Who Gets to Decide?

Sometimes women say that when they make a decision to change the original plan for their birth, they “throw in the towel.” I hate this phrase as I feel making an informed decision is never a failed decision. Throwing in the towel is usually seen as a failure.

throw in the towel

But when I am at a birth and others influence the mom’s decision to change her plans, during the most vulnerable time in her labor, that is not fair. When women have been in labor a long time, they need to be infused with only encouraging words and support. If she decides to get medication or choose to have a surgical birth she needs to be supported in that decision too. But badgering her or causing her to lose hope, or offer disparaging words to cause a mom to follow their decision is wrong.

There are two questions you need to ask before making any decision: How is my baby doing? How am I doing?

If there is a medical reason to move in a different direction, then follow that advice for your sake and your baby’s. But if your care providers or support team are “throwing in the towel” because they are tired or have lost faith, remember you do not need to follow that advice.

Shame on care providers who have their own baggage or agendas that cause they to coerce women into getting medication or into a surgical suite to give birth. We have all been at births that somewhere in the labor we too wondered if this was going to progress in a favorable way to be in alignment with the woman’s birth desires. But given time and patience, given the proper support and love, the woman proceeded to amaze us all. Don’t manipulate or discourage women in their most vulnerable time! Women stay strong and keep those around you that only offer positive support.