Aviva Romm, heal thyself!

Aviva Romm Day 7

You can’t make this stuff up.

Aviva Romm, MD has thoughtfully taken a break from her 30 day series on “Preventing Unnecessary Cesareans,” to inform us that she is shocked, shocked that some women are being shamed for their C-sections:

Day 7: Take Back Birth: Preventing Unnecessary Cesareans

Today I am making a departure from cesarean prevention to talk about SHAME prevention… Let’s talk about birth and shame. The fears of “failing” because of the pressures to go “au naturale” whether around birth, breastfeeding, or how we raise our kids. How we can better support each other to have the healthiest, safest, most empowering experiences possible?

How? Come closer, Aviva and I will whisper just one teensy, weensy little way that you might take the first step toward better support other women:


Romm’s series in a object lesson in the subtle cruelty of natural childbirth shaming.

Day 1: Start with self-serving hypocrisy:

My goal is not to make anyone who had a cesarean feel badly about it. We all do what we have to do in complex situations.

English to English translation: If only you had been smarter, you wouldn’t have had a C-section.

Day 2: Justify your own refusal to take responsibility by practicing obstetrics deciding which C-sections are necessary.

When applying to medical residencies, I considered becoming an OB-GYN, thinking this would be an extraordinarily subversive and effective way that I, as a midwife, could influence change in hospital birthing practices. Then I visited residency programs where I was confidently informed that I would get PLENTY of surgical training because there would be no shortage of cesareans!…

See, Aviva can’t take any personal responsibility for preventing unnecessary C-sections, because she might have had to perform a lot of C-sections in order to gain the qualifications to determine which C-sections are unnecessary, and she didn’t want to do that. Get it? Me, neither.

Day 3: Tell a whopper!

Your body should be your business not big business for someone else.

Thus saith Aviva Romm, whose entire career is a giant business, from midwifery, to books, to newsletters, to seminars, to bamboozling people by practicing “functional” medicine. 100% of Romm’s income depends on your body being a big business for her.

Day 4: Lie about the scientific evidence

Here’s a tip you might not have realized is ok and even beneficial: Eat during labor.

No, there is NO scientific evidence that eating in labor is beneficial. It’s not like the issue hasn’t been studied; it has been studied repeatedly. Each study has utterly failed to show any benefit to eating in labor, only risk. That risk being the risk of aspirating the food that you have eaten into your lungs.

But claiming that it is beneficial is delightfully subversive so Aviva indulges herself.

Day 5: Bash technology:

… [T]echnology and natural birth aren’t a great mix. So when I was pregnant I asked myself: How can I birth naturally? I studied how women birthed traditionally. I studied native birthing practices around the world through anthropology. Here’s what I learned and did: Walking, laboring with women friends and relatives there for support, eating when I was hungry, drinking when thirsty, staying upright for labor, pushing when the instinct overtook my body, squatting for birth. While you don’t have to do all of these, taking birth lying down and assuming technology knows our bodies better than we do are some of the ways we’ve gotten into this 34% cesarean rate!…

Me, me, me! Look at me! Follow me! Copy me! I’m awesome and if you try hard enough you can be like me, me, me!

Day 6: Today’s tip is tough but important. Be careful whose opinions and beliefs you “let in” to your personal emotional space while you are pregnant and in labor. Science shows us that who we surround ourself with affects our health. For example, if our friends are overweight, just by the social connections we have a 50% chance …


But I didn’t even get a chance to copy Aviva’s words on not socializing women who are overweight or women who have had C-sections, lest we become “infected” with obesity or Cesareans by them, before she deleted them.

As usual in the world of NCB, deletion is a sign of guilt. No sooner did Aviva notice that we were discussing her hypocrisy on the Fed Up Facebook page then she realized that we were right and moved quickly to erase the evidence … of course, without bothering to offer an apology for her smarmy tactics.

Looks like she took my advice even before I gave it, since I was going to say:

Aviva Romm, when it comes to preventing shame over C-sections, physician heal thyself!