It is a sad reflection of society when an image depicting the magnificence of birth is removed from social media. This has happened to me yet again and as I scroll through face book I feel at a loss as to where our values as a society lie.
For me birth images are life affirming. They are uplifting of women and mothers, uplifting of families. They show the true magnificence of the start of life. The beginnings from which every single one of us has come. They capture the beauty, the power, the challenge, the joy, the relief, the pure love, the connection and sacredness of transitioning on many different levels. The leaving behind of one life and starting a new, the bringing forth of new life. Yes, they sometimes contain nudity but this nudity is necessary in the inherent journey of birth. The more we are exposed to birth, the normality and ordinary becomes the extra-ordinary and overshadows it all.
When I put this image on facebook the other night, I never in a million years thought someone would find it offensive and it would be removed. I edited it to what I thought would comply with Facebooks “Community Standards”, cropping it in tightly, blurring the background and ensuring my logo covered the blur. And somehow I received this statement and a 24 hour ban.
How on earth can an image of a baby’s first moments outside of his mother be thrown in with statements regarding perverse law breaking behaviour? (Sexual violence, sexual content involving minors and threats to share intimate images). I am at a complete loss to be honest. But that sense of bewilderment won’t stop me giving up hope.
I really do believe we need to see images of birth. They change our perceptions of what our culture has taught us, that stereotypical presentation of birth as an intensely painful experience that’s full of drama, being endured rather than enjoyed. No. I am teaching my four children that birth is normal, we as women are designed perfectly to do it. I am teaching them about the sacredness and beautiful journey that it is, a journey to welcome and embrace. I want them to see images of powerful women using their mighty strength to give birth to the next generation, whom one can only hope will have a more positive outlook on birth than this current one.