, because as awesome as babies being brought into the world in any form is, I feel like some of the best empowerment and emotion is often in birthing center and homebirth photos


Why do you feel your births were not a "success"? Why should anyone feel that way if they got a healthy baby out of it. You are promoting the competitive notion of birth by implying that by not doing it in some prescribed "natural" way, that it isn't meaningful or successful. I think a lot of women are tired of being guilted and pressured into someone else's notion of the perfect birth experience. Why not let every woman feel that her birth is a "success", no matter how she chose to do it? 

JessL... JessLogansMommy

It doesn't matter what you do, someone is going to have a comment about something!  The only thing that should matter is that you have a healthy mom and a healthy baby in the end, not how it happened!   Personally i love this photo, i think its absolutely amazing! 

Kritika Kritika

My best friend gave birth last week. By the end she looked like she literally had a basketball underneath her shirt. She isn't rail thin but isn't overweight either...I would say she was in ideal shape. She was so cute but everyone gave her such a hard time for not turning into a lardass...

Lindsay Meyer-Harley

Nevermind, clicked link.... this photo is totally insane, beautiful, inspiring!!!! Though I admit I did think, wow she was tiny, that being said, I pushed out a 10.8lb baby girl and gained 40lbs so I only have myself as a reference. Love this pic.

Melis... Melissa042807

Everything you do or don't do regarding pregnancy, childbirth, babies, and kids, everyone is going to have an opinion and about 50% of those opinions are going to be different than your own. Oh, and everyone is going to think theirs is the only right opinion in the entire world. 


So I just don't talk about my birth plans with anyone. :-) 

Lizzie Gowers

I applaud those that choose to birth drug free; I had no real choice when I had my first (I wanted an epidural but couldn't get it due to two emergency C-sections) and I loathe pain. I know I wouldn't ever do that again, but that's MY choice. By the same stroke, those that did their births drug free shouldn't go all sancti-mommy on those who chose to, as is often the case.

Tara Seid

@tinypossum i don't think she's saying her birth wasn't a success; just that she didn't succeed in going med free-

Rachel Leigh Myrick

I agree with tinypossum. Comments like this: "I feel like some of the best empowerment and emotion is often in birthing center and homebirth photos" only stir the pot and foster the mommy competition the author is decrying. Success = both mom and baby survived. As someone who has known 2 ladies who have died in childbirth, I don't take anyone's method of childbirth for granted.

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