In all things, there needs to be a balance of trusting those who are most knowledgeable and trusting ourselves to know what’s best for our families. We are fortunate in the western world to have resources to rely upon when they are needed.
In the world of pregnancy, birth, and parenting, there is often a clash between the “professionals” and a mother’s intuition. We are not accustomed to listen to our intuition, and there usually is an aspect of the situation that feels like a life-or-death decision.
For example, if an obstetrician says “You need a cesarean because your baby is big and his heart might not tolerate labor much longer,” a laboring mom who isn’t aware that a “big” baby is not usually a true cause for cesarean will follow the doctor’s orders because the safety of her baby is at stake.
Another example is when a mom reads a book by a “sleep expert” saying that if her baby doesn’t sleep through the night by six months, he will never sleep through the night and he will always need human contact to settle. So she will stand outside her baby’s door, listening to the cries for however long the book suggests while her heart aches and her milk leaks, not knowing that it is not normal for babies to sleep through the night in isolation and it benefits milk production to have babies nurse frequently (even at night).
The biological bond between a mother and her children is a source of great wisdom. When a mom feels something is “off” with her kids, she should listen to that feeling and pursue an answer. More often than not, there will be something amiss.
It’s so important to trust ourselves to know how to birth and to trust our babies to tell us what they need. Trust balanced with education from evidence-based sources can produce a holistic, peaceful outcome for all involved. Pregnancy, labor, birth, breastfeeding, and early parenting are all short seasons in the whole of our lives. Cherishing these times and avoiding unnecessary interventions is beneficial to the whole family.