You would think when a woman is pregnant it would be a time for people to come out with all the love, support, and goodwill in the world to nurture and uplift her as she brings a new life into the world. And sometimes it is. Unfortunately, it can also be a time of intense judgment as everyone from family and friends to strangers have something to say about your pregnancy and plans for your baby.
Some of it comes from genuine concern, and that's understandable, but there are some people who just can't see any other way than their own when it comes to how women should bring babies into this world. If we were lucky, they'd keep those opinions to themselves (or at least voice them nicely if they must voice them). Sadly, we're not always that lucky. Here are six things pregnant women get judged for the most.
1. Being Induced
Yes, there are studies that indicate more complications from inductions, but there are also reasons that doctors deem them necessary. It's up to a woman and her doctor or midwife to decide.
2. Choosing a Midwife (or Not)
Some people will judge you for being all hippie, dippie, and not going to a "real" doctor if you choose a midwife. Others will judge you for going the sterile medical route and not giving birth in a blooming field of poppies if you choose a traditional doctor. You can't win.
3. Having a Birth Plan
Sasha wrote about why it's important to her to have a birth plan, and the comments on that post alone will show you just how strongly people want to criticize women who have one. No, things don't always go according to plan, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't aim and prepare for the birth experience you want.
4. Choosing an Epidural
Natural birth has its benefits, but labor is terrifying to some women and pain medications can help. Still, some will act like experiencing the pain is the only way to show you truly love your baby.
5. Wanting a Home Birth
It's so dangerous. How could you? Why would you risk it? -- people ask. The fact is that there are many benefits to home births, from a lower risk of infection to the avoidance of some routine procedures like deep suctioning and unnecessary stimulation. It's not just because the mom thinks it sounds cool.
5. Having a C-Section
Even if we were hoping to give birth in that field of poppies with no epidural in sight, sometimes our bodies have other ideas. C-sections are necessary in some cases, and a woman shouldn't be made to feel bad about her birth experience no matter what it is.
On a (sorta) positive note, at least being judged for these things will prepare you for the 6 million other things people will judge you for while your raising your child.
What pregnancy prejudices have you experienced?
Image via Francesco/Flickr