After more than a decade, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is ditching its 'normal birth' campaign against using caesareans, epidurals, inductions and use of instruments, admitting it might have caused women to feel like failures if they had anything other than a 'natural' birth.
At the start of the campaign, which began 12 years ago, the college hoped to encourage more women to give birth without caesarean, induction, instruments or epidural.
However, it seems to have led to negative feelings from women who feel they have somehow failed if they don't give birth vaginally.
Professor Cathy Warwick, the college's chief executive, says:
“There was a danger that if you just talk about normal births, and particularly if you call it a campaign, it kind of sounds as if you’re only interested in women who have a vaginal birth without intervention.
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“What we don’t want to do is in any way contribute to any sense that a woman has failed because she hasn’t had a normal birth.
“Unfortunately that seems to be how some women feel.”
The professor goes on to say that "that this word ‘normal’ is particularly contentious… it is simpler to use a non-value-laden word.
"Because of the inferences that are drawn there will be instances where you’re explaining your position better by using terms like ‘physiological birth’.”
Here at MFM HQ, we have to say we were pleased to hear this news: words like 'normal' and 'natural' aren't really that helpful when it comes to the birth experience.
But what is essential is that mum and baby and are kept as safe and as comfortable as possible during the whole process, whatever that takes, right? ?
Tara is mum to 1 daughter, Bodhi Rae, and has worked as Content Editor and Social Media Producer at MadeForMums since 2015
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