Employee Privilege

January 06, 2009 12:00 AM

Q: My co-workers constantly tell me my desires and preferences for labor aren’t going to happen – how can I handle that?

A: Your workplace may not be the right environment to share birth preferences or post-natal priorities. Birth is very personal. After all, it’s part of our human sexuality and reproduction-and that demands privacy.

So, use this situation as your first step in defining clear boundaries and protecting your instincts. Your co-workers weren’t privileged to hear how you made a baby-I hope!-so they needn’t hear how you will meet that baby. Remember that while what resonates for you is important, your colleagues might not be coming from a neutral place. Some women won’t be able to acknowledge your personal preferences and may take your choices as a rejection of theirs-or use your pregnancy to talk about what still hurts about their delivery experience.

Finding like-minded women outside of your professional network can be a valuable tool, so seeking a mother’s support group-online or in person-might give you a more appropriate place to process your birth options and desires.

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