There is no end of planning that takes place around childbirth. And of course the best laid plans often get thrown out the window.
Some women vow to avoid drugs and other interventions if at all possible and draw up official birth plans. Mia Freedman labels this group of women Birthzillas, a term destined to sit comfortably beside the equally horrid Feminazi; a catch-all that will be used to sum up and dismiss women who dare to assert any sort of power and control in decisions around childbirth.
Freedman remains remarkably quiet about another group of women who also make significant plans for their births. These women plan in advance to have epidurals, c-sections or inductions for non-medical reasons, plans that are more likely to lead to other interventions that are not in the best interests of the baby. Some even actively plan not to breastfeed, even though the overwhelming medical evidence says that breastmilk is best for baby.
Yet Freedman does not lampoon these women's plans, or accuse them of being selfish Birthzillas, of putting their own needs for a conveniently timed or pain free birth over the needs of their child. Nor should she. And if somebody else did, she would no doubt accuse them of being judgmental and disrespectful, of inducing unnecessary and damaging guilt, of pitting women against each other.
In fact, she might even argue that women's "choices" about how they give birth are complex, that they are framed and constricted by existing ideologies and options, as well as personal histories; that they cannot be reduced to a question of individual selfishness or selflessness.
But that is not nearly as much fun as hanging a snarky column on an anecdote about a woman and her carefully thought out plans for her placenta. It is the sort of anecdote that makes for terrifically entertaining dinner party conversation but perhaps should be employed with a little more caution and a greater sense of responsibility when writing a widely read column for a major newspaper.