I don’t know about you- but while pushing an extraordinarily large head from my lady parts and enduring 20 hours of back labor, I felt very secure in my decision once I had my board certified physician’s permission, to be administered an epidural. I was the type of preggo who worried about any drugs of any kind crossing my placenta, and so even though the doctor assured me that a cup of decaf coffee was all right- I didn’t drink any my entire pregnancy. Although I was assured I could take a Tylenol for severe headaches- I also passed. I wanted to give my baby the best possible start. So when I read Miranda Kerr’s comments she gave to Harper’s Bazaar UK about why she opted against epidural anesthesia during her son’s birth, while a part of me could understand them (as I too was ultra conservative and mindful of anything I put in or near my body when carrying my baby) I also thought they were slightly irresponsible.
The truth is everyone has a right to decide what they will and won’t do as a pregnant person, as long as it is not against well-known medical advice. For instance, if a woman is chugging shots of tequila and smoking cigarettes while six months pregnant- yes she has a right to be criticized. But this whole natural childbirth versus epidural assisted childbirth debate- well it just makes my blood boil. I know that I trust my doctors, and not blindly, I’ve also done my own research. But when you are being authorized an epidural via medical consent- why should a woman be made to feel guilty? Why should a pregnant woman, whose doctor has assured her that the epidural will not cause any harm to her as of yet unborn baby, not feel secure in her decision to get some comfort from the retching and very painful labor and delivery process?
When celebrities makes statements that generalize, that babies who are born via epidurals look drugged, well it’s all kinds of wrong. It’s judgmental and harsh- and why put that out into the universe. Us women have so much pressure on us as it is, we already feel criticized by society that our kids have all these deficiencies based on what we do or don’t so do as mothers. There is so much blame being passed our way. So now while we are doing all the heavy lifting, i.e. carrying, housing and caring for these babies for a solid nine months, we must also endure the pressure to not have a birth plan of our choosing, we should not feel guilty about taking drugs which are medically prescribed by a physician to ease the pain of childbirth? My two cents on the issue: Ms. Kerr, stick to modeling bikinis and keep your nose and mouth out of other women’s wombs. Thanks!