lisa gould rubin

April 25, 2008 § Leave a comment

Sarah Buttenwieser: You’ve been in the world of childbirth for a long time; tell me what you notice about how the world has changed or stayed the same.

Lisa Gould Rubin: Culturally, we seem to assign value judgments to birth, ascribing words like “normal” or “natural.” In Utne Reader, there are a few articles about childbirth, including one called “Drugs, Knives, and Midwives” that looks at the current struggles midwifery faces, and the rise in infant mortality in this country as we head toward more interventions rather than fewer. But what’s also striking to me is that through all different movements surrounding birth, we still come up with the same old dilemmas or issues that put a value upon birth as if there’s a good or bad, right or wrong way to give birth.

SB: How does this tendency toward judgment affect women?

LGR: Lots of women feel crappy about their births. There was a big survey in 2005 — Listening to Mothers II — and it revealed that many women report feeling dissatisfied with their birth experiences. Some are guilty because they didn’t have a “natural” birth; others wanted vaginal births and ended up with cesarean sections. To me, guilt shouldn’t need to be part of their experience. Guilt is punitive.

–from mothers movement online


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