is there a way that natural birth advocates can include c-section mothers?
there are lots of ways that c-sectioned mothers are included in natural birth dialogues.
first, there are those women who have necessary (whether planned/scheduled or unscheduled) c-sections. these are the easiest to include, i suppose, because we all agree to the value of the c-section when it is necessary.
second, there are those women who had an emergency c-section. these tend to fall into three categories: 1. believing/knowing it was absolutely necessary (which puts them into that first group); 2. believing/knowing it was absolutely unnecessary; and 3. questioning whether or not it was necessary.
i find that those in the second group tend to be the greatest advocates for natural birth--which naturally arises out of their experiences. they are also a great support for those questioning, and those questioning, in turn, tend to really be the catalyst for finding balance between supporting women who had c-section whether or not we know or they know it was necessary, while also still advocating for natural birth.
all of these women help us understand the value and importance of safe birth--whether with or without interventions.
is the bigger goal to support mothers or to support natural birth?
there are two issues here. what is it to support natural birth, and does that support mothers?
the real question is what are we advocating when we advocate for natural birth? is it that it is important for every woman to birth naturally?
the answer is no.
the point of advocating natural birth is not to be exclusive or unsupportive of mothers who do not have natural births, but rather to open the culture up to the dialogue about birth choices.
for all that people assert that women have choices, culturally speaking, women really only have one "choice" that is unquestioned and fully supported--hospital, OB attended birth. these are rarely intervention free.
so the real purpose of birth advocacy is to talk about what the options are and to support women in discovering those options and choosing from those options what is best for them.
this is not exclusive. it doesn't say that "only those who have a natural birth are good/right/adequate, and everyone else isn't." it is simply saying "we advocate for natural birth as a safe mode of birth, not just hospital births."
So, by opening up this dialogue, it is inherently supportive of mothers. Mothers can choose to birth in the places and ways that they prefer, that they think is right for them, rather than feeling the emotional and cultural pressures to birth in a certain way as dictated by cultural normatives, particularly when that way sometimes leads to harm women and/or children.
what do you do when supporting natural birth gets in the way of supporting mothers?
i haven't seen this happen, as per the definition above, but i can understand how the issue gets confused.
in our culture, there is a lot of confusion about difference. for some people the idea of having multiple "right" answers is confusing. for many people in our culture, there is only one answer for any given question. this is the culturally approved answer.
those who believe in only one answer tend to also hold the belief that those who would disagree are not only wrong, but also bad.
so when someone disagrees with them, they assume that "that person" holds the same assumptive process that they do--disagree. . .wrong. . .bad. so, they 'read in' an implicit moral judgment. i have run into this so many times in our culture, it's kind of freaky.
so, this relates to the natural birth advocacy in this way:
in our culture, there is only one safe way to birth--in a hospital with an OB. if this was not true, then the women who come here would not be posting "how do i convince my husband/mom/partner/best friend/pastor that homebirth is ok?"
thus, it goes this way: anyone who doesn't birth in a hospital is wrong and therefore also bad.
but then, it also goes this way: by having a homebirth, you are demonstrating that you disagree with me/us (that there is one true way to safely birth), and therefore you think those of us who birth in hospitals are wrong, and therefore you also think we are bad (and thus are judging us).
the truth is that advocates of natural birth are not inherently judging hospital birth, but rather simply acting on their own information and birth options, and wanting to open the dialogue for other women to have more options.
options, btw, includes having a hospital birth with an OB *if one so chooses*.
but often in the passions of learning, and the emotions of taking on a new perspective, the language gets confused into an "us vs them" mentality. even i have been subject to it in my own discoveries and explorations of myself in relationship to birth. and, i've made a number of horrible, mistaken, not-really-what-mean/feel statements over the years. to err is human, or so it is said.
so sometimes, feelings get trampled on, judgements happen.
how can the idea of trusting your body be reconciled when your body doesn't do what everyone has been telling you it is natural for your body to do? _is_ that woman's body a failure?
trusting oneself and one's body is really separate from whether or not the birth is intervention free.
in the UC construct, the idea is that you trust your intuition, and if your intuition is telling you to get help, then you get help. it is not about whether or not you actually birth unassisted. it is about birthing safely.
thus, it's never about whether or not someone "failed" at birthing or if their body "failed." the mother does exactly what she is supposed to do--get help when she needs it to birth safely.