want a positive birth? say please


In birth, you must make informed decisions, you must provide consent

But if you insist to plan it and communicate intent,

then we really must insist, that the only way we’ll listen

is if you make your wording sweet enough to glisten.


So many websites on ‘how to birth plan’ tell you your plan should be polite.  If it is not polite, it may be seen as adversarial…and if you’re not with them, you’re against them!

but only women must say please.

This seems emphasised with birth plans.


don’t make demands, keep your plan nice and bright

a threat, it seems: be nice…or we’ll fight!

and the blame be yours, you feisty dame, you’ve been warned,

miss a please and your ‘requests’ will then be scorned.

check your manners, ladies, don’t forget your place,

you are the ‘other’ in the human race.


Why is it that in the race to be human there has to be winners and losers? 

I don’t get it.  Why can’t it be more like a fun run, with a picnic at the end? 


Why does someone have to lose?


True power lies not in domination, but in collaboration, compassion and respect.

Dignity is not a privilege.   It is a right.  For all humans.

But this race is rigged.  Some get a head start.  Some are cheating…in the worst ways possible.  Some are held back.  Some are maimed.  This is a cruel race, like something out of the thunderdome.

I don’t like it.

Not one bit.


sheila quote 3 (1)

This reflection on society from how we treat women in birth…add on some ‘qualifiers ‘…young, old, fat, poor, diabetic, disabled, black, migrant, refugee, aboriginal, rural, tattooed, surrogate, viral, trans, lesbian, single, high risk, mulitiparous, primparous, ugly, beautiful, loud, quiet, traumatised…

The band of acceptable is narrow.


It does not have to be this way.

see also

The trouble with consent

The Language of Birth Plans

What is negative politeness?

1 thought on “want a positive birth? say please”

  1. Pingback: Diplomacy, politeness and the underlying threat – Beautiful Heart

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