Monday, August 20, 2012

"It's Like Butta"

Are you familiar with the phrase "butter birth"?  I read this occasionally on posts about "easy" or fast births.  I always wonder what the birthing woman thinks of her birth being described like butter.

When I think "butter birth" it makes me think the baby just slid out effortlessly.  I guess that's a compliment if the mom made it look that easy, but I bet, if you ask her, she did not feel like the baby slid out effortlessly!

Is birth ever easy?  Maybe.  I believe that what makes birth "easy" is preparation.  When moms (and dads) are well-prepared, she is able to relax and let her body do its work.  I honestly feel like the journey during pregnancy between husband and wife towards the goal of an unmedicated birth helps to have an easier labor - even when it's really hard.  Let me be clear here:  I don't believe that labor is easy.  I think women work to get their babies here.  A lot of the perception of an easy birth comes from the people in the room (who are not in her head!) and how the birth is recalled months down the road.

As the founder of Birth Boot Camp, I've had some interesting conversations lately about childbirth education.  I've seen some moms hire a doula and a midwife and call it good, thinking they don't need childbirth education.

NEWS FLASH:  Your doula and midwife will NOT be giving birth for you!

Choosing your care provider carefully can be the difference between a vaginal birth and a cesarean, but labor and birth are often much harder than anyone anticipates.  Rarely is it like butta!

I've written about fast labors before.  Many women who have a fast "butter birth" wish they had had more time to enjoy their labor.

Ultimately, I guess I just hold the opinion that "butter birth" is not a nice phrase.  It minimizes the work that the mom did to get her baby here.  I know the people who use the phrase don't mean it that way, but I've listened to -- and read enough Facebook posts from upset women -- to know that women don't really care to have their birth described in this manner.


Arual said...

That's not a term I've ever heard, but I think it describes my 2nd stage of my 2nd birth. I labored maybe a total of 7 hours, but transition/2nd stage took a grand total of 10 minutes, and my baby DID literally just slide out into my hands without any pushing.

HOWEVER--I did plenty of research, went through hypnobirthing for my first (so I knew techniques, though I did not apply "self hypnosis" itself in either of my births) and I focused a great deal on NOT FIGHTING my contractions. So yeah, there was some work in there. But the complete lack of pushing was a nice reward for all of it!

Sara said...

I do wish that I had more time to enjoy my births. At least I knew to expect it the second time around; I seriously missed it the first time. sure, even my second 2.5 hour birth was hard work, but I don't know that it bothers me to have it compared to butter, because I love butter! Lol. I told my friend that it was probably all of the butter that I eat that helped me not to tear at all with a compound presentation and 10 minutes of pushing.

Shannon said...

My first labor was a little too long in my opinion, 27 hours. My second was too fast, 1 hour of knowing it was actually labor. It seemed to go from nothing to incredibly intense without the time to adjust to the change. However, the second time I was getting regular adjustments from Dr. Taylor, and I believe it helped my body speed things up. Somewhere in the middle would be nice. If I had to pick between the 2 labors, I would pick the quicker,even though it was less enjoyable. It was more like "wham bam, thank ya ma'am. Oh there's my baby! "

Shannon Blackwell said...

I love that you posted this on Romy's birthday. I think my birth was definitely what would be considered a butter birth. And I am not a fan of that term. It was totally easy, I would have done it again a week later - but I worked so hard for so many months to get there. It's like saying that the guys setting the world record for running 100m just had an easy run. Uh no - he trained like crazy for it. Just like the guy who ran the 50 hour marathon, or the mama who has the 50 hour birth.
Of course, birthing mamas are more amazing because we don't know when the race starts or if we are running the sprint or the marathon.