"Birth Brat" The Duchess of Sussex and What This Says About Birth Culture

By Megan Rossiter, Positively Birthing

Duchess of Sussex called a "Birth Brat" for basic human rights.

You might have seen the news recently that the Duchess of Sussex has been described as a 'birth brat,' which I can only assume is the journalistic birth equivalent to bridezilla...

"What was she asking for?!" you might be wondering. "Lobster after her birth?" "A jewel encrusted birth pool?"


According to the press, the Duchess wanted to be able to choose her own healthcare providers, her own place of birth, and not be subjected to a photo shoot by the world's media immediately after giving birth.

Oh! Like... basic human rights, then?

The fact that requests like this -- or even more specific choices (which we obviously don't know Meghan's preferences on), such as whether or not to have a vaginal examination, whether or not to have continuous monitoring in labor, whether to accept a sweep at 40 weeks, etc. -- are seen as 'unusual', or 'being difficult' says a hell of a lot more about our society, women's rights, and the narrative around birth than it does about The Duchess of Sussex!

We don't go to the hair dressers and get told, "Well, you're turning 40 now, so it's time to get a crop style. I can see a little grey in there so we must dye it. You have a big forehead, so I'm just going to cut you a quick fringe..." And if we DID get treated like this we'd leave the hair dressers, and tell all our friends not to go to that salon!

Why is birth any different?

Why is the default expectation that the minute we become pregnant our bodies become the property of other people? Whether that be friends, family, or even total strangers expressing their opinions about what we do, or what we eat during pregnancy, or our plans for our births... or during labor itself when it is expected that a woman walk into a hospital and say, "Okay, get the baby out - do whatever you want, whatever it takes."

In all our courses at Positively Birthing we focus a lot on what your choices are, and how to take control of them. You're not being difficult, or a brat, for having your own thoughts and opinions about what you want for your birth!

From the hundreds of women I've worked with, and hundreds more birth stories I've heard, THIS is the single most important part of getting a positive birth experience: your choices, what you want for your own birth, your body, your baby. Not hypnobirthing, not being in a pool, not where you give birth - but deciding things for YOURSELF, and then being supported fully in these decisions.

Before your birth, research everything.

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