Personal musings: my thoughts on birth blogs

birth blogsTrained as a journalist in college, I used to think the concept of a blog was silly. Now I spend way too much time reading them and I even write a few of my own. But not just any blogs: birth blogs.

These posts can be very dangerous. It’s way too easy for an opinion to become popular and that does have influence extending beyond the initial group it was intended for. Sometimes the influence has a positive effect, but it can also diminish the individual’s freedom of choice.

The good news is I’m thankful for the gift of logical thought because it means I can go to these places for observational purposes. My goal is to avoid losing sight of why I go there. I’m not seeking the truth. I will never know The Absolute Truths when it comes to childbirth. In fact, my opinion is those truths have a slim chance of ever existing. But I will further clarify to say there’s a limited number of blogs whose authors have done a tremendous job vetting the current research and lack of research that exists in obstetrics. Those select few provide a necessary function which in my opinion, should continue. Are they always perfect? Of course not. But they do help consumers to have a better general understanding of the risks and benefits associated with certain choices in childbirth.

Will I name them here? I thought about it, but decided not to. I’m pretty confident you’ll know them when you find them.

My ability to enter the blogosphere in this manner benefits my students because it helps me to maintain a healthy understanding of the attitudes that exist within these communities. That’s it. It allows me to continually reaffirm to myself that nowhere in a woman’s right to informed consent does it say she’s required to consider other people’s opinions, and certainly not via written communication alone.

Intuition is powerful. Research-based decision-making is powerful. But I’ve learned that neither component is enough by itself. Together it’s a powerful combination that maximizes a woman’s ability to be at the center of her own journey to motherhood.

The problem with the blogs is that they’re too noisy and they can crowd out the individual’s ability to tune into her own mind and body. My advice?

A birthing woman might do well to consider turning off the device in favor of consulting with her support team, sitting in the same room, asking and answering questions related to her unique story. It is only then that we will truly have informed consent.

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