A Good Mother?

How to be a good Mum?  It’s a question all mums ask themselves – we all want to do our best for our children, be the best Mum we can be, but what does that actually mean?

I didn’t see the programme on the TV the other night, but I’ve read plenty of comments about it since, and I found this comments rather revealing.  They certainly showed just how judgemental mums can be of each other.  I understand that programmes like these choose people who are usually extreme examples, because it increases their viewing figures and gives people something to rant about, but I was surprised to see some fairly common parenting styles and decisions rubbished in the comments I read.

Most comments I read referred to the homeschooling mum, the c-section/placenta mum and the ECing Mum.

The homeschool Mum received generally positive comments – that she was down-to-earth, laid back, relaxed, natural, relished being a mum.

The ECing Mum was met with derision in lots of the comments I saw – she was delusional to think she can tell when her child is going to wee or poo, that there is no way they would consider not putting a nappy on their child, that she was downright odd.

The c-section/placenta Mum perhaps ought to be wearing a hard hat.  Now, I don’t know first hand what she said about c-sections but before I go any further, I perhaps ought to mention that I have had two non-elective c-sections.  The first was a category 1, general anaesthetic job and the second was a more relaxed affair using a spinal injection, but was still classed as an emergency.  I found the first one very difficult to come to terms with and get over.  My son was 90 minutes old before I met him and the midwives told me I had missed the crucial bonding period.  Well, that was utter bollocks in my opinion.

I understand the c-section Mum was also placenta Mum.  Again, without having seen the programme, I’m not entirely sure what she was doing with the placenta,but I believe she was eating it, making it into a smoothie and encapsulating it. Well, this caused a stir!  lots of comments about her being a loon and lots of comments about how odd these practices were.

Perhaps the programme makers, having picked extreme examples, have made some common practices seem very odd, but I’m surprised at the level of contempt I saw for placenta encapsulation and ECing.

We considered EC for Plum – I think it is a marvellous idea.  We did a lot of reading about it and I would have liked to have been able to go ahead with it.  However, I had to be realistic – I was beginning  a new business and I would not be able to devote the time and effort needed to make it work, although I applaud those who can.  In the end we went ahead with cloth nappies, as we did with Bean and settled on giving her lots of nappy-free time.  It turns out that at just over 12 months, Plum can tell us when her nappy is wet or dirty and tells us (she lifts up her top or dress and says “bappy bappy”).  I suspect it would take very little effort (comparatively) from this point to get her out of nappies, although when she has nappy free time, if she has a wee, she seems completely taken by surprise, so perhaps not!

If I had known about placenta encapsulation when I had either of my two, I would have had it done.  I brought both placentas home and buried them, no being ale to bring myself to eat them (makes me feel a bit sick to think about it).  I completely understand the idea that it is beneficial to Mum, and if I had the stomach for it, I would have eaten them.  But I didn’t.  I wish I had known about encapsualtion sooner.  I found out about it earlier this year, having befriended a doula who offers this service.  Then, in the Summer, I met a local doula who offers it, and she gave me lots of information about the benefits.  As someone who suffered badly from post-natal depression, both times, I would welcome anything that helped me feel better without resorting to drugs.  Also, as a coeliac, I have trouble with my iron levels, and the placenta helps with that too.

Eating the placenta (in any form) is not a new, hippy idea.  It is practiced all over the world, often in countries which have a lower dependence on modern drug technology than we do – countries that have a better understanding of natural health and medicine and are more trusting of nature’s ability to heal.

I would love to see a TV company explore these ideas without resorting to featuring people on the extremes – to make these ideas more accessible to us, and show their benefits.

What are your thoughts on EC, placenta encapsulation, or the programme itself?


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One comment on “A Good Mother?

  1. I haven’t seen the program that you mentioned so can’t really comment about it. Regarding EC we didn’t try it with any of the kids as with handling multiple children and a full time job at the same time we stuck to disposables for them. Placenta encapsulation is not very common here but it’s something I won’t personally stomach.

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