Nigerian Women and Hebrew Woman Syndrome

On TV Dakore Akande was talking about how she believes she can do anything especially after giving birth and one of the presenters (a woman) asks, Natural birth?

What was the point of that question? Does it make her less of a woman if she had her baby by a Caesarean Section?

What’s your business with how another woman had her baby? Why are Naija women obsessed with Vaginal birth? I don’t like to refer to it as ‘natural birth’ because there is nothing unnatural about a Caesarean birth.

I have read stories where women vehemently reject a doctor’s medical assessment and conclusion that a Caesarean section would be needed to birth the child. A lot of Nigerian women have put their lives at risk or even lost their lives and their baby’s by adhering to a religious slogan, “deliver like the Hebrew woman”.

They say, it is not their portion but that their portion is to deliver like the Hebrew Woman, to push the baby and to deliver “naturally” because Caesarean Section is against God’s plans for their lives.

Let us look at where the Hebrew women tag started from:

Pharaoh had instructed midwives to kill every child born to Hebrew women but the midwives did not obey because they feared God and as a result did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.

So, Pharaoh called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and let the boys live?”

“The midwives said to Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women aren’t like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them” — Exodus 1:19

If you read the verse in context, you will understand that the midwives lied to Pharaoh. They had disobeyed the King and were afraid to confess to him that they let the boys live.

So, I do not understand why this scripture is now used to make women who have a Caesarean Section feel less of a woman than those who have a vaginal birth and why some people accord more respect to women who give birth vaginally as opposed to via C-Section.

Some people (mostly women) look down on women who do not endure the full painful process of a vaginal childbirth. I guess they probably see intense pain that comes with an “all-natural vaginal birth” as a crown of glory, it is what makes a woman a woman.

Dear Naija women, the route of delivery is most irrelevant, vaginal birth is not better than a Caesarean birth. You are not a Hebrew Woman, you are a Nigerian woman. A lot of Nigerian women have died trying to be like the ‘Hebrew woman’. If the health of you and your baby is at stake forget about your pastor follow the Doctors advice. The longer you keep your baby in distress, the higher the chances of complications. Think of the health of you and your baby first.

Always remember that the most important thing about childbirth is the well-being of the mother and child and not how the baby is born.

***Naija Woman Chronicles***

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