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The Cost of Childbearing: A Look at the Physical and Emotional Toll

Last month, the famous American sprinter and Olympic gold medalist Tori Bowie died at home at the age of 32.

An autopsy report revealed that Bowie died of complications during childbirth, was eight months pregnant and was “in labor” when she died.

You know, Bowie may be one of the strongest women in the world.

Born in Mississippi, USA in August 1990, Bowie represented the US team and won three medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, including gold in the women’s 4×100m relay, silver in the women’s 100m sprint and bronze in the 200m sprint.

After that, she won gold medals in the 4×100-meter relay and 100-meter sprint at the 2017 World Championships.

Along the way, Bowie became known as “the fastest woman in the world.”

Later, she joined the modeling industry, walked in New York Fashion Week, and cooperated with many fashion brands.

Outside of work, Bowie often visits children in foster care, plays with them, and plays with them.

However, just as her career was flourishing and her fame and fortune were gaining, her life came to an abrupt end.

Top-level physical fitness plus daily systematic training, intake of a nearly harsh healthy diet matched by a nutritionist.

From the perspective of ordinary people

Doctors ultimately determined that Bowie died of preeclampsia.

What is Preeclampsia?

Eclampsia is a serious complication that threatens the lives of pregnant women and fetuses. Its initial symptoms are pre-eclampsia, manifested as high blood pressure and proteinuria, so that the placenta of pregnant women cannot work normally, and people feel dizzy and nauseous.

Preeclampsia occurs in 5% of pregnant women, and 3% of these develop the more severe form of eclampsia. Due to multiple organ dysfunction, pregnant women have seizures lasting up to one minute, accompanied by complications such as cerebral hemorrhage, renal failure, and cardiac arrest, and may eventually die.

Eclampsia is one of the most common causes of death in pregnant women, killing about 1% of people with the condition. The numbers are small, and Bowie was out of luck.

But American netizens don’t think so. They think that there is a problem with the US medical system, because the proportion of deaths among pregnant women in the United States is particularly high.

Someone questioned:

Why didn’t doctors find out earlier and intervene earlier? Obstetrics in the United States is really the worst in the world!

Today, childbirth is not as deadly as it was in ancient times, but it is still associated with danger and pain.

In 2020, there were 9.8 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies in the UK, 2.9 in Australia, 4.3 in Japan, 1.7 in Norway and 21.1 per 100,000 in the US.

What is even more puzzling is that while the global maternal mortality rate is declining, the United States is increasing year by year.

In 2021, it will reach 32.9 deaths per 100,000 pregnant women, which is higher than many developing countries.

Medical scientists are also very puzzled, guessing that it may be related to the rising obesity rate. About 42 percent of American adults are obese, and they are more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which increase the chance of dying during pregnancy.

But they did not analyze the proportion of obese pregnant women.

Another reason is that American doctors often underestimate the complaints of pregnant women and do not pay enough attention to them, thinking that symptoms are no big deal.

This phenomenon is especially serious in black pregnant women. Doctors believe that they are more pain-tolerant and will not treat them unless they are particularly severe. Their death rate is one-third higher than that of white pregnant women.

Bowie’s pregnancy death has once again brought attention to the cost of childbearing.

Although the probability of dying during pregnancy is much lower in China, the childbearing costs faced by women are the same.

What is the price of childbirth?

From stretch marks and out of shape after pregnancy, to the 12th grade labor pain second only to severe burns, to the pain of lochia discharge, breastfeeding, and milk blockage.

Although in recent years, the pain of women giving birth has been frequently mentioned, there is still a long way to go before childbirth turns from a “horror movie” to a “spiritual journey”.

There was a photo that caused heated discussions on the Internet.

A pink wall covered in scratches exposing the metallic undertone. Those scratches come from the mothers who once lay here.

Because of the excruciating pain while waiting to give birth, they almost scratched the wall.

However, what is even more ironic is that on the ceiling of this house, there are cartoon baby stickers, and there is a line of cheering words below.

Come on mom, you are more powerful than you think.

Some said that instead of seeing scratched walls, they had seen loose handles on delivery beds.

Why is this, because 80-90% of the mothers in China do not use painless childbirth.

Fertility is creation, not deprivation.

When all the pain is taken for granted and the right to cry out about pain is not allowed, who would dare to lie on that delivery bed?

However, the pain of childbirth has only just begun, and postpartum mothers will face a series of sequelae.

Urinary leakage, uterine prolapse, visceral prolapse, hemorrhoid scar hyperplasia, as well as postpartum hormone imbalance, brought endless mental torture.

Many people in the comments told their real experiences:

My mother leaked urine when she skipped rope, but even today, people would say that this matter is hypocritical.

I am a fitness trainer, and I also leaked urine after giving birth.

I leak urine when I sneeze, and I have hemorrhoids.

Even female stars who have a very high standard of living and pay attention to postpartum recovery are no exception.

HOLD’s resident sister Xie Yilin complained that she could only sleep on her stomach because of hemorrhoids after giving birth.

The sequelae of childbirth are real, and they are not hypocritical, let alone looking for trouble.

There are also many women who suffer from lumbar disc herniation due to the pressure of the fetus during pregnancy, the exertion during childbirth, and the fatigue of caring for the child.

Ying Caier once said in the program that after giving birth, she often suffered from low back pain to the point that she burst into tears.

Breastfeeding after giving birth is not as filial as the ideal mother and son. The reality is that it is like being bitten by a mouse.

As Huang Ali said: Breastfeeding is a barbaric ritual, reminding you that your body is now a canteen.

What’s even more frightening is the blocked milk, everyone is equal before blocked milk.

Zhang Ziyi once described milk blocking as “torture”:

These so-called childbearing costs are already hard to digest, and the impact that is not on the table is even more a kind of mental torture.

80% of pregnant women will experience postpartum depression, which can be fatal, but few people care about it;

Almost 100% of women will be “discriminated against in the workplace” because of reduced productivity due to childbirth;

There are even some people who suffer from “mother rage” (a concept proposed by the American female writer Anne Lamotte) when they are extremely helpless, and really hate their children.

The online microblog of “hating my own child” was reposted more than 20,000 times in just a few hours.

Another said, “I cried because it was too difficult to give birth to my daughter. After my daughter was born, I found out that she was also a girl. When I thought that she would suffer the same pain as me in the future, I cried again.”

Seeing these real images, I thought of a sentence I had read before: Being able to bear offspring is clearly a gift unique to women, but how did it gradually become a punishment for motherhood?

This is so sad.

When the cost of childbearing and the atmosphere of childbirth are ignored, then all the birth persuasion will become a kind of kidnapping.

We cannot deny that parenthood is great, and motherhood is great.

When it comes to the cost of childbearing, it is by no means to create any anxiety about childbearing.

Rather, only when pain and will are truly seen, will everything develop in the direction we want.

Every woman has the right to know the real cost of childbearing, and every family needs to be physically and mentally prepared before deciding whether to “have a child”.

The matter of having a child is really not a decision that can be made with just a few words of encouragement.

As a woman, the only reason to have children is “I do”.

As a man, he must provide the material and spiritual support his wife needs, as well as all “her needs”.

Choose what we can bear, bear what we should bear, and raise a life together. This is what being a parent should be like.

Again, whether a marriage is happy or not does not have to be proved by having children; whether a woman is complete or not does not need to be proved by being a mother. Whether to have children is a choice after weighing the pros and cons, not a paper certificate and a pass.

No matter men or women, those who have the ability to love, nurture, and bear will be able to give birth. No, just wait.

It is my sincere hope that one day we will talk about childbearing only about the joy of welcoming a new life and not about any tragedy.

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