Actress and model Stacy Keibler is coming under fire for calling herself a warrior after an unmedicated home delivery. This has some mothers feeling isolated and, quite frankly, a little pissed.
“I felt like we went to war together,” Keibler revealed to Ricki Lake in the documentary The Business of Being Born. “I kept saying, ‘Ava’s a warrior. I’m a warrior.’ It was one of my mantras that I would say.”
In addition to the documentary, Stacy reveals more about her birthing experience in a post on her website. The 35-year-old describes her home birth as “calming, private and uninterrupted.” People magazine reports research helped steer her down the path of an unmedicated delivery. “If I had to go to the hospital, they pretty much couldn’t do anything unless it was an emergency situation,” notes Keibler.
As wonderful as the birth of a child is, it can also be a very touchy subject. Many of Stacy’s comments did not sit very well with other moms.
— Robyn Meacham (@robzars) July 16, 2015
— evergreenwillow (@evergreenwillow) July 16, 2015
— Elizabeth A. Covino (@ElizabethCovino) July 15, 2015
Some, however, showed support for her decision.
@StacyKeibler I'm so excited that you shared your beautiful birth experience 💕🎀
— Bump Naturally (@BumpNaturally) July 16, 2015
— Katherine Newland (@newlandkathy1) July 15, 2015
The tone of Stacy’s comments, at least to me, don’t seem like she’s trying to bash other moms for their choices. If anything, her blog post looks to encourage mothers to learn more about labor and delivery in efforts to make the best decision. “It’s tough to make a choice for so many reasons, but ultimately, any mom-to-be needs to listen to her own heart and do what she thinks is best for her family,” writes Keibler. “Educating yourself will help guide you in the direction that feels right.”
As a first-time mom last year, I had no idea what to expect with my pregnancy— let alone the birth of my child. Women don’t really come to the kitchen table to discuss the ins and outs of the delivery room, as it can get really personal and a bit uncomfortable. Like Stacy, I too wanted to have an unmedicated birth (I’m super afraid of needles). This was a personal decision that came with no judgment, as I know plenty of women who’ve had an epidural and C-section.
I was almost scared out of my decision after hearing from so many mothers about the pain that comes with having a baby. To help “prepare” for my big day, I kept a DVR full of war movies to watch. I know it’s silly to admit, but when all you hear are horror stories about pushing out a child, you think about extreme examples of pain (I really was scared). Shamefully, a few mothers actually told me this was a good idea. Ultimately I was able to birth my first and now second son unmedicated, but I don’t consider myself a “warrior” for doing so.
Reading the backlash from Stacy Keibler’s comments reminds me how toxic women can be toward one another. As if we don’t have to deal with enough self-esteem issues and unrealistic expectations from society, here come “mommy wars” that pit us against one another. Every woman who births a child — regardless of the process — is amazing. Each one of us should feel encouraged to share our story without harsh criticism, as it might help someone else on their journey. In the same breath, it’s important to remember there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to childbirth. Some women prefer natural, some want the drugs, and others don’t always have a choice due to unexpected complications.