Shertzer: Hey women, let’s stop acting like the weaker sex

It is downright embarrassing how our culture has come to view pregnancy.

Somewhere in the United States, a pregnant woman we’ll call Jane finds out she is expecting. Jane immediately parks her butt in intensive couch care, taking extreme caution with everything she does. If she is upright for more than two hours, she must stop and elevate her feet. She “eats for two,” using the baby to justify every bite, and takes great care to not overtax herself in her delicate condition.

Tales of a mountain nurse by Daniell Mickey Shertzer

Tales of a mountain nurse
by Daniell Mickey Shertzer

She gains 50 pounds, and develops pregnancy induced hypertension and gestational diabetes. Because of these complications, she must have her labor induced. At the first sign of any kind of discomfort, she gets an epidural, pushes for 4 and 1/2 hours with no progress, finally giving birth to a 10-pound baby via cesarean section because the baby is too large to fit through her pelvis. 

Meanwhile in China, a pregnant woman we’ll call O-Lan is pulling a rickshaw uphill through the crowded streets of a village. She has worked like this through her entire pregnancy. She starts to feel the pangs of labor, but does she stop? No. She pushes through until she can no longer walk. When birth is imminent, she stops, squats down, gives birth in a rice field without anesthesia, gets back up, fashions a makeshift sling to carry her newborn, puts the baby to her breast, and goes back to pulling the rickshaw.

Now, I know these examples are extreme, but when did pregnancy become an illness or affliction? If we as women want people to stop treating us as if we are the weaker sex, then we need to stop acting like we are. Is there any question why our country is being surpassed by other countries in all aspects of life when we take something natural and normal like pregnancy and turn it into an excuse to be slothenly and gluttonous?

And before anyone gets their panties in a twist, I am not referencing a high risk pregnancy. I would never advocate that anyone do anything that would endanger their baby or themselves. But seriously, this is just one example of why we are despised as a nation by the rest of the world. We have become a bunch of pansies, and we are raising our children to be worse.

And the saddest part of this post: I have been a nurse for 18 years and I still don’t know how to spell cesarean. I spell it wrong every damn time.

Daniell Mickey Shertzer is a nurse, a wife and mother of two children who lives in a small town just like yours.

Filed in: Latest Headlines, Opinion

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