It appears as though we have a few problems. We have always been told what to do, how to look and who to please. When it comes to mothering, it seems it may be harder than ever with so many choices and so much judgment. It may be hard to choose what to do, because no matter what you do, you are always worried about what others will think. These “Mommy wars” are a real thing and instead of bringing people together and lifting each other up, we are tearing each other down and degrading the right to choose freely how we receive and give care.
One of the choices so readily scrutinized is the way in which we give birth. Right from the get go of pregnancy, we make choices: do we stop drinking herbal tea, eating undercooked eggs and stop changing our cat litter boxes, or not? or somewhere in between? Regardless of what we choose, someone will make an effort to tell us it is wrong, or right, or whatever. What you choose the first time may not even be the same as what you choose the second time! The bottom line is: it is your choice! Just as it is your choice in whom you decide to have by your side in pregnancy, birth and post-partum. It has always been this way…. Or has it?
The actions of Saskatchewan’s government in health care (also reflected worldwide) are regulating pregnancy, birth and post partum choices. They are slowly but steadily making it illegal for our care providers to give us care, especially if we choose not to receive care within a regulated body. Meaning: if you chose to receive care from any unregulated practice, those care providers could be charged. We then have to ask ourselves if we want to put our care providers in that kind of hot water, or if we should just ‘obey’ the rules that our health care ‘professionals’ put before us? Unregulated care providers aren’t ‘just’ traditional midwives and doulas (both birth doulas and post-partum). The list of unregulated practitioners is long: massage therapists, acupuncturists, yoga instructors, birth educators, lactation educators, and the list goes on and on…
Why should we let them take our choices away from us? I don’t think we should. And I don’t think that deep down you think we should either. Just because you and I chose to care for ourselves one way, it doesn’t mean our daughters, sisters, cousins, friends, aunts, or other women will make the same choice as us. Doesn’t their choice matter just as much as our own? Know that if we stand idly by, these choices will be taken from us. We have been quiet for too long.
Please don’t let our rights be taken away. Our choices may not always be the same, but at least we can respect our individual right to make those choices.
The time is now!