Weekend-ul trecut am fost invitata la conferința organizata de Asociația SAMAS unde vedeta a fost Heidi Murkoff, cea care este printre cei mai influenți oameni de pe glob după ce acum mai bine de 25 de ani a publicat o carte care a schimbat viata multor mame „What to expect when you’re expecting”. Ma simt super onorata sa găzduiesc aici pe blog un interviu cu ea, mereu mi-a plăcut sa descopăr oamenii din spatele poveștilor de succes. Iar Heidi este un om incredibil de cald, de ancorat în realitate.
Nu ma mai lungesc cu vorba, va spun doar ca nu este tradus, cel puțin nu răspunsurile ei. Simt ca își pierd din mesaj dacă le traduc în limba noastră. Dacă va este greu asa, sa îmi scrieți și va trimit traducerea. Enjoy.
In primul rand vreau sa iti multumesc ca ai acceptat sa facem acest interviu impreuna. Eu sunt nascuta la cativa ani dupa ce ai publicat prima carte, dar mi-a ajuns in mana atunci cand am ramas insarcinata. Asta mi se pare fascinant. Spune-mi, cum a aratat parenting-ul acum 25 de ani cand ai publicat prima carte?
- First of all, I want to thank you for agreeing to do this interview together. I was born a few years after you published the first book, but it got in my hand when I got pregnant. This seems fascinating. Tell me, what did parenting look like 25 years ago when you published your first book?
Now I just feel old:)! The truth is, parenting as a noun or as a verb or as a pursuit or idea didn’t exist, at least as far as I know. There were parents, of course, and parents had children-but it was more or less something you just did (or really, what mothers did). You got pregnant, had a baby, raised a child – but it wasn’t something you really prepared for, read up on, actively engaged in, discussed much. And there certainly wasn’t row after row of pregnancy and parenting books…there wasn’t even a section in the bookstore marked “pregnancy and parenting”. There were childbirth classes to take, but they were strictly devoted to “natural” childbirth (it was just after the Our Bodies, Ourselves revolution, but before the revolution extended to a woman having choices in childbirth-crunchy granola only need apply). Breastfeeding was just starting to make a comeback, but hospital lactation support didn’t exist. And doctors who cared for pregnant women had never been A)pregnant or B)a woman – they were older men (for the most part) who saw themselves as the first and last word in a woman’s care, and they didn’t (for the most part) like to be questioned about medical and obstetrical matters. As ai overheard two doctors say early in WTE’s history in reference to me “Hmph! What do women know about pregnancy?” Literally, couldn’t make that stuff up. Pediatricians were, too, fairly prescriptive in their care of children-they weren’t, as they are today, a partner with parents in the care. Oh, and there was no internet, no social media, no parenting Facebook groups. You were mainly on your own as parents. So it was a whole different environment!
Acum e evident ca avem acces la informatii mult mai usor, vezi acest lucru ca pe ceva pozitiv sau crezi ca exista si pericole care vin la pachet?
- Now it is obvious that we have access to information much easier, do you see this as something positive or do you think there are dangers that come with the package?
Access to social media and endless information (and at least equal parts misinformation) has been both a blessing and a curse…or maybe, a mixed blessing. Positive in so many ways-and in many ways that I wish I could have experienced myself as a very young and very clueless mom who was craving information, knowledge, insights, advice, reassurance, empathy-and a sense of camaraderie, a sense that Erik and I weren’t alone in this journey. We had no flesh-and-blood pregnant friends or new parent friends-we were the first among our friends to become pregnant, by far. Now moms can make hundreds, thousands of friends from around the globe who “get it”, who understand what is happening to your body and your baby because they are experiencing many of the same things at the same time. We had access to zero information, now moms can page Dr. Google or a mommy blogger or a “parenting expert” eager to share their opinions faster than you can push “search”. Some of it is good information (you can be sure of that at Whattoexpect.com or the Whattoexpect app) but some of it isn’t. Some of it conflicts the last information you read. Or what your doctor told you. And some of it can make you doubt your instincts and cause your confidence to completely crumble. Or make your feel judged, or shamed. So it’s important to put perspective in the mix and to carefully curate what you read and who you believe!
Ai calatorit peste tot pe glob. Spune-mi care este cel mai important lucru care le lipseste femeilor insarcinate chiar si in 2019?
- You’ve traveled all over the globe. Tell me what is the most important thing missing from pregnant women even in 2019?
Every mom, no matter where she loves, no matter what her socioeconomic or cultural or religious profile, her education, her race, deserves the care she needs to expect a healthy pregnancy and to deliver a healthy beginning in life and a healthy future to herself and the baby she loves. That care should be respectful, nurturing, and responsive, always, and it should make a woman feel safe. Some countries, especially Scandinavian ones do a very good job with this, as well in supporting a mom postpartum and throughout the first years of a baby’s life. Others invest far less in maternal healthcare and family-friendly policies (the U.S. for instance, doesn’t measure up well), and some countries have little care at all, especially for women who need it the most, say, rural in Africa, or areas of conflict or famine, where moms and babies never seem to be prioritized, as they should. There’s no better investment in a nation’s economic future than the health of moms and babies.
Conteaza cum nasti? Te intreb asta pentru ca eu ales sa nasc prin cezariana la primul copil, toata lumea credea pe atunci ca e mai „simplu”. La al doilea copil nasterea naturala nu a mai fost o optiune. Acum trendul in Romania s-a schimbat catre nastere naturala. Tu cum vezi lucrurile?
- Does it matter how you give birth? I ask you this because I chose to give birth by Caesarean section to the first child, everyone thought at the time that it was „simpler”. For the second child, natural birth was no longer an option. Now the trend in Romania has changed towards natural birth. How do you see things?
The best way to give birth is the safest way…the one most likely to result in a happy ending: healthy mom, healthy baby. In most cases, that is a vaginal birth — with or without an epidural, with that choice being mom’s to make (no judgment, no shaming). But sometimes, a csection is not only advisable but medically necessary, tomprotrct the health of mom and/or baby. Elective surgical deliveries that isn’t necessary (when there is no indication) isn’t a practice in the U.S. anymore, since even a csection is considered major abdominal surgery (if the happiest kind) and comes with more risks than an uncomplicated vaginal birth. Plus it can lead to too-early births (if the date of the pregnancy has been miscalculated), and can interfere with early breastfeeding and a baby’s exposure to beneficial microbes (as during a vaginal birth). Of course even a planned vaginal birth can lead to a csection – and if that’s what’s safest, that’s what’s best!
Prima imagine pe care o am in minte de la evenimentul de pe 2 noiembrie, din Romania, este cu tine mergand mana in mana cu sotul tau. Cum ati reusit sa pastrati relatia vie dupa doi copii si atatia ani impreuna?
- The first image I have in mind since the event on November 2, in Romania, is with you going hand in hand with your husband. How did you manage to keep the relationship alive after two children and so many years together?
We are partners in life and in work and in our foundation work, so we are together every day of every year…and we never get tired of being together. We always made time for just the two of us, even before we could afford a babysitter, we would out the kids to bed and have alone time. I think it’s also important to remember that you’re not just a couple of parents once you have kids…you are a couple. And your relationship needs nurturing just as much as your children do. It isn’t always easy to make time for making love, but you can manage (especially if you practice fine art of “quickies”:). And touch, touch always. Hold his hand, give him a hug for no reason, touch legs, cuddle, and always always talk. A lot.
Care perioada ti se pare mai dificila, sarcina sau primii ani de viata ai bebelușului?
- Which period do you find most difficult, pregnancy or the first years of your baby’s life?
Depends on the kind of pregnancy you have! Mine were physically easy, even though I stressed a lot, especially the first time. I actually loved being pregnant. But for a woman who’s very uncomfortable, has complications like hyperemesis or preeclampsia or gestational diabetes, it can be miserable. For me, the first year with Emma, especially the first three months, were the hardest. Everything was a challenge, from the endless crying (mine and hers!) to the sleep deprivation, to not feeling bonded to Emma at first.
Care sunt planurile tale pentru proiectul “What to expect…”
- What are your plans for the “What to expect…” project?
We’re dedicated to bringing information, support and care to every mom who needs it, and to advocating for every mom who needs a voice. We are actually headed to Washington DC in early December to try to effect change, especially when it comes to health care, reproductive rights currently under threat in the US and around the world, maternal mental healthcare and paid family leave for moms and dads(which the US doesn’t have, as you know!). Lots of work to do!