There are some things mothers are never supposed to say. That the idea of childbirth fills them with disgust and horror and they want to be either drugged off their tits or anaesthetised and c-sectioned. Odd because in every other area of medicine, the absence of pain is seen as a Good Thing. In childbirth though, it’s generally seen as a cop out. My second labour was only eight hours long. I never felt in danger and the midwife was great. Unfortunately the epidural didn’t work. I’d have taken a bullet the pain was so bad. No I didn’t feel empowered. You try splitting in half and feeling empowered about it.
Once the baby is born, the next taboo is mentioning that small babies are really really dull.
Anna Pasternak got it in the neck for saying just that. The debate ‘raged’ as women phoned radio stations to explain how rollercoasterly thrilling it was to have a small baby.
Kathryn Blundell deputy editor of Mother & Baby magazine is now in deep nappy doo after using the word ‘creepy’ in the context of breastfeeding. The deluge of rage in response centres entirely around the use of the word ‘creepy’. Oh and referring to her breasts as ‘funbags’ which is up there with Gok Wan’s ‘bangers’. But she says other things too – useful things like women should not be made to feel guilty if they can’t or don’t want to breastfeed. Her real crime was not prefacing her shameless formula feeding with lots of handwringing about how ‘guilty’ she felt, or that her nipples were cracked and bleeding after nights of desperate attempts to feed. If she had – then the comments would have been more of the saintly condescending variety. Oh what a shame. Poor thing. Maybe she should have tried just an itty bit harder? Needed more support etc etc. No, this rotten, evil mother decided she couldn’t be ‘fagged.’ The selfish, sociopathic, useless, vain monster. Yes, she’s been described as all those things.
The other comment that comes up again and again is the fear that ‘vulnerable’ new mothers might read her article and decide not to breastfeed! What a load of patronising crap. Like never using the word ‘pain’ in the context of childbirth in case it puts women off having babies. Oh hang on – the anti-drug birth bullies still do that. It’s not pain – it’s sensations. Or waves. Or an orgasm if you’re Sheila Kitzinger.
It was probably ill advised to use the word ‘creepy’ about breastfeeding. But I don’t think one article is going to put new mothers off. And frankly, the utterly vitriolic, poisonous and self-righteous nastiness from the blogsphere is far far creepier.
There is a small section of militant mothers who seem more interested in policing other women’s behaviour than trusting them to make the choice that’s right for them and their child.