“It’s your body, it’s your baby” – A must-read open letter to pregnant mums

Laura Mazza

Blogger Laura Mazza has spent the holiday break reflecting on mum life, and took to social media to share some candid, reassuring and inclusive thoughts on the worries and wins surrounding birthing a little human.

“Dear pregnant mamas”

Laura, who blogs at Mum On The Run, is mum to Luca and Sofia, and is expecting baby number three in June.

Obviously up to her ears in kid-type-issues, she dedicates a lot of her time to sharing relatable stories from the trenches of parenting. It’s part of a quest to express and document family life, and to show other parents they are not alone in their struggles.

With a new baby on the horizon, Laura’s latest missive dates back to pre-parenting, discussing the at-times-anxious pregnant feelings she navigated, with the extra wisdom-giving bonus of hindsight. It’s a reassuring read for other pregnant mums.

Dear pregnant mamas,

Don’t fear birth. I know the horror stories scare you. I know if you are like I was, you might even fear that you won’t come out of it alive. Labour is a scary word. It’s hard work, there’s a reason it’s called labour. You travel to another place to collect a soul and give it life. That’s wonderful but hard work.

It’s normal to fear birth, it’s normal to worry about you and your baby. Human beings are the only species that doubt our ability to give birth.

My first birth made me vulnerable. I listened to thousands of women tell me “but women have been doing it for years” and I believed I failed, because it wasn’t easy. But I didn’t fail. I just forgot my power. So I took it back, and I came back ready and stronger. I used my power. You have that power too.

If you want to go with a 5 page birth plan because anxiety is getting to you. Do it.
If you want to take pain relief. Do it.
If you want to feel every bit of it because you can, do it.
If trauma has hurt you, and you want a cesarean. Do it.

You have every right to chose how you want to birth your baby. It’s your body, it’s your baby. And if things don’t go to plan, you didn’t fail, you did what’s best to get your baby here safely, and what a selfless sacrifice that is. It’s you, showing the love you have for your baby. Never beat yourself up for that. Never. Feel strong that you’re willing to do anything for your baby.

There’s nothing wrong with having a cesarean. There’s nothing wrong with a vaginal birth. Whether you birth in a bath, or a hospital, whether you have a VBAC or drugs. There is nothing wrong. What is wrong is when a mother is judged unfairly. Ignore judgements. Ignore people who only speak negatively about things they know nothing about, they don’t know you, your story or your baby. The way you give birth doesn’t change how you love your baby. Nor does it dictate how your baby loves you.

You deserve to be celebrated. You grew a baby, you gave life to a baby, and you birthed it. Whether that is vaginal, cesarean, with pain relief or no pain relief, you did it. YOU! Birth is normal, fear is normal, and you, never underestimate yourself, because you mama, you are powerful.

“I’m so scared”

Laura’s followers responded with palpable relief – and a lot of agreeing nods. Many were freaking out about their impending births, others were having flashbacks and reliving the moments their babies made their big entrance.

“So true!! I wish I had read that 12 years ago after a very traumatic birth with my first son,” one woman wrote.

“I’m 6 months pregnant with my first and almost cringe when people talk about birth! I’m so scared but reading this has helped, even if it’s just a little,” another expectant mum said.

“Oh! I needed to read this. Nearly 36 weeks and terrified. Had my first son at 38 weeks … Ahhhhhhh! Trying to remember how great it felt to be done and over with labour, because that feeling will come back. We CAN DO THIS,” a second-time mum commented.

Dear pregnant mamas, Don’t fear birth. I know the horror stories scare you. I know if you are like I was, you might even fear that you won’t come out of it alive. Labour is a scary word. It’s hard work, there’s a reason it’s called labour. You travel to another place to collect a soul and give it life. That’s wonderful but hard work. It’s normal to fear birth, it’s normal to worry about you and#your baby. Human beings are the only species that doubt our ability to give birth. My first birth made me vulnerable. I listened to thousands of women tell me “but women have been doing it for years” & I believe I failed, because it wasn’t easy. But I didn’t fail. I just forgot my power. So I took it back, and I came back ready and stronger. I used my power. You have that power too. If you want to go with a 5 page birth plan because anxiety is getting to you. Do it. If you want to take pain relief. Do it. If you want to feel every bit of it because you can, do it. If trauma has hurt you, & you want a cesarean. Do it. You have every right to chose how you want to birth your baby. It’s your body, it’s your baby. And If things don’t go to plan, you didn’t fail, you did what’s best to get your baby here safely, & what a selfless sacrifice that is. It’s you, showing the love you have for your baby. Never beat yourself up for that. Never. Feel strong that you’re willing to do anything for your baby. There’s nothing wrong with having a cesarean. There’s nothing wrong with a vaginal birth. Whether you birth in a bath, or a hospital, whether you have a VBAC or drugs. There is nothing wrong. What is wrong is when a mother is judged unfairly. Ignore judgements. Ignore people who only speak negatively about things they know nothing about, they don’t know you, your story or your baby. The way you give birth doesn’t change how you love your baby. Nor does it dictate how your baby loves you. You deserve to be celebrated. You grew a baby, you gave life to a baby, and you birthed it. Whether that is vaginal, cesarean, with pain relief or no pain relief, you did it. YOU! Birth is normal, fear is normal, and you, never underestimate yourself, because you mama, you are powerful.

A post shared by The Mum On The Run (@themumontherun_) on

“It’s your body, it’s your baby”

Once your birth is done and dusted, it’s spookily easy to forget just how scary the process feels, when you’ve got a baby tucked up inside you.

Laura’s post is striking a chord for that very reason, reminding mums that the word “birth” describes a staggering array of varied experiences, that many women have gone before them, feeling equally worried/terrified, and that we’re in it together – and deserve to be celebrated for this epic life-giving effort.

Big thanks to Laura for sharing a bit more about her own birth, and her outlook on this big, beautiful event.

Follow Laura on Instagram at Mum On The Run.

14 weeks and 6 days. This is the first time of the last time I’m going to be, 14 weeks and 6 days. The first time of the last time I’ll hear this baby’s heart beat this way. It is my baby number three, and the last one for me. When I look down at my stomach or at a baby wiggling at a screen, I feel so much love and happiness. Hearing your heart, little one, beat like a thousand galloping horses makes me full, makes me feel complete. It reminds to be a little more patient. Its reminder to go a bit slower and remember that your siblings were once this small. I know how precious time is now. I know you will be a 3 year old one day running around in the nude screaming “no!” I know one day you’ll be a 21 year old coming home at 3am and leaving me stressed. I know it’s so far away but I know how quickly time has gone before. I know how quickly it can go. I know I will cherish every moment. I know now if I struggle, in pregnancy, in motherhood… I don’t have to hide it. I know now I don’t have to be ashamed of the changes that my body will go through. Stretch marks? Pfft. What is stretch marks when I will have you? I know now that there isn’t such thing as failing, however I birth you, however I feed you… however I do it. I know you’ll know I’m trying my best. I can’t wait to meet you my little love I can’t wait for our adventure to start.

A post shared by The Mum On The Run (@themumontherun_) on

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