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SITTING IN THE MIDWIFE WAITING ROOM

All I can say is thank goodness I did hypnobirthing with my first baby and had an absolutely incredible birth, because sitting in that midwife waiting room and looking at the posters that they have on the walls are just down right frightening!

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This absolutely puts fear into pregnant women I cannot stand it! A pregnant woman, especially a first time pregnant woman is already going to have an element of anxiety within her when thinking about her baby’s birth. Of course, that it totally natural, because we live in a culture that has conditioned us to believe that birth is frightening, painful, and an event where women suffer.

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Think about it, when you see a film or a programme on TV where a woman is giving birth, what do you see? You see women screaming for epidurals, you see partners being punched in the face and being shouted at, you see the midwife characters rolling their eyes and telling the mums to ‘calm down.’ It’s either a very terrifying scene or a comical one. And why, oh why are they always on their backs!? Positions for labour will be a totally different blog post, but do you see, we are conditioned to believe it is going to be this way. But believe me this is all to get television ratings up.

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So, sitting in the midwife waiting room, I was in such disbelief at the posters they had on display on the walls. They were all about epidurals and spinal blocks. Images of needles going into the spine. Why are first time mothers having to sit there at their booking in appointments looking at (and fearing) what is only months ahead of them? For goodness sake.

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There needs to be a balance. Of course, an epidural may be desired when a woman has been in labour for hours and is utterly exhausted. Of course, expectant mums should know that this is an option they could consider. But where are the posters on birthing pools and listing their amazing benefits? Where are the posters on hypnobirthing techniques and how you can distract your mind away from uncomfortable sensations in the body? Where are the posters on comfortable positions you could try for when you are in labour?

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My point being is that if the only posters a pregnant woman sees when she is waiting for her midwife appointment for the first time include needles and medical intervention, then she is not looking forward to her baby’s birth. She will be fearing it. Who wants a needle? Who actually wants one? Absolutely you may well decide that it is best for you on the day, but there really needs to be a balance.

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Only 40% of expectant mums take antenatal classes, so how are they meant to know about all the other options? Yes, they may be listed in an Emma’s Diary labour pack or a Bounty magazine, but they might not have the time to read through it all. Sitting in a waiting room however, we all look at the posters on the wall. Come on hospitals! Do you bit and allow pregnant mums to feel less anxious and more informed.

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