When it comes to childbirth, why do women judge each other so harshly?

I just started this blog devoted to c-sections and so I find myself “listening” in on all sorts of childbirth-related conversations on various blogs…like this essay by Modern Mom blogger Jill Simonian where she writes about being “excited” for her upcoming c-section.

Today I was on Modern Mom again and and when I scrolled down to read the comments about Jill’s essay, I was so irritated by some of the mean-spirited, judgmental, and inaccurate attacks on Jill that I feel like I have to come to her defense (and I don’t know her).

A bunch of women who wrote in criticized her for putting a positive a spin on her c-section experience — which is, after all, her experience. One writer had me practically hyperventilating. I know that there are lots of people who like to write in — anonymously, of course — and spout their opinions and judgments about all sorts of issues. And I know that these comments are better left ignored.

But why do all these strangers feel like it’s their right to spew?  Reading the comments gave me flashbacks to my first c-section. I remember feeling like I had to justify it for months. And my son’s  delivery was an emergency to the ultimate degree. Looking back on the experience, I’m only annoyed that I wasted even one second being bothered by comments of people whom I barely knew.

Whether a woman has an epidural or delivers her babies without pain relief….whether she has an elective repeat c-section or a VBAC….whether she feeds her babies from the breast or bottle, or does some combination of all of the above,  it’s her business. Aren’t we all just doing the best we can in whatever circumstances we’re in? Can’t we all just lighten up?

Did you ever feel like your friends or family members were critical of the decisions you made about your baby’s birth? What was the worst thing anyone ever said to you?


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