Is it any wonder?

“For too long, women have been told that their bodies are the wrong shape and size, that they’re too hairy, too dirty, too smelly, too old, too fat and that they don’t work properly. We hear and see constant (though often very subtle) messages telling us that we are ‘inadequate’ and deficient and that we grow the wrong sized babies. We have been convinced that our bodies aren’t trustworthy enough to be allowed to labour without being closely monitored and watched; even though being monitored and watched can slow down our labours. We hear that we don’t go into labour at the right time, that we don’t labour quickly enough or well enough and then, when our babies do come out, we’re told that we then don’t have enough milk to feed them. Somewhat paradoxically, and despite all these criticisms, we also receive the message that a woman’s body is for the enjoyment of others rather than herself. Is it any wonder that many women don’t know how to trust their bodies or have a sense that decisions about their body are theirs and theirs alone to make?”

Sara Wickham

What’s Right For Me? Making decisions in pregnancy and childbirth

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