Woman, have children


The maternity offer in Norway is going in the wrong direction. Thousands of women have birth stories that can make the water go for most people.

BETTER BIRTH: Line Oma presents in this post nine demands for a better maternity and childbirth offer for Norwegian women. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB

Line Oma, city council representative for the Oslo Labor Party (on maternity leave) Original first published in Norwegian in Dagbladet

Women, have children. Woman, you’re approaching 30, are you not going to have children soon? Fuck, fuck, fuck, blood in the panties. Fuck, fuck, fuck, blood in the panties. Fuck, fuck, fuck, blood in the panties. Woman, you are not getting younger, are you not going to have children soon? Fuck, fuck, fuck, blood in the panties. Fuck, fuck, fuck, blood in the panties. January, February, March, 2018, 2019, 2020?

Woman, you drink non-alcoholic – are you pregnant? First time: going on antibiotics. Second time: driving. Third time: Yes, I’m actually pregnant. Woman, we do not want to hear that you are pregnant until 12 weeks have passed. Do you not know that nothing is certain ?!

Woman, you should not have new and exciting work assignments – you will soon be on sick leave, right? Nobody wants to hire you now, woman? Here are ten creams you should apply to avoid stretch marks, woman. Woman, stop complaining of nausea, fatigue, sore back, and pelvis. Woman, stop complaining that you are heavy, itchy, that your ankles are swollen.

Woman, you do know that pregnancy is not a disease? Woman, think about what you put in your mouth. Woman, remember you’re eating for two now. Woman, cut out all that is good, stick to all that is healthy, stay in shape, woman. Woman, you’re so big – are there two in there? Woman, are you going to share the leave period? It is important that the father is at home and can bond with the child. You are ready to go back to work when the child is six months old, woman. You can pump your breasts, woman. Because you should breastfeed until the baby has passed a year?

Woman, you do not fear childbirth, do you? You do know women have been doing it since the dawn of time? Remember the reward is fine, woman. Woman, your husband is not allowed to attend the birth. Infection rules, you know. Much more important. You can do it. You get help during the hours you are in the hospital. You do not die. Keep yourself together, woman. Have you had contractions for three days, you say? You will not be admitted until you have a 4 cm opening, woman. There is no room in the hostel. Go to the next hospital, woman.

Are you crying, woman? We can be so kind as to give you a waiting room. Do not shout so loud then, woman. Instead, divert your strength to push the child out. Epidural? No, you can rather get needles in the forehead, hands, feet, and middle flesh. Epidural, you say? No, the anesthetist is busy with more important matters. Are you lying on the floor with shit in your panties and asking for an epidural, woman? Okay, we can be so nice to contact anesthesia, then we’ll see if they have time.

Congratulations on a living child, woman. Stitch, stitch, stitch, stitch, stitch, stitch, stitch, stitch, stitch, stitch. Now you have to dress your child, woman. Let the baby lie on your chest, woman. Take a shower, woman. Are your diapers full of blood? Urine on the floor, woman? You will find paper on the shelf there. You’re really in pain, woman? You can get paracetamol. You’re managing the breastfeeding, woman? You can wait to bathe the baby. You’re managing the breastfeeding, woman? You’ve been here 24 hours and you have to go home, woman. No, it’s not routine to look at the flesh wound and your stitches before you go home, woman. Your doctor will see you in six weeks. You’re managing the breastfeeding, woman?

If your husband has a game employer, he can be home with you for two weeks, woman. And now there’s only five weeks and five days until you can fuck again, woman. Woman, you still look pregnant. Have you really given birth? Lol. Relax, woman – the fat runs off when you go out on long walks in the woods and fields. And soon you can start exercising, woman, and get back into your slim-fit pants. And pinch, woman. Pinch! Have you not bathe your child, woman !? You’re managing the breastfeeding, woman? Congratulations on the baby, woman.

So cute baby, woman – just like his dad. Are you not feeling well? It’s just up and jumping, little flea. It grows so fast, you know, woman. Take a shower, woman. Go to the hairdresser. Freshen up a bit. On Instagram, you can see a picture of fresh moms, women. Breastfeeding. Au. Burp. Gulp. Lull. Sleep. Repeat. You must be so happy, woman. Happiness, euphoria, bliss. Anything else would be so ungrateful, woman. Should the child really be called that, woman? The name does not embarrass anyone… Bleeding from your tits, woman? Do not give up on breastfeeding, it is so important, you know.

You must not complain, woman. Do you not know that we have the world’s best birth- and maternity services? Is not your abdomen exactly as it should be, woman? Relax, woman, it can be fixed after the next birth. You’re not depressed, are you, woman? What contraception do you want, woman? You’ve finally got your head above water, you say? Enjoy being back at work then, woman. You can combine this with breastfeeding evenings, nights, and early mornings. And dad can probably send pictures from cozy stroller trips. Gender equality, you know woman. Woman, are you still breastfeeding your baby?!? The child has passed the year!

You will have more children, woman? But not too many then either. Just right. You should have a good job, make for a nice home, be an exemplary mother, volunteer parent at school, extrovert friend, playful in bed, ready for a pint after work, and ready for the bikini season. Patriarchy, woman. The patriarchy has a hold on your womb as well.

The #Idonotgivebirthalone campaign has finally exploded. For several years, women giving birth and midwives have warned that the maternity offer in Norway is going in the wrong direction. Thousands of women have birth stories that can make the water go for most people.

Midwives have warned that staffing in municipalities and hospitals is too low and that midwives receive poor follow-up. During the corona pandemic, the childbirth and maternity offer has reached an ultimate low point: women must prepare to give birth alone. It is time for Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Minister of Health Bent Høie to intervene and solve this problem. It is high time for a birth rebellion in solidarity with all bad experiences and future mothers.

Here are therefore nine requirements for a better maternity and childbirth offer for Norwegian women:

1. Increased staffing: Midwifery staffing in hospitals, municipalities, and accompanying services must be increased. More and more initiated births require increased staff with the maternity wards. There is a great shortage of midwives today and several birthplaces lack stable specialist competence.

2. One-to-one care in childbirth: The maternity wards shall have the resources to follow up women with one-to-one care during childbirth, also at the initiation. Over 90 percent of midwives say they do not meet the requirement for one-on-one care of women in active labor.

3. No one gives birth alone: ​​The father/ partner must be allowed to participate during the birth, even during corona times. The hospitals must make it feasible.

4. Pain relief: All women in childbirth should be entitled to pain relief without unnecessary waiting time, and there must be available personnel in pain relief, especially anesthesia.

5. Strengthened care after childbirth: All women giving birth must be treated as patients after childbirth and offered a physical check, just as the child undergoes a thorough check. All women should receive thorough information about breastfeeding, the maternity body, mental health, and not least childcare in maternity.

6. Individual departure plan from the maternity ward: The mother and child must be allowed to stay in the maternity ward for as long as they need it, and norms for the length of stay in maternity leave for 48 or 72 hours must cease. Maternity wards must be arranged for a large enough capacity to take care of the maternity women. The length of stay has decreased from 4.1 to 2.8 days in the period 1999 to 2017. In 2019, the number was only 1.5. It can be harmful to both mother and child to be sent home prematurely.

7. Strengthened breastfeeding guidance: All hospitals must have sufficient breastfeeding staff, and continuous further development and competence development must be ensured so that all women receive good breastfeeding guidance.

8. Better follow-up after returning home: Women shall have the right to follow-up by a midwife on return home.

9. Better 6-week follow-up: Women will experience meeting women’s health experts after giving birth. All women who want follow-up by a municipal midwife must be offered this.

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