Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Political Correctness and Childbirth

Recently, I heard a group of women talking about fathers in the delivery room, breastfeeding, "natural" childbirth, and the like. They were all in agreement that fathers should witness their childrens' births, that mothers should have unmedicated births and should breastfeed afterwards. It would seem as if political correctness extends in how people have children.

And it seems as if my one connection to a child being born was in no way politically correct, according to these women's standards.

I was not present in the delivery room for my son's birth, though I sat with her a good bit in the labor room. She was reticent about the matter, and I wasn't really eager to see it, either. I also thought the medical team could do their jobs better if I were not there underfoot as well.

I don't have a problem with couples who want to share this experience, but I scratch my head at those who want to make a big production about it: filming it, allowing every relative, friend, and acquaintance up to and including the mailman to be there watching, too. It seems to be a very private, personal thing that should be limited to the couple responsible for it.

She also wasn't interested in being a hero by going for unmedicated birth. Both of us were wanted the ordeal to be as smooth and pain-free as medically possible. We both had the idea that pain = bad. We considered that as long as the baby was born alive and healthy, how one chose to give birth was immaterial.

The ex also chose not to breastfeed, as she didn't want to have to be the one who always got up in the middle of the night to feed him. And, yes, I took my turn at this quite a few times. It also allowed her to go back to work without worrying about the logistics of how the baby was to be fed. As it turned out, with her running off before he was a y ear old, this was one less logistical problem I had to deal with when I was left to raise him alone.

Pretty much, though, we didn't see anything wrong with how our parents had handled these matters when we were born and saw no reason to change.


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