Apparently ‘big baby’ is no longer a suitable way to describe, well, a big baby. New guidance about how midwives should speak to women in labour suggests losing terms like labour ward, delivered and big baby in favour of less ‘upsetting terms’ (like ‘birthing suite’, ‘gave birth’ and ‘healthy baby’).
The idea behind it is to ’empower’ women and to try and avoid causing them any upset.
I have no problem giving birth in the labour ward. I think it’s entirely ridiculous that this should only be referred to as a ‘birthing suite’ as if this was some sort of five star hotel where no one would expect you to poo on the bed and bleed on the floor.
As someone who has given birth more than once, I wasn’t aware there was a lack of respect show for pregnant women. In fact, since both my children were 10lb8+ I’d be utterly offended if no one said I had a ‘big baby’. The last thing you want after pushing out a bigger-than-normal baby is for someone to come and take away your victory by telling you, “no dear, he’s just healthy‘.
The authors of the article also admit that they expect eye-rolls and mutterings of ‘political correctness gone mad’ but stand by their recommendations.
I’m 50/50 about the whole thing. While I can see that the term ‘good girl’ can be patronising (although if it’s uttered by a 50+ woman, that’s somehow okay, isn’t it?) but most of the changes seem completely unecessary.
It’s probably more insulting than the authors intended it to be too. Telling midwives to change the language they use in front of patients to avoid upsetting them rather suggests that women are delicate little flowers. Delicate little flowers who are easily upset by things like acknowledging they are giving birth in a place that sounds distinctly medical.
What do you think? Am I wrong to think it’s all a bit silly?