On this episode of Sisters Without Shame, a future mom in crisis wonders if she is a bad mom for hating the “magical pregnancy experience”. “The Cape Midwife” Natasha Stadler, comes to her rescue and says that there are no universal rules for pregnancy.
Sure – there are no other organisms that grow up so fast and in such a complex way as a foetus – but everyone has the right to experience this phenomenon differently.
“Pregnancy is a huge change in a woman’s life,” Stadler says. “We are taught that pregnancy is this amazing time, and everybody should be ecstatic and happy because of all these beautiful ads and these radiant wonderful pregnant women. We feel really bad and we do not really like to talk about it. It also means that we do not get the support that we need. I think that it is more common than we see, but I do think we need to know that there is a space for us [to be vulnerable].”
Stadler is a midwife with her own practice in Somerset West and has garnered over 30 years of experience in midwifery.
What midwives have to do with pregnancy?
Midwifery is one of the oldest professions in existence. According to Dartmouth University, you can think of a midwife as a “birthing assistant”. Stadler agrees and says that midwives function in a variety of roles related to women’s health.
These include and are not limited to, check-ups, the education of women on prenatal care and nutrition, providing birth education classes, and assisting women with breastfeeding and infant care.
Stadler adds: “We have the medical background and knowledge to be able to assist mothers in the birth process and assist them when sometimes things do not go the way we would like them to.”
Take a chill pill sweetie
Stadler says that it is normal for women to be stressed during their pregnancy. “I don’t think women have had as high expectations of themselves as what they have now,” she says.
Should you be taking pain relief during labour?
There is a lot to think about when you are expecting. And a major one is what the labour will be like and how you will handle the pain. Every mommy is different, Stadler says.“There is ample scientific research that your pain level increases through fear.
“Fear is a huge concept in pain. Unfortunately in the South African ‘birth world’, there is a lot of fear just because it is not easy for women to get good support. Just by eliminating fear, you are already bringing a woman some sort of pain relief.”
Your body, your rules. “You have to relearn to trust your body and you have to relearn to trust yourself … it is such an abstract place, nobody can imagine what it is like to deliver a baby.”
Listen to the full interview on Sisters Without Shame
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