Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Help! I know a UCer!

Some time ago, I saw on a news site that someone had written into an advice column with the question "My brother and sister-in-law are planning on having their baby without a doctor or midwife! What do I do?" I don't remember the official advice given, but I do remember thinking up how I'd respond.

TopHat's "A UC! What do I do?" advice:

Check to see if you are the pregnant mother. Your uterus will have a baby in it. If you lack this, then butt out. It's not your decision.
Of course that's not entirely the nicest way to say it, so I made up this flow chart (click to see bigger):
Actually the advice I gave to family members and partners is really the advice for everyone. It's ok to ask questions about the birth plans (but please don't do it in an accusatory voice). The mom might want to share why she wants this and why it's important to her. I also stand by my "if you don't like the decision, it might be best not to say anything" suggestion. I remember getting "support" from friends and family who weren't comfortable with our UC. While what they were saying sounded "supportive" it was really obvious that they were scared for us and those negative vibes were not helpful. It might be best to not say anything so that negative vibes are not transmitted. But like I said, asking questions is ok. Choosing UC can be lonely and it's nice to talk about it and many moms are open to questions about it.


  1. This advice can be for any type of "radical" parenting. Like....co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, no-vaccines, intact...I feel the negative vibes every day. It surely is a lonely way to go when you don't have much support.

  2. I think it's important to note that a mother planning an unassisted childbirth needs to have full confidence in herself. So keeping negative comments (and vibes!) to oneself is extremely important. People need to realize that birthing style is a personal choice. If the mother has to defend her choice, she might fall out of tune with her body and baby. A woman who is in tune with her body and baby will know intuitively if she needs to seek medical help.

  3. I love your simple upfront advice. Mum's choice, exactly.
    I didn't have much support but I didn't let many people know of my plans either.

  4. hehe, you are so entertaining :)

    I am, perhaps possibly, considering a home birth for my next LO. Although I don't think I could go unassisted. I know myself enough to know I'm nervous, even though I absolutely agree it is safe if you are well prepared. I might concede the setting of the hospital - but with a midwife... but the midwife stays :P Better than being stressed out during labour!

    Kudos to you!

  5. And the P.S. that I meant to write before my nervousness got me carried away: I will have to keep that chart handy for when my mom (and possibly my sister, who's actually a nurse...) inevitably goes ballistic over my home birth choice :D :D

  6. What would you do if you knew someone who was planning to formula-feed rather than breastfeed after the birth? Would you consider it appropriate to say nothing about that choice?

  7. SarahV, To be honest I probably wouldn't say anything. I'm actually much quieter IRL than I am here. In person, I talk about breastfeeding and birth only when specifically asked. I have given breastfeeding "kits" as baby shower gifts and in the card offer help if they want it, but only if they call me.
    I read once on a blog that you should never underestimate nor overestimate a woman's desire to breastfeed. It's a hard line to tread, I think, so I really don't tread it unless asked.


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