The gold standard of maternity care is mother centred, and the need for a woman to sacrifice herself is extremely unlikely. Seeing mothers as martyrs is an obstetric culture symptom. When medical interventions are necessary for the wellbeing of a baby, women rarely view it as a sacrifice. Only obstetric culture expects women to ignore their own wishes and do what they're told to do, and that mode of care is being shown scientifically, time and time again, to be an abysmal failure, that not only endangers women, but their babies as well.
Unhindered birth is HARD, but it's not a sacrifice, it's a challenge that I have risen to! Women should never feel as if their own wishes don't matter, the way we give birth is a human rights issue!
I don't think mothers should be martyrs. Practising what I preach though.... hmmmm. It would probably help me be a better parent if I were to put my own needs first more often! It's easy to end up feeling like you SHOULD sacrifice your own needs to put your children first, then be resentful because you never have any time to yourself. As with most things, I'm sure it's best to find a healthy balance. It's a lot easier to say than do, though!
The mother's life is just as precious as the child. I don't see why she should be the one to have to give up her life if the event arose. One would expect a mother to love their chid so much that they would sacrifice themselves without hesitation, but if that bond is not there, the mother should not be pressured in doing so.
I'm a really firm believer that babies NEED and DESERVE a healthy mother to care for them. And this includes mental health. I see so much that women are being given the message that "all that matters is the baby" from the very moment of conception and that is having a significant impact on the mental health of some women. Looking after yourself is a part of looking after your children. x
Mothers naturally 'sacrifice' their independence for their children - i think it's just a natural way of life - same in the animal kingdom.
But.. not all mothers do, and the view by our society that if women choose not (or cannot) have children there is something very wrong with them. Pressured into mothering by other views.
Having worked in welfare, child health etc.,
children suffer so much if they have been born
for reasons other than love and maternal feelings