A while ago, Ramona read a statement on her Facebook newsfeed which suddenly made her say ‘esoteric nonsense’ out loud, contempt in her voice. Surprised by her reaction, I asked her what she had read – and agreed on her statement. One of her contacts had posted a statement, asking women to give birth naturally instead of deciding to get a C-section and discouraged them from taking an epidural against the pain. The reason he mentioned: according to him, women bond closely with their babies through the pain of birth, which is why an epidural or a C-section prevents proper bonding of mother and baby.
Oh well, my wife is not very much into public discussions on social networks and she did not answer there but we talked about all the things that made this post so wrong.
Obviously, we know where the thought comes from: there is a trend to choose the exact date and time of birth of a child by simply performing a C-section after the unborn child has reached a certain weight and it is safe to take it out by surgery. There are women who don’t even want to try a natural birth, be it out of fear of the pain or of cosmetic reasons.
This is probably the issue which this man actually wanted to address. In the world of esoteric superlatives and spiritual connections to each and everything, he could not however just say it as it is: birth is something natural, please accept the changes it brings to your body as natural. No, he had to bring motherly love and bonding into it in order to make it more important, more spiritual.
There were people commenting on it that they doubted his theory and asked for proof but he replied that he didn’t need proof. People loved all those things more that they had gained through pain.
Oh no! I can hear every mother cursing out loud whose child had to be taken out by surgery due to medical complications! Without any labour pain, without any chance of experiencing this pain that allegedly brings more love and bonding!
It may sound wonderful if you talk about this great love a mother feels after a painful birth, when she just forgets the ordeal and bonds in spite of and even due to all this pain. It is however complete nonsense because it would in the same way mean that mothers who got their children through C-section or could not take the pain and had an epidural do not love their children as much. Do not bond with their babies as much.
We had a C-section with Apra. In spite of the doctor’s efforts to induce labour pain, Ramona did not even feel uncomfortable at any point while waiting for our baby. When finally the doctor told us that it would be risky to wait longer for a natural birth, we were ready for our daughter to come to this earth by operation. Should we have risked brain damage or heart failure just to experience this pain and bonding? Does it make our birth experience any less valuable?
Oh no, it doesn’t. And I consciously say ‘our birth experience’ because I was involved from the start to the end. I was holding Ramona’s hand while the doctor opened her belly, I was watching how the miracle unfolded and my daughter saw the light of this earth for the first time.
No, you cannot tell me that Ramona bonded less with Apra because she didn’t have at least seven hours of labour pain – because they are as close as I have seen every other mother with her newborn! No, you cannot tell me our birthing time was any less special – because we deeply love our time at the hospital from the beginning to the end, even still today!
This holds true for each and every other woman on this earth as well. Your bonding with your child depends on your love and not on a certain time of suffering!
Finally, the biggest argument of all I see here: I bond with my little girl very much. I did not have pains and she was not even in my belly but she is a part of me, no matter how she came to this world. Fathers bond as well!
So please keep esoteric nonsense out of matters where it is completely unnecessary – you will avoid insulting others!