What birth terms p**s you off? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 12:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been bothered by several terms people use about birthing. And it's really been getting on my nerves lately, so I was wondering what other mamas think.

My most despised saying is that "Dr. Dolittle delivered my baby."
WHAT? He gave birth for you? I thought that the women actually had the baby and the baby was delivered by her...!
It really gets to me when women talk about how the doctor's delivery was a lifesaver. Please, he walks in the door a couple of minutes before the baby is pushed out into his hands. And he gets all the glory.
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#2 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 01:00 AM
 
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Yes! language is so powerful. How about when women are talking about birth and say things like "they said if I haven't had the baby by next week they have to induce me" or "they let me walk to the bathroom instead of getting a catheter"

It concerns me because they give all their decisions away to "them" They don't realize that they have a choice. And even more interesting to me is that they don't want the choice. Many women want someone else to make the decisions.
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#3 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 01:24 AM
 
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"Allow."

'They won't allow...' 'They will allow...' 'We can't allow...'

It's such a loaded thing, because there is an implicit threat of reporting a woman to the authorities if she doesn't do what they think she should. Especially if you're a member of a population deemed 'at-risk.' (Teenage mother, older mother, poor mother, non-white mother, mother of more than two... the list goes on and on and on...)

What I find really distressing is that the language is codified in most books on birth as well, even ones that seem less intervention-oriented. It's still a language of permission, rather than assertion.

Kash, homeschooling mommy to Gillian (8/5/00) and Jacob (3/23/05)
and Brigid Eleanor (11/20/08)
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#4 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 01:33 AM
 
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Well, being now almost 42 weeks, I keep hearing "how long will they LET you go?" and "you know they won't LET you go over 42 weeks" etc etc.

It totally pisses me off! No one is "Letting" me go however long, my baby will come when it is ready!

"MY best interest?...How can YOU say what MY best interest is?...When I went to YOUR schools, I went to YOUR churches, I went to YOUR institutional learning facilities."-ST
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#5 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 02:04 AM
 
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zanelee ~ that gets to me too!!! i can't stand it when i'm asked, "Who delivered your baby?" **I** DELIVERED MY BABY!
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#6 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 02:14 AM
 
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Another vote for 'let me'! Grrrrr.
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#7 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 03:08 AM
 
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i hate that, "let me", "allow me" and "he/she delivered" barf barf barf.

Erin, 33, salty southern mama, sitting by the sea with my DH35, DD10, DS4, &DD2!
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#8 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 07:55 AM
 
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Another vote for "let me" "allow me" "delivered"

My fave right now - SIL and her "they HAD to do a c-section, the baby was too big."

MMhmm. Her first and second were 11lb+, this one was 6lb. She was in active labor 36+ hours, and the OB wanted to go on vacation.
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#9 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 09:01 AM
 
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I agree with the aforementioned terms wholeheartedly.

I hope I don't offend anyone here, but it really annoys me when couples say "we're pregnant". Oh really, I didn't know men could be pregnant. Better call the record books and the media and start selling your story. "We're expecting" true, "we're pregnant", false! It feels like it's belittleing the feminine power of reproduction, although I realize it's meant to make dad feel more involved.

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#10 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 09:46 AM
 
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I always say that I gave birth to my kids. The midwife's only job was to check the heartbeat and catch them.

Get rid of the passive parts of speech. And gently remind others to as well. I continually remind moms that they are in charge. The docs work for you. You pay them. They are your employees. Don't give in to threats, find a new doc if you need to.
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#11 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 09:56 AM
 
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You know the bulliten board at the Dr or midwife office where they put pics of new babies & thank you cards? I always hate the ones that say "Thank you for my great pregnancy & delivery!"

COME ON!!!! Same theme as everyone elses... just so passive...
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#12 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 10:26 AM
 
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I cringe when I hear the phrase, "Managed her pregnancy." As in, "I am the OB who managed her pregnancy." Or "This pregnancy must be carefully managed." Gag.
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#13 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 10:46 AM
 
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Terms that blame women and their bodies:

insufficient contractions/placenta/etc

failure to progress
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#14 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 11:20 AM
 
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What bothers me is when I hear women talk about how they couldn't have the baby, had to have c-section. It is just so sad that people actually think that their bodies cannot do what they are intended to do, very rarely this may be the case, but not as it is presented women are told so often that their bodies are bad, wrong, not good enough. Then women have the first c-section and think that all the rest have to be that way...soo soo sad.

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Happily Married to my : 11 yrs- Mama to wild-eyed monkey boy 7-04, fiery little girl 4-07, and the happy smiley baby that sleeps 11-09!
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#15 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 11:36 AM
 
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ITA with Mimim on the "we're pregnant" thing.... I didn't understand that, when I was pregnant it wasn't like hubby didn't do his part in supporting me, but he didn't go through it!!!

And Honey you have a great point too.... not only do those sayings like "insufficient ____" blame and belittle women and their bodies and their awesome abilities, things like that instill ideas in women's heads that wouldn't have been there. You can be totally confident about your body and the job it's doing to nurture the baby inside it and things will be going well, but as soon as a Dr suggests that something might not be 'ideal' the confidence goes out the window and you get 'psyched out'. It sort of happened to me and I *know* baby and I would have been fine. But I was led to believe we were having problems, so since I believed it, it made it hard for us. If I had been allowed to believe we were ok (which we were) it wouldn't have been the struggle it became. :

Single student mama to dd 5/04 and ds 11/07.

 

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#16 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 12:06 PM
 
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Thank you SO much for starting this thread. I consider myself very sensitive to language, but I hadn't ever explored all of those terms surrounding birth. Great eye opener!

I HATE those terms that blame women's bodies. They're all over medical books. I will add False Labor, which seems in more enlightened books to be replaced with Practice Labor.

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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#17 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 12:19 PM
 
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incompetent cervix

and the worst is FTP - failure to progress. I call that "failure to be patient".
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#18 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 12:25 PM
 
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Two things stick in my mind:

As a 1st time mom over thirty (thirty and three months when ds was born) I was referred to as an 'elderly primagravida'. Not that there is anything wrong with being elderly, but I do feel it implies a judgement.

The healthcare workers refer to the child as 'baby'. Not 'your baby', or 'the baby', but baby. As in 'baby will take what he needs from your body'. or 'baby will move when they are ready'. It really seemed to take some of the shine off things. How would they know what 'baby wants?' the only thing I know about baby is that nobody puts baby in the corner ;-)
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#19 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 01:10 PM
 
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When healthcare providers call the woman in labor "Mom" and her partner "Dad" (i.e. "How are you feeling now, Mom" "Why don't you hold up her legs while she pushed, Dad"). Take the time to learn and remember your patient's name!
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#20 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 01:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatever
Two things stick in my mind:

As a 1st time mom over thirty (thirty and three months when ds was born) I was referred to as an 'elderly primagravida'. Not that there is anything wrong with being elderly, but I do feel it implies a judgement.

the only thing I know about baby is that nobody puts baby in the corner ;-)
Hey, I'm thirty and six months! I'm ancient.... Seriously though, I didn't think we were considered elderly til 35? Or are first-timers elderly five years earlier?

Love the Dirty Dancing quote! :
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#21 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 02:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gottaknit
Hey, I'm thirty and six months! I'm ancient.... Seriously though, I didn't think we were considered elderly til 35? Or are first-timers elderly five years earlier?

Love the Dirty Dancing quote! :
I'm in the UK-it's probably different.
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#22 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 02:02 PM
 
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The thing that makes me the most cranky is when someone says "all that matters is a healthy baby". Invariably it's used as an excuse for something absolutely dreadful that was done to the birthing mom.

--AmyB
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#23 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 02:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamamidwife
incompetent cervix
ooh, I hate that one too! could they be anymore insulting
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#24 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 02:55 PM
 
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Ditto to all of the above.

Here is a great article by Sheila Kitzinger http://www.sheilakitzinger.com/BIRTH...0Metaphors.htm Please take the 5 mins to read it! Its excellent!!
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#25 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 03:13 PM
 
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The passivity aspect bothers me a lot, too. I just hope someone tells me someday that they can't "allow" me to make an informed decision about my own body. Hmmph.

To be honest, though, the use of the term "delivered" really doesn't. Consider your newspaper - it's yours, but someone else delivered it, right? I consider it a synonym for "attended."
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#26 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 03:29 PM
 
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Ummm... the newspaper analogy doesnt quite fit.... ....

Its only yours once it is in your hands. Many people were involved in the making of the newspaper and you had nothing to do with it until you got it.

With birth its very different. The docs never carried your baby to turm - experiencing all the highs and lows of pregnancy for you. Nor did they labour for you. They did NOT deliver your baby into the world. You did. And quite frankly I dont care if it was a C/sec either. In that case the doctor ASSISTED you in delivering your baby. At the end of the day its not about popping a baby out - its about the entire process of pregnancy, labour and birth.
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#27 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 03:53 PM
 
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calling a birth a delivery, and vice versa. When you call it all the same thing, it becomes the same thing.

Single mom of 2 boys
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#28 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 04:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krae
When healthcare providers call the woman in labor "Mom" and her partner "Dad" (i.e. "How are you feeling now, Mom" "Why don't you hold up her legs while she pushed, Dad"). Take the time to learn and remember your patient's name!
OK, while in theory I agree with you, I know working in a very busy L&D unit (over 600 births a month) that you see SO many people and there is so much stuff that you HAVE to remember. Would you rather I call you 'mom' or 'whatsyournameagain'? I do try to remember the moms and dads names, but I"ll be honest. Some nights I'm lucky I remember my own name, much less yours!
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#29 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 04:07 PM
 
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Another vote for "incompetent cervix" (if it was not sad enough to risk loosing the baby, the mom has to put up with being called "incompetent") and "let me" or "allow me"
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#30 of 55 Old 10-19-2004, 04:21 PM
 
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The "You have a healthy baby that's all that matters" B#LL Cr@p. Giving birth to my son was the biggest event in my life, and it didn't go the way I wanted to. By trivalizing what I went through I was told I didn't matter, I suffered PPD, and had serious bonding issues.

The birth of a child is far more important than any other event in a womans life, and should never be trivalized.


I also hate the "so and so delivered the baby", our midwife says she catches.

Mom to ds 9 dd 7 : and dd 3/08 : if I can I go to
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