Last weekend I went to my first baby shower for a couple that I consider my friends. Compared to the baby showers I've attended in the past, which were for moms who weren't in my friend circle, this one was a little bit different. This was the first one where I signed a card "Auntie Em"!
So, here I am at this baby shower, as a doula, but not as the pregnant couple's doula, thinking things that would surely get me banned from baby showers if I were to express them out loud.
The whole time I was suppressing the urge to get into pregnancy, birth and baby talk with the people at the baby shower. For one thing, I wanted to keep these friends, and you never know when one piece of unwanted information or advice could really piss someone off. Secondly, a lot of the family members in the room were either from a previous generation (which comes with its own beliefs and experiences and knowledge of how things go or should go), or from a younger generation that hasn't yet been exposed to the birth world beyond the fiction portrayed on television.
I think that its a fine line to walk, and probably why the blogger, Donna, decided to name her blog "banned from baby showers" in the first place. As someone who eat, sleeps, and breathes childbirth education and has numerous, recent, firsthand experiences in a variety of settings, (not to mention that I read about birth in my free time for fun, and I study maternal and child health in graduate school), I find it difficult not to share everything I've learned with everyone I encounter! I want to shout it all from the rooftops!
Now, don't get me wrong, I do not want to force anything on anyone, and I certainly respect someone's choices, but I respect them more if they are well-researched and well-considered. I would never ever openly judge a doula client or a friend for the choices they feel are best for them. But I am passionate about spreading knowledge, and I am of the opinion that pregnant women and their partners are severely under-prepared for childbirth these days.
Donna writes on her blog:
I decided a couple of years ago that it was probably more important to have friends than to educate them about why they shouldn't believe everything their OB says.And that's how I feel, too. So, for now, all I can do is refer them to websites that they may not go to, lend them books they may not read, but otherwise keep my mouth shut at baby showers.
I promise I will! Please still invite me to your baby showers, friends!