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Oh, so you're sick of mums bragging about their birth? Here's the alternative. Enjoy.

Welcome!

by SHAUNA ANDERSON

Here’s a birth announcement that you haven’t read lately on Facebook:

““Introducing baby Emme born 2.4kg and covered in my bodily fluids and lots of goopy white stuff that looks a lot like Perkins Paste. Resembles an angry, red potato. Eventually pushed her out with a f*ck load of pain during a 45 minute session of protracted agony after 14 hours of hideous labour, lots of drugs and more swearing than you’ve ever heard in your life.”

Would you prefer that level of honesty to the usual, happy-clappy version?

Would you prefer to have heard details of an agonising labour and difficulty breast-feeding?

Would you rather social media updates of cracked nipples and haemorrhoids…

I’m happy to share. Would it make you feel better about your parenting choices?

A recent debate has broken out over mums bragging on social media, where pregnant and new mothers post updates of their birth, their breastfeeding, and their baby.

Updates which are (shock horror) positive.

Updates which are (again wait for it…) about a mother’s feelings of accomplishment.

Updates which (oh no…don’t do it mums) are actually about sense of pride and joy.

This seemingly awful turn of events where social media is used for good is being branded “shaming”.

The term JUDGING has even been used.

Oh come on.

SERIOUSLY. Let’s all get over the outrage and stop thinking every little thing is slighting us.

Since when is it shaming to tell your friends and family about something you are proud of? The mood against the happy-posts was summed up by an article on the weekend that said:

As a slightly nervous and excited mum-to-be (is there any other kind?), my thoughts are focused on bringing my baby into the world safely. It never crossed my mind that anything else mattered.

But if my friend’s text is anything to go by, it seems people aren’t just waiting to hear that I’ve given birth, but also how I’ve given birth — and judging me for the choices I’ve made along the way.

Really? Judging you? Are you sure? Or are you feeling just a little bit sensitive?

You see, I think lately we are all being conditioned to think that “Mums judge”. All we hear about is how much we snip and snipe at each other, that the thought we could be proud of each other is unconscionable. Why does the fact that another woman had a natural birth mean you are any less of a mother?

I had three completely different births.

Number one was a C-section (do you want to know the reason why? Do you need to know the reason why? I’m happy to tell you. Because I was f-ing terrified of giving birth).

Then a delightful high-as-a-kite-on-drugs vaginal birth.

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And the vaginal one where my daughter came so quickly the epidural didn’t kick in until 10 minutes after I had gone through the most intense pain known to nature.

When I give you these details, make no mistake, I am certainly not bragging.

I am not trying to make you ashamed that you didn’t give birth without drugs because I (accidentally) did.

I am proud of the way I gave birth each and every time. I am proud of the fact that my body – which has seen its share of struggles over the years – managed to create three delicately astonishingly amazing human beings.

I’m not boasting or trying to make you feel the lesser mother. I am just happy. And my kids are pretty damn incredible. Can’t you join me in this without feeling put down?

Teresa Palmer, just days before the birth of her son.

Actress Teresa Palmer is singled out as one of these tall poppies we wish to obliterate because she dared to post that her baby, Bodhi Rain was born “safely, lovingly and naturally”:

Are we really that insecure about ourselves that we feel threatened by this statement?

I don’t believe so for a minute. I don’t know a single mother who feels like this storm-in-a-social-media-teacup makes out many do. Every mother I know supports another woman’s decision to birth and bring up her baby however she wants. Every mum I know enjoys hearing about their fellow Mum’s accomplishments, their highs, their lows. Every Mum I know celebrates each and every achievement she reads, and supports them heart-to-heart through the lows.

They don’t feel shamed or judged by reading about other Mum’s easy births.

And for those whose births didn’t go to plan, for those who may have desperately wanted a drug-free birth, for those who struggled with breast feeding or those who didn’t bond quite as well as they imagined they would. Do these posts shame them or judge them? Well, no, is the overwhelming answer I have had. Perhaps deep down inside they might have felt a little sadness that things hadn’t worked out the way they so desperately wanted. But they didn’t feel slighted by other women saying they had achieved this goal.

Sadness is natural, it’s raw. It’s inevitable. But not this bitterness and jealousy which was touted.

Maybe those who start these social media wars should come hang out with my friends… Out here in the real world we don’t feel slighted by every little Facebook post and Twitter feed. We are too busy getting shit done.

So if you want to “boast” come to our Facebook feed and we will “boast” along with you.

Want to come and “boast” about your birth experience?

This post was originally published on iVillage Australia and has been republished here with full permission,

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