Refers to societal expectations and conditioning that often pressure women to conform to certain norms and behave in a manner deemed acceptable by others. This can manifest in various aspects of life, ESPECIALLY during labour and birth. Society has perpetuated the notion that women should be polite, compliant and
avoid causing any disruptions or "making waves".
In the context of childbirth, this might cause women to fear standing up for themselves due to a fear of judgment or a desire to please others. When faced with the vulnerable and intense experience of labour, this pressure to be "good" can lead women to prioritise the comfort and opinions of others over
their own needs and desires during childbirth.
The authority and expertise of healthcare professionals can sometimes be intimidating, leading women to doubt their own knowledge and instincts. They may fear being perceived as difficult or demanding for speaking up. Empowering women to recognize and embrace their voices during labour is essential for fostering positive birth experiences.
And you know what? This starts in childhood when we encourage self-expression, teach our kids internal validation and stop shaming them.
Here are some ways you can support your child as a parent!
Promote open communication: Encourage your daughters to express their thoughts, feelings, and opinions openly. Create a safe space where they feel heard and understood. Listen actively and validate their emotions.
Encourage self-expression: Support your daughters' interests, hobbies, and passions, regardless of whether they align with traditional gender norms. Help them explore a wide range of activities to find what truly resonates with them.
Challenge stereotypes: Talk openly about gender stereotypes and societal expectations. Teach your daughters to critically analyze media, advertisements, and cultural messages that reinforce these stereotypes.
Value autonomy: Allow your daughters to make age-appropriate choices and decisions. This helps them develop a sense of autonomy, responsibility, and self-trust.
Praise effort and resilience: Focus on praising their efforts, problem-solving skills, and resilience rather than just their appearance or achievements. This helps them build self-worth based on their capabilities rather than external validation.