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biting my tongue: when is it appropriate?

When to share our knowledge and when to bite our tongues: I think this is something many of us involved in birth or breastfeeding issues struggle with. I had one of those opportunities at work yesterday. (FYI my paid employment doesn't really have anything to do with birth)

Actually 2 different birth related scenarios played out. The 1st was one of the times I think its usually best to refrain from sharing. A customer came in and was talking about her elective repeat cesarean, scheduled for tommorrow. No need to share VBAC knowledge there. Her mind was already made up. Besides, she wasn't even talking to me. (You fellow birth advocates know how you can hear the words "cesarean", "VBAC", "induction" and the like from way across the room :lol)

At least no need for me to share with her. Talking later with my co-workers I was able to say that VBAC is a reasonable option for most women. Not alot of sharing because, well, nobody asked for further info.

Which is a part of deciding what if anything to say in those kinds of situations. How much interest is there? How much chance is there that anything you say will make any difference? Not that the reasons to discuss birth solely involve changing people's minds. Because quite frankly theres very little mind changing going on in a casual discussion at work. Informing women of their options might happen though if you watch what you say.

Later at work as I mentioned that birth is my thing. A co-worker shared her family history of cesarean. As much as I wanted to go on a spiel about pelvic adequacy and the rarity of cephalopelvic disproportion. I didn't. Why didn't I speak up that time and why did my silence nag at me so I felt compelled to post on the topic?

Well for one I don't like to contradict people. I couldn't figure out how to share information w/o contradicting. Maybe I could have said something about the capacity for even a small pelvis to expand?

btw here is a great link to an article from the great Gloria Lemay about pelvis's (pelvi? :lol how about pelvic variety?)


  1. It is a very challenging balance, this knowledge thing and who to share it with.

    With the scenarios you shared, here are some comments that you can use for a variety of situations.

    With the woman who was going to have a SRCS, you can butt in and say, "Oh! I hope you have a beautiful birth. I had a homebirth/VBAC/fill-in-the-blank, so I know how hard that decision must have been for you."

    But, you were right to alsojust listen and not say anything since you weren't in the talk at all.

    But, the other situation, the woman with all the cesareans in her family, there are a couple of great comebacks:

    "There've only been cesareans for a couple hundred years, so *someone* in your family had to have had vaginal births since you're here!"
    "I know! I have 2 friends like that. The doctor told them they would never have a vaginal birth of a baby over 6 pounds and both had babies over 8 pounds!"
    "It's really cool! When women aren't in bed, the pelvis shifts and opens WHILE the baby's head criss crosses over (you know the soft spot? That's what that's for!). But when women are in bed, everything is stiff and babies get stuck so much easier."
    "The pelvis is more a liquid than a solid. Hormones make the pelvis open and the baby's head also crosses over (have you ever seen a conehead baby?!?) - it's the coolest thing!"

    And, even if you seem to have Tourette's and bark "VBAC" 20 times a day, *someone* will hear the word and, I promise, the right person will pick up the hint/info and run with it. I tell people if *I* can become a midwife after the ghastly hospital birth I had with my first kid, then there is hope for everyone!

    You did good.

  2. 樂觀進取,勇往直前,持之以恒,是克服困難的妙方。......................................................