giving birth

Your Birthing Style Does Not Reflect Your Parenting Style

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ryan

The word “style” is so loaded when it comes to parenting.

“What type of parenting style do you use?” means: “What type of parent are you, and do I agree with your choices?”

“What is your birthing style?” means: “Did you birth the same way I did, and do I agree with your birth plan?”

At face value, I come off as a totally hippie parent. I had two natural childbirths, one at home and one at a birthing center. I personally am not a big fan of medicine and hospitals, unless absolutely necessary. With that being said, I would never push my personal decision on anyone else and don’t consider myself an advocate for natural birth. But my birthing style gives off the impression that I am an ultra-organic, super-crunchy Earth Mother who probably ascribes to attachment parenting.

As I look at the choices I made after having a baby, it’s funny to see that I am not the parent my birthing style said I would be. I don’t usually buy organic because it’s more expensive. I have nothing against attachment parenting at all, but I didn’t wear my babies because it hurt my back; I also wanted to let my kids cry it out a little so they could learn to self-soothe.

On the flipside, there are moms who prefer “quick and painless” labor with an epidural, and I don’t fault them for that. I also know many women who had unexpected C-sections and have gotten flack for it (which I find totally ridiculous).

There are probably Facebook friends who have seen my birthing choices and consider me a “natural mom.” For some people, that phrase is a turnoff. There are also plenty of moms who had medicated childbirth and make more organic choices than I will ever make as a parent.

This is another fun mommy wars topic that is likely to breed resentment and stir up endless mothering stereotypes. But as any new mom can tell you, having a baby ruins all of your best laid plans. You don’t know how your birth is going to pan out exactly, and you can’t guarantee how you will parent once you meet your unpredictable baby. There’s one thing you can count on: A birthing outcome does not make a mother.