Are we still blaming women for the outcomes of childbirth?

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Are we still blaming women for the outcomes of childbirth?


Reality Rounds asked this last week in the post “When Birth is Not Beautiful.” Navelgazing Midwife let me post her response to the question here.


If women don’t eat right, if they don’t exercise, if they are the wrong race, if her uterus ruptures trying to have a VBAC, if she hemorrhages during a chosen cesarean, if her blood pressure rises, if she wants more than a couple of children, if she won’t accept blood, if she’s young, if she’s old, if she needs medical assistance to get pregnant, if she needs to be induced, if she goes into pre-term labor, if she has a miscarriage, if she’s infertile, if she has an abortion, if she gives the baby up for adoption, if she births at home in the water, if she births in the hospital, if she never reads a book about childbirth, if she reads everything about childbirth, if she lives in Africa, if she lives in Haiti, if she lives in the Netherlands, if she lives in Harlem, if she lives in Los Angeles, if she’s here illegally, if she hires a doula, if she hires a nanny, if she plans on breastfeeding, if she refuses to breastfeed, if she was sexually abused, if she’s single, if she’s short, if she’s skinny, if she’s fat, if she’s rich, if she’s poor, if she’s depressed, if she’s shackled, if she has a baby born with defects, if she’s screaming, if she’s silent, if she has a birth plan, if she doesn’t have a birth plan, if she has an epidural, if she’s birth traumatized, if she’s birth abused, if she’s birthraped, if she’s cut open, if she has an episiotomy, if she hires a doctor, if she hires a midwife, if she births unassisted… if she was born with the potential to birth a child… it is always her fault. No matter what happens in birth, it is always her fault.