The children are on half term at the moment so as usual, today I was trying to think of low cost activities to stop the ‘I’m bored’ chorus.
So we came up with the idea of making toffee apples. As we watched the sugar boil and turn a golden brown and quickly dunked the apples in the hot, sweet liquid, my thoughts, as usual, turned to birth.
I thought of the conversation I overheard in the maternity ward a few months ago – two members of staff were complaining about women who ‘care more about their birth experience than the baby’. That phrase has been bothering me ever since.
Do women really care more about the sweet sugar coating than the apple inside?
You can’t have a toffee apple without a perfect apple – healthy, ripe and ready to be eaten.
You can’t have a toffee apple without the sweet, crisp coating of crunchy sugar; lifting the apple to sublime heights of delight – tasting all the better for being homemade and eaten with smiles of pleasure in the bosom of your family.
I don’t think I’ll labour this analogy any further, but do give me your thoughts. Happy half term.
Mars Lord says
It is such a shame that the staff didn’t realise that it was BECAUSE of the baby that the mothers care about their birth experiences.
I think midwives have “lost the plot”. Surely, if you have a positive and beautiful “birth experience”, your bonding with the baby immediately after birth will be all the more wonderful. If a mum has had a “terrible birth experience”, then baby could initially suffer from rejection by mum, not bonding. I know you will think this “over simplistic”, but to me it is obvious.
Most midwives haven’t lost the plot – the vast majority wouldnt talk this way, I’m relieved to report – but I do think some have been hardened by working under such stressful conditions for so long.
I also don’t think you’ve over simplified things here, at all! Your husband can tell you all about what a sheep would do if the birth is disturbed or the lamb touched or removed. Just because we have a large neo-cortex, doesn’t mean we aren’t prey to similar instinctual behaviours! (By the way everyone – meet my mum, say hello, mum 🙂
Cara McKee says
on the maternity ward the staff only get to see women in the immediate hours after the birth – a major life event however it goes – so they’ll be disproportionately interested in their birth experiences. also their birth experience will severely impact on their ability to look after their baby. If they’ve had a caesarian or episiotomy they will have physical problems looking after their baby, and if they don’t feel they’ve done as well as possible with the birth, they may have self esteem issues, which will impact on their ablities too. You have to get through the toffee before you can appreciate the apple.