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So how do you politely tell people to buzz off when they disagree with your birth plans?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello ladies, I'm new to the site but I have lurked for awhile :)  I love this site because I can come here and hear people who actually agree with my beliefs instead of insulting them :P

 

Anyway, I am not pregnant right now so I hope you don't mind me posting here.  I do want children in the near future though, and I already know (and have known for years) that I want a homebirth.  I am a healthy 24 year old so as long as I can stay healthy, (which I plan to) I think homebirth is the best option for me.  The problem?  I am so afraid of being criticized or even bullied about it when the time comes.  The closer we get to trying for a baby, the more nervous I get about what everyone will say to me when I tell them I want a homebirth.

 

First of all my mother IS incredibly supportive because a., she went through a traumatic birth with my older brother that caused her to choose a natural birth with my other brother and myself, and b., she used to work as a nurse on the OB ward and saw all kinds of terrible things the doctors would do to women just to make money :(  Basically every birth horror story I have read on here, my mother has seen with her own eyes.

 

My s.o. is pretty supportive of the plan but I get the distinct impression from him that as soon as there's a baby actually on the way, he'll change his tune.  Especially if his family works on him about it.  He comes from what I consider to be a very over-medicalized family (wonderful people, just very, very different from me in that regard.)  He is the least so of all of them, but to give you an idea his mother had epidurals with all of her children and allowed doctors to induce her with him.  I actually wonder if she even knows homebirth is a thing, because she so blindly followed her doctor's advice throughout all of her pregnancies.  So although I have not yet shared with his parents my plan, I know them well enough that I can imagine the nagging I'll get when they do find out.

 

Also, my father, (who is a wonderful man, don't get me wrong) is one of those who thinks just because I have a small frame I'll need to "get permission" from a doctor before I try to get pregnant in case my oh-so delicate little hips can't handle it.  So you see what I'm up against there.  Sigh.

 

I honestly don't have many friends who I know share my feelings on this either.  So I am a little intimidated about what I'll be up against when I do get pregnant and inevitably share my birth plans.  I have thought about just keeping quiet about it, but I know his family and mine will ask questions and I really don't want to lie to any of it.

 

So lovelies, when the time comes, if the people close to me have a problem with my birth plans, how do I politely ask them to mind their own business?

post #2 of 13

I think you just have to state, with confidence, that "this is what we have decided, and it isn't up for discussion."  Now, honest questions are always welcome, and an openness to understand the whys and wherefores of your decision is different than a critical opinion-sharing session.  I think that you will know the difference when you engage in the conversation.  If it turns from a desire to understand your decision to being critical, then you pull out your standard response:  "thank you for your interest and concern.  This is what we've decided to do.  Goodbye."  

 

My MIL is very much opposed to HB (and many of the other parenting choices we've made).  However, for the sake of peace in our family, and for the love we both have towards my husband (her son) and my children, we have decided to not discuss certain topics.  They occasionally come up, but she respects us enough to not continue to berate us with her opinions.  It is not an easy thing to navigate, and there have been many times when we have simply have had to walk away from each other.  It is definitely a work in progress.

post #3 of 13

Like gardenmommy said, you don't have to discuss it if you don't want to. You tell people that it's what you've decided is the right choice for you.

 

And you might want to start making natural-mama friends, so that you do have social support when you're a home birthing, breastfeeding babywearer.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gardenmommy View Post

If it turns from a desire to understand your decision to being critical, then you pull out your standard response:  "thank you for your interest and concern.  This is what we've decided to do.  Goodbye."  

 

 

 

Good idea!

 

Both of you make perfect sense; it's my body so why should I have to involve every single family member in the decision?  I guess I mainly don't like conflict and would really like to avoid being attacked or argued with about something that doesn't really concern anyone but me!

 

And as you said phathui5, I DO need to make some natural mama friends!  That's actually one reason I came on here but it would also probably be really helpful if I found a natural mothering group in my city. 

post #5 of 13
I come up against this a lot.. Due in a few weeks and just the other day a coworker was telling me about her amazing planned c-section in "the hospital you think you're not going to". Honestly, I just shrug it off, laugh and change the subject.

I think your fears about your hubby's family "turning" him are pretty valid. When you're ready, try to find a childbirth education class that's tailored toward homebirth. My mom was vehemently against the homebirth until she attended these classes with me (my partner is not around). Now.. You should hear her defend home and natural birthing to her friends! "Oh yeah?! What position were you laboring in in the hospital? Ohhh pushing the baby uphill on your back!" It's really incredible.

My biggest advice is to stay strong in your beliefs and keep a sense of humor. Letting people's negative opinions get o you is the worst.

Good luck!
post #6 of 13

Why even tell them what your plans are? When I was pregnant with my son it never even occurred to me that I might have to consult with anyone or get approval about my decision. I literally never even asked DH how he would feel. I just told him what was going to happen and that was that. It wasn't meant to be any kind of statement of independence or anything, I just don't see what one person does with their body is the business of anyone else. 

post #7 of 13
Sometimes people who have had epidurals feel innately challenged or criticized or something when people express a desire for homebirth or ncb. This insecurity is behind a lot of the knowitallism surrounding these issues. I do wish that all women could feel positively about making the choices that are right for them without nags on either side. Sit in a tub, labor at home, in a hospital, on a ball, get an epi, bite down on a stick, use a surrogate, if it has been twenty hours and you are still 4cm don't feel guilty about having some vitamin p, or do the whole thing unassisted in a cabin on Moosehead Lake, etc.

But that will never happen, I guess. People will always feel the need to preach their annoying gospel whether wanted or not. Good for you for standing your ground and keeping your temper.
post #8 of 13

Just a sidenote about inductions, in some cases the placenta can begin to die after 40 weeks so some people are uncomfortable with letting a pregnancy go on too long. The risk of stillbirth does begin to increase at a certain point beyond the due date and there are a few other factors that come into play. Not everyone has inductions because they get tired of waiting or their doctor has golf that weekend. Not that you said that, but you indicated your MIL "blindly followed doctors advice". A lot of people are under the impression that inductions are done to prevent the baby from getting too big to come out. 

post #9 of 13

Since getting pregnant, I have not had to deal with as many "opposers" as I imagined I would. My parents and in-laws knew that I would want a homebirth just because I've felt so strongly about it for years. Of course when I actually got pregnant, they voiced their fears a lot more. When somebody voices a concern, I take that as an opportunity to educate them and show them I have researched this well, and encourage them to do research of their own. I have a few family members in mind who I don't think will be thrilled, and for that I will say "it's not up for discussion, but if you have questions I will try to answer them."

 

You don't HAVE to tell people. I tell practically anyone who finds out I'm pregnant, because I think what I'm doing is cool and I want to make people more aware of their options. I don't care if they have negative things to say, I'm sorry for them that they don't feel birth can be a peaceful experience at home.

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escaping View Post

Just a sidenote about inductions, in some cases the placenta can begin to die after 40 weeks so some people are uncomfortable with letting a pregnancy go on too long. The risk of stillbirth does begin to increase at a certain point beyond the due date and there are a few other factors that come into play. Not everyone has inductions because they get tired of waiting or their doctor has golf that weekend. Not that you said that, but you indicated your MIL "blindly followed doctors advice". A lot of people are under the impression that inductions are done to prevent the baby from getting too big to come out. 

This really is a side-note, but I agree - you don't even have to get into the "whys" about what exactly the risks are.  It really does reduce to "There is a statistically measurable higher risk of mortality in post-term pregnancies."

 

See, for example, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23253109 ("However, postterm was found as a significant risk factor for labor complications and adverse perinatal outcome including perinatal mortality. Using a multivariable logistic regression model, controlling for confounders such as maternal age and macrosomia, postterm was found to be an independent risk factor for perinatal mortality"), http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18639211 ("Infants born beyond 41 w0d of gestation experience greater neonatal mortality relative to term infants born between 38 w0d and 40 w6d.") - and there are other studies as well.  

 

None of this addresses the OP's question, but I think the question itself might be premature.  In the end, as an adult person, you get to make your own decisions about your own medical care.  I don't see that you need to go out of your way to be polite about it.

post #11 of 13

I had both babies at home and the most frequent response I received was "OMG, are you crazy?"  to which I replied "Nope. Not crazy."  Most people asked a lot of questions and seemed genuinely interested, which I took as a good opportunity to educate without being crazy about it.  There were a few people who started rattling off their disapproval and I would just smile and blink at them.  

post #12 of 13

We didn't homebirth, but my mom is still pretty annoying about the cosleeping, the babywearing, the  EBF, etc. We just kinda roll our eyes.

post #13 of 13

Honestly, since your style is conflict avoidance I would tell as few people as possible because your plans are none of their business. None. And for family members you can't get around telling, use as few words as possible "Actually, we're having a home birth ____ insert new topic here" You don't have to be rude, but you can make it clear that it's not up for discussion.

 

Second, and to my mind far more important. GET USED TO IT. Pregnancy is the first of MANY times someone isn't going to agree with your parenting choices. They will have opinions on EVERYTHING and work hard to shove them down your throat. Practice pushing back now before the baby is even here and you will be far happier, I think, in the long run. This is the first opportunity to start building your boundaries as parent. Practice over and over again being polite, but firm/dismissive if needed. If your parents/in-laws are as good as you say, they will eventually get the message that, while you respect them and their opinions, you and your spouse will always have the final say (and hopefully, get to the point where they learn to trust/respect you enough to let things go).

 

Good luck and try not to over worry! smile.gif

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