Dealing with Judgemental People

Too Posh to Push

We cannot change others; we can only change our attitude towards others.

Pregnancy (and motherhood) seems to be a curious time when ‘well-meaning’ outsiders think they can overstep boundaries by letting you know what their opinions are. Do you need their unsolicited advice?

Let’s look at the origins of the term, ‘judgment’. It comes from the Latin praejudicium meaning prior judgment. Further, dictionary definitions of ‘judgmental’ give us the explanation:

  • To slap a label on/go overboard on;
  • To pass a hasty or careless judgment on someone by allocating them to some arbitrary category.

I spend a fair amount of my time with my delightful clients reassuring them that those comments and judgments from outsiders are actually quite meaningless.

One example comes to mind from a recent client. Her first birth was with another care provider and was very challenging. She had a very long labour. When she finally reached fully dilated she pushed for hours. Unfortunately the baby’s head was too high for vaginal birth (or help with an instrument) despite her best efforts and her baby being in a ‘good position’. This lovely woman clearly had CPD (cephalopelvic disproportion, a condition where the baby will NOT fit out of the pelvis which can often not be diagnosed until the last stage of birth)

Fast forward to her next pregnancy. We had some long discussions about the mode of birth. I advised her that I would recommend a repeat caesarean section. This was a tremendous relief to the client. What was the feedback from a couple of outsiders? “Oh, so you’re too posh to push.” Unbelievable! I still get irritated when I relate this story. What a great example of ‘slapping a label on’.

We all need to be mindful of judgmental input leading to self-doubt. We need some ability to ignore those comments and to maintain clarity.
Above all, keep your faith in yourself and your chosen carers.

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