It’s time to talk about trust again. Because the lack of trust between women and care providers goes both ways.
It’s not just women who are displaying trust issues.
I see many care providers behaving in a manner that suggests that they simply don’t trust the women in their care. They don’t trust us with information, they don’t trust us to make good decisions and they don’t even trust that we love our babies. They don't trust our instincts or even that we are telling them the truth. They prefer to trust their machines and tests and procedures. And, as a birthing woman, this lack of trust can be hurtful and damaging.
Trust us – we’re the experts.
As soon as a woman becomes pregnant she is told to hand over her body and her decision making responsibility to her care providers – the experts. But we seem to have forgotten just who the experts are.
As pregnant and birthing women we hold the knowledge inside our bodies, in our souls, of how to grow and birth our babies. Yes, sometimes we encounter problems and need help. But, if left to ourselves, we are (usually) completely capable of birthing our babies without any “expert help”. We know our bodies, we know our babies and we know how to work as a team to achieve birth.
We engage a care provider for our pregnancy care, not because we don’t know how to birth our babies, or even because we need medical help. We engage care providers to walk the journey with us. To bear witness to our transformation. To reassure us that we are capable. To reassure us that, in a world that tells us that our bodies are faulty contraptions designed to kill us and our babies, we are perfectly created. That we CAN birth our babies. We need our care providers to trust us when we don’t trust ourselves.
Trust is such an important element of birth. Women need trust worthy care providers, care providers need to trust women and everyone needs to trust baby. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
A care provider is an expert – but they are not an expert on my individual circumstances. They don’t know my body like I do. They haven’t felt the soul connection with my baby. They are not the expert in loving and caring for my family. They are not the expert on my fears, my hopes and my dreams – for me, my baby and our birth. There is much that they bring to the decision making table, but also much that they can’t even begin to understand.
Trust us – we’re the experts.
CARE PROVIDERS: Next time you are faced with a woman who is scared or apprehensive or worried and she is looking to you for guidance. Don’t jump in to “save” her. She doesn’t need rescuing. Don’t offer to break her waters, induce her labour or perform some other intervention. Don’t brush off her fears or her hopes and tell her (yet again) that birth doesn’t matter and that it’s “just one day”. Look at her and say “I trust you”. And watch her transform before your eyes.
I trust you to ask the questions that will help you to be informed.
I trust you to make the right decision for your baby.