Saturday, February 22, 2003

Natural-born mother

February 22 2003

"She has written numerous books on childbirth and female sexuality, but women are sharply divided about Sheila Kitzinger's thoughts on medical intervention, writes Karen Kissane. A woman at Sydney Airport heard that Sheila Kitzinger, the high priestess of the natural childbirth movement, was expected any moment. "I know her books," the woman said. "Tell her she's a liar. She says you can push them out so easy; it's not like that at all." What does Kitzinger say to women who are wheeled out of labour wards wanting to burn her book - or her? "They've got to be angry with somebody, and I suppose I'm as good ... as anyone," she says with unruffled British calm. "Women who've had distressing experiences in childbirth ... feel they've been cheated, and that ... it must be the women who write books about childbirth who cheated them. But of course it isn't, because we know that birth can be beautiful and exultant."" [Until I read this article I had no idea that women were "sharply divided" about Sheila Kitzinger. I find this "blame the messenger" attitude profoundly disturbing - that we could be so removed from what is normal in labour we would lash out out at people like Kinzinger for "lying" to us. - JC]

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