On December 5th, Kim Kardashian gave birth to her son, Saint West. It's her second child with singer Kanye West. This may or may not be of significance to you. When you hear either name, you might have a connection to them or you might roll your eyes.
But this birth matters.
In our HypnoBirthing class, we talk about the history of birth. In the mid-1800s, Queen Victoria requested chloroform for the birth of her eighth and ninth children. This was a very new technique administered by physicians in a time when most women were still having their babies at home. When the social elite in London heard about this augmentation, they all started requesting chloroform for their births.
They wanted to give birth like the Queen.
So here we are, centuries later. As we prepare for our own births in the modern age, we turn to trusted sources for information about where, how and with whom to give birth. We ask our families and friends. We seek trusted doctors and midwives. We listen to podcasts and read bestsellers. We see the headlines and read about our modern kings and queens. Like it or not, people like Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are the royalty of our times. We may not emulate them or their lifestyle, but when they are having a baby, the world pays attention. We learn about the latest "fad" around how to give birth. We note if it was "natural". We hear about expensive suites and exclusive doulas. We may not want to care, but our subconscious is listening.
From everything In the news, it seems that Kim was clear on her preferences for birth:
She had clearly thought through her options. She expressed her fears and knew the risks associated with her particular pregnancy. She secured a doctor and facility who supported her choice to have a Version and attempt a vaginal delivery. She exhibited a level of sophistication around her preparation.
By all accounts, she had the birth she was hoping for. We'll see how it plays out if the cameras caught any of the action, but all reports say that she had a vaginal birth and is in total bliss with her newborn baby.
The more positive stories we hear around birth, the more normal it will become. Care that focuses on the individual experience rather than the pathological potential of pregnancy will become more standard. Kim Kardashian, and the royalty of our times, can change the face of birth. Big task! Let's hope they do it justice.
For our thoughts on a true royal's birth, check out our post on The Duchess Kate's birth back in May!