Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Young women and birth

I received an email from the certified professional midwife in New Hampshire who wants to target young women (college-aged, for starters) about normal birth. She is considering showing the "Business of Being Born." I think it's a great idea to try to shape the way young women think about birth before they are inundated with peer and other cultural experiences...which brings me to the cover of Star magazine. I was in the checkout at CVS printing some pictures of my kids at the beach when I saw the headline "Delivery Room Drama" about the birth of Jamie Lynn Spears' new daughter, Maddie Briann.

"The baby's heart rate dropped every time she tried to push," a family insider told Star. "They did an ultrasound and quickly discovered that the umbilical cord was too short." But despite the doctors' dire warnings, the 17-year-old "was adamant about having a natural delivery." The report goes on to say that "Everyone in the room at Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center in McComb, Miss., pleaded with Jamie Lynn to listen to the doctors — including big sister Britney. Brit had already been with Jamie Lynn for hours, massaging her back as she endured painful contractions. 'But she got mad,' says the insider. She told Jamie Lynn to 'just have a damn Caesarian,' as she did. 'Britney then ran out in tears because she couldn't bear to see what was happening.'"

How many 12 year-old fans read this story?

(The next day OK mag was reporting that Spears was induced, but she gave birth " 'naturally' without any complications." Not much natural about a Pit drip.

I fear that by the time girls get to college, it's too late. Any notion of 'normal birth' has been eclipsed by tabloid sensations. Next up: Brangelina's complicated pregancy and expected c-section. Sigh.


Sheridan said...

I think that educating the young women really is a key component in changing the birth climate! It may help counteract all the negative stories they hear.

AnnD said...

Yeah, it's funny how nearly every celebrity has this dramatic, tabloid-worthy birth. They truly must be of a different genetic heritage than us "normal" folks!

I am a Monkey's Mama said...

My local ICAN chapter hosted a showing of TBOBB at my local university in conjunction with the Women's Studies Dept almost a year ago. A few professors decided to make the screening a mandatory class session, and the classes were 98% composed of women under the age of 21.

They were all in tears when the movie was over. A few were literally sobbing. It was surreal to say the least.

Then, after hearing the stories and asking questions during the panel discussion, they were outraged.

College age is NOT too old. There is *never* an age that is too old. Because even my grandmother's perception of birth has changed in the years since I had the Monkey.

Great LA Times article, by the way. :)

Judit said...

You probably know Rixa from her blog The True Face of Birth? Since she hasn't commented here, I'll jump in for her. As a graduate teaching assistant, she assigned Peggy Vincent's Baby Catcher to her freshman rhetoric class. Her students really enjoyed it -- it is a great read. She reports that several of them became personally interested in natural birth and home birth as a result.

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