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Opinion | Sexuality

Are Pregnant Women Who Have Birth Plans 'Selfish?'

Debunking the belief that pregnant women should sit back and be grateful for whatever happens on the big day.

It's okay to be disappointed with your birthing options. Chances are, if you're an American woman, you don't have many choices compared with, say, women in the UK or Germany. But you probably do have good reasons for wanting choices. And if you're dissatisfied, your dissatisfaction may well be the righteous kind.

Recently Nancy Wilson, the wife of Moscow, Idaho, pastor Douglas Wilson, suggested that birthing mothers who "fuss" about "doctors, about hospitals, about tubs or lack of tubs, about midwives or lack of midwives, about pain-killers, and monitors"
are guilty of taking the occasion of giving birth as "just one more opportunity to become a self-absorbed fusser."

There were several follow-up posts: another from Nancy stating that while birth plans are not necessarily wrong, women need to "hold it loosely" so as not to become "demanding prima donna(s)" and to be "brave," "cooperative," and "grateful." Nancy's daughter, Rebekah Merkle, stepped in to say that while birthing is "natural," it is also "cursed" as a result of sin, and that complaints about

" 'uncomfortable monitors' and 'this wasn't my birth plan' and 'sterile, medical atmosphere' and 'I didn't want a c-section' "
are inappropriate, simply because most North American women in the 21st century don't face the probability of dying in childbirth or shortly thereafter …

When Rebekah's sister Rachel Jankovic, author of Loving the Little Years, gave birth via "unplanned c-section" a few weeks later, their mother ...

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