I’m a feminist.
I know, shocker right?!
But it’s true. Feminist seems to be a highly charged word these days and I’m not sure exactly when the words ‘Feminism’ and ‘Feminist’ became synonymous with ‘Nazi Facist Whore’ but I don’t care. My personal theory is that the rise of social media now makes it easier than ever to share and interact with others. A broad picture is being created by women across the world and it's right there in front of us on our news feeds. Some of us keep scrolling, and some of us choose to speak up and join the chorus. Enough is enough. Other’s are furious that we are furious (I'm yet to work this one out).
“Hey Feminazi fascist - why don’t you stick to selling vagina ointments”
But for me, the selling and peddling of vagina ointments and nipple unctions is very much a feminist act. My personal mission and therefore the mission of NMNB is to empower women to speak up and meet their needs. It urges them to stand strong and powerful against anyone who might undermine them and more importantly their choices as women and mothers. NMNB is and always will be a place where all are welcome, every woman’s journey is unique and it is my aim to provide a solution for every challenge.
After delivering my son the OB came in to do my stitches. I had delivered right on staff change over. He’d been on night shift sewing vagina’s back together and mine was the last one he’d have to see. He was keen to get home.
Noticeably irked that I had not received an epidural or an episiotomy he scoffed “Oh, and that was *your* choice was it?”
First of all. Pump the brakes Doc! And no actually, since you're asking, some rando’ we passed on the way in said “hey, don’t get an epidural it's a government conspiracy, they'll steal your data maaaaan” and I didn't like the sound of that.
OF COURSE it was my ‘effing choice!
That's what I wanted to say. What I actually said was nothing.
As it turns out the anaesthetic was not administered effectively and I felt a number of the stitches go in. Fun Fact. It hurts! I retracted my rear instinctively only to be barked at to keep my bum down. It took 3 weeks before I could walk comfortably. The pain I experienced during those first few weeks weakened me and I doubted my ability to continue to breastfeed.
I have forever regretted not speaking up and demand greater respect from that OB. And further I regret not making a formal complaint. I urge all women receiving care to speak up loudly and proudly when you feel belittled or disempowered.
Later down the track when my son was 8 months old I had worries that my supply was low and that I could not meet his demands. I mentioned this to my GP and was met with “Well you’ll need to wean soon anyway”. Not only were her comments false, but in that moment she stripped away the power I had to be able to choose how long I breastfed my son. As far as she was concerned I should just give up.
It’s not good enough. We deserve better.
Stand by your choices.
Don’t give up because you don’t think you are strong enough.
You’ve got this.