Part of the love/hate relationship with social media is the rise of this new generation of birth-lebrities who actually haven’t attended very many births at all and yet are crafting and sharing a largely fictitious narrative of birth with a sense of expertise.
The formula is that they have pretty memes and grids, share the most graphic birth photos (that they took from other people of course because they don’t actually attend births) and share over the top, intentionally provocative captions.
I can pick them out immediately (many learned these techniques from other vapid birth-lebrities, so their work all looks like carbon copies of each other).
Instagram suggested one of their posts to me the other day, and I was, admittedly, majorly triggered. It was all about the right and best way to do pregnancy and birth, sugarcoated in elementary level spiritual, women’s empowerment mumbo jumbo.
It is actually totally disempowering. It goes something like – “Listen to yourself and your intuition, but also be sure to eschew all technology. And if you can’t do that, you are just too weak.” Maryn and I have both heard this directly from the mouths of women we work with in the last few weeks – that when they utilized medical resources they had this voice in their heads telling them they “weren’t strong enough” to stay outside the system, which brought them some level of shame.
THAT IS WHAT THESE BIRTH-LEBRITIES ARE PEDDLING! Shame and fear. It is the far side pendulum swing from the strategy of the medical industrial complex which attempts to make women feel crazy if they don’t want what they are offering.
I can see how women are attracted to this stuff if they are recovering from their own disconnection to their power, and at the same time I feel compelled to call it out for what it is. It’s immature, and a product of this vapid social media culture where anyone can pose as anything they want to.
And that is why we show up here, over and over again, with a less sexy, less sharable, more complex message. Women have immense power they can tap into, and the world will be a better place when they do it in birth and in life. They have every single option to choose from. They are the center of their spiral. No one knows better than her. Not us, not you, not the birth guru next door. And when we make space for that, beautiful and creative things happen that don’t happen when we try scaring and shaming women into boxes. You won’t find us in a magazine because this message is too sane, and too common sense. But we do hope you share it far and wide so we can build a more beautiful world together.