People Pleasing & Pregnancy
Hi, my name is Audrey and I was a people pleaser.
As a people pleaser, I would tend to put other people’s needs ahead of my own. I would take on all the responsibility in every project at work, our home life and then would not understand why I would be so overwhelmed and anxious at any given point in my life. I am daily working on self-care, and prioritizing my boundaries with others as well as my own needs which is why I chose to use the past tense “would”.
I know even the brief highlights of what I just described can apply to so many (men and women) and that is why I feel it needs to be addressed. So many of us enter into the sacred time of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum with the same mentality of people-pleasing and it can lead to such traumatic experiences. This is one of the reasons I am so passionate about pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum education. I teach so others can know their options so they can make informed decisions for their family.
The average person sees a care provider (doctor, midwife, OBGYN, pediatrician, etc.) and goes into auto-pilot mode and just accepts that the care provider knows better simply because they went to school and are more knowledgable. We do not want to make waves even though there is something churning in our gut that says “I do not agree with that” or “I do not understand why”. We do not want to upset “our superior” as we subconsciously view them. We do not want to run the risk of offending or insulting them, or worst coming across as stupid. So we just nod our head in acceptance all while we tightly secure our seatbelt in the passenger seat of our pregnancy, labor, and birth.
When we do not do our job as informed consumers, or informed parents we run the risk of allowing others to think for us and make decisions for us. Those of you that identify as “people pleasers” or even remotely see yourselves in these instances I listed above, need to prepare and PRACTICE how to have a conversation with your care providers, instead of just being talked at. I know how uncomfortable it can feel, which is why I encourage practicing. View this as a weak muscle that needs to be exercised, the more you do it the more natural and easier it will feel! Roleplay these conversations, research topics concerning your pregnancy and birth, and arm yourself with knowledge so you can make informed decisions.
Please do not misinterpret this post as an anti-care provider soapbox. Your care providers are there to care for you and serve an important role in your pregnancy and birth. This is an encouragement to have a two-way conversation about something as important as how your baby is developing and how and when they will be birthed into this world. Get back in the driver’s seat of your pregnancy and birth so you will not look back and see yourself as a bystander years later.
Break the cycle of being told and taught how and where to birth and make parenting decisions without true informed consent.