Stop being a “Good Girl” in the Birth Room – A Hypnobirthing Mum’s Perspective
I have recently read a fantastic booked called ‘Playing Big’ by Tara Mohr and in one section of the book she talks about ‘Good Girl Conditioning’. This got me thinking about ‘Good Girl Conditioning’ in the birth environment and even my own experience of this. Due to this conditioning from an early age, when women are in the unfamiliar environment such a hospital or birth centre I can see how this type of behaviour can come into play. You are surrounded by authority figures, Obstetricians and Midwives and if you are unaware of all your choices and options it is highly likely you will ‘be a good girl’ keep quiet and go along with whatever is suggested. Now I know that the medical profession has the mother and baby’s best interest at heart but they also have hospital protocols and timeframes to consider. This has led to birth becoming more and more medicalised and in some cases women having a negative experience because they didn’t feel listened to or the situation was taken out of their hands.
From my own experience, I was kept in overnight due to my waters breaking early and labour slowing down to almost a stop. I was in a ward with 8 women and a woman in a bed next to me on her phone until 12 pm which kept me up. At one point I became quite upset, I wasn’t comfortable, I didn’t feel safe and no wonder my surges had almost stopped! But because of my ‘Good Girl Conditioning’ I didn’t tell the lady to shut the f*** up or asked to be moved to a quieter environment. Instead I just accepted the situation and kept quiet. Now thankfully the rest of my experience was extremely positive and I had a great induction birth but if I had just opened my mouth, spoken up for myself and my baby maybe I wouldn’t have needed the induction and things might have just happened naturally? Who knows and I don’t beat myself up about this.
Stop being a good girl! Throw that conditioning out of the window and speak up. If you feel unhappy, scared or unsure, ask questions and get answers. Always follow your instincts and don’t let the fear of upsetting someone stop you from achieving the birth you want. Now I’m not promoting being rude or a birth diva but you only have one chance to give birth to your baby so don’t let being a ‘good girl’ hold you back!