Harry Kane has unintentionally caused a bit of a kerfuffle after expressing pride in his wife who has recently given birth to their baby without pain relief. I don’t really understand the fuss – he should be proud and I’m sure he would be proud if his wife had had an epidural or a caesarean, after all she made and birthed another human being – pretty awesome work really!
I have worked with expectant and new parents since 2002 – I aim to prepare parents as well as possible for the realism of birth – and I don’t think that one birth is better or more worthy that another. Everyone would love a straight-forward birth but that can’t be everyone’s story and expectant parents need to be aware of options and choices, with an ability to stay calm, if their plan needs to change.
I have given birth to 3 children; all three labours have been different – all three started on their own, two were homebirths, two were quick, one baby was poorly. I planned well, I prepared well, I had good support but I also feel that there was a lot of luck and good fortune in all three of my births. Mine were all natural, they were straight-forward and fairly speedy however I was still diagnosed with PTSD after the placenta of baby three didn’t want to come away and I ended up in theatre. No amount of planning could help me with that. Due to my work I knew how to focus on my breathing to stay as calm as I could but the fleeting moments of wondering if I might die still stay with me.
I don’t consider my natural births to be any better than a woman who chooses or needs an epidural or a caesarean.
Harry Kane’s wife does deserve praise – she laboured without pain relief and rode every single contraction. A woman who has an epidural also deserves praise, because she has most probably laboured until she can no longer do it, she may have endured hours of contractions, she may be exhausted or distressed or scared or she may not be in a position to mentally manage hours of strong labour without pain relief. We are not all the same and natural birth is not right for everyone. Every woman who needs or chooses a caesarean deserves praise – she has faced major surgery and recovery to birth her baby and this should never be considered an easy option. Birth can mean exhaustion, pain, fear, endurance, breath-taking speed, reassessing, calmness, water, epidurals, forceps, caesareans and enormous, overwhelming pride.
I want to praise all women who are mothers – what you do is immense, not only for the birth of your baby but for the recovery afterwards as well. Birth isn’t easy and it certainly isn’t the same for everyone. The birth of your baby might not be exactly what you planned – be proud, what you achieve is amazing!
a specialist in pregnancy, birth and parent support