Knowledge is power, and I love knowledge. I also love power, but not in the traditional sense. I don’t want to have power over other people. I want to have power over myself, and the power to make the best decisions for myself and my family. I want to understand my options, and I want to know what the likely consequences are for my choices. I’ve always been this way. I’m so afraid of making a wrong choice! I’ve always been a long-term thinker… considering how every major choice will effect me as time moves forward. (Except for my daily choice to drink diet coke… But hey, we all have flaws, right?!)
It’s no surprise that my love of knowledge led me to become an educator and author. What is surprising is the push-back I often get from others in my desire to educate. For some reason, our culture looks at educating women as shaming them. As if to say “don’t tell her the truth about that, because when she makes a bad choice she’ll feel bad about herself. Or she’ll feel like you are judging her.” And yes, our society LOVES to judge women and their birthing and breastfeeding choices, so I do see where this comes from. But isn’t it insulting to purposefully with-hold information from someone, assuming they aren’t intelligent enough to take that information and make the choice that is best for them?
I think women are more than capable of making the best decision for themselves when they are presented with factual, unbiased information, and this is what I strive to put in my writings. So when you read my book, you will be getting the most up-to-date, scientific information on childbirth available. It is honest. It does point out things I was discouraged from sharing. Things like the safety of natural childbirth, the benefits of breastfeeding, and what contributes to postpartum depression. Things that women often feel judged about. But things that women are grossly under-educated about and poorly supported in. And I think with the right amount of information and support, and a faith in their maternal instincts, all women can and will make informed choices that are not only safe, but personally satisfying to them, as well.
I think one of the highest compliments you can pay someone is respecting their intelligence and decision-making abilities. I know that my readers won’t feel shamed by reading my book. They will feel respected and empowered. Instead of being judged or being told what to do, they will be learning about all the benefits and risks surrounding childbirth, and then given tools on how to weigh those benefits and risks and make informed choices. This type of education removes shame and replaces it with empowerment. This is what families truly deserve.
One thought on “Educating, not Shaming”
I TOTALLY agree with this!! I am constantly amazed by all of the rebukes of shaming or the offense taken when you simply state a fact or try to educate women about natural childbirth. My goodness are there a lot of guilt-driven women out there. I wish I knew the best way to educate and pique interest of mothers to WANT to research and educate themselves about childbirth in America.