The comment in question was about her not wanting an epidural so she could avoid drugging her baby. In the best traditions of the media this was somewhat sensationalised, with the actual except from the interview being her “Recalling how in a few of the films she watched “the baby was a little bit drugged up” when put on its mother’s breast, she decided “Well, I don’t want that”.”
Now for the record I’ll openly admit to a little bias here because Miranda Kerr has always struck me as very down to earth and normal given her occupation, even with Legolas hanging off one arm. Plus she’s rather easy on the eye, and that can always help skew an opinion.
However, today’s debate is more about the reaction this has caused. Poppit’s comment was that she was “Stirring the pot” because she’d knocked back pain medication and insisted on an all-natural birth as she wanted “the best start possible for her baby”, and that this was a slight on other mums who may not have been able to or elected not to have a completely natural birth.
I can see where Poppit is coming from, but I had to disagree. I didn’t think there was anything malicious in Miranda’s comments and didn’t suspect her of admiring the view from her high horse once I’d read the article. I read it as her making a decision based on what she knew, to be in her opinion the best start she could give to her baby.
We declared that debate null and void because 140 characters is a sucky forum for a debate, so I elected to bring it here for further consideration.
In the few days since, there have been several news articles (after all, our media does always focus on the biggest stories) and a convenient blog post on Monday that I had to poke my nose into. Rather than retype a bunch of it I’m going to pull out one of my responses to someone using that magic copy and paste functionality:
I think you’re missing the point of “I wanted to give him/them the best start that I could”. If you had to have an epidural/caeser/forceps/whatever else or you couldn’t breast feed and had to go straight to formula then that’s the best start you were able to give. That’s not a bad thing.
If you were fortunate enough to have several different options at birth and chose a specific one then that may or may not have been the best start for your baby depending on what you chose.
Miranda was fortunate enough to have options and chose one which based on what she knew was the best for her baby. Why one earth is that attacking anyone else?
She’s famous. She couldn’t break wind in public without it making headlines somewhere. Someone asks her why she does something and she answers it honestly and without malice and she gets attacked for it.
I asked my mother-in-law (A midwife) about the “drugged baby” thing and apparently it can sometimes happen when the birthing mother takes pain relief, apparently it can sometimes cause the baby to be groggy or have difficulty feeding initially. So in that sense Miranda was right, but then every aspect of birth carries its own risks and benefits be it gas, epidural, spinal, induction, caeser or any other choice or necessity that happens. Maybe she was too focused on this one bit, maybe she had a birth plan that she was determined to stick to and was fortunate enough that she could.
I’ve seen first hand what can happen when a birth plan has to be deviated from, and the effects this can have on both mother and baby. In that case you do what is necessary and in mum’s and bub’s best interests but I would, wherever medically possible, respect the mum’s desire choose how the birth is done provided it doesn’t increase the danger to anyone.
So how do you read her comments? A mum making her own birthing decisions and that’s it, or is she lauding it over other mums who aren’t so fortunate? Should she watch what she says in interviews to avoid upsetting anyone or just resign herself to people making what they will from what she says and just answer things honestly?