Guggie and her Gaggle

I know that this is off the usual topics of autism, Pwd, quackery and, most recently builders but certain people who spout utter nonsense about vaccines and autism also mislead and misinform their followers and fans on a host of other topics too. I am amazed and disappointed so few people have taken Guggie to task over the lies, misinformation and misogyny she heaps out on a regular basis. She has a huge following and a very obedient one. Her spewings are dangerous.  My good friend, Vaximom, doesn’t have a blog of her own so I’m lending her Autismum for another post

Guggie Daly has a cover photo on her Facebook timeline of women picketing what appears to be a hospital with maternity facilities, holding placards that say “question your induction,” “know your options,” and “lower the c-section rate.” The photo is an advertisement for Improving Birth: National Rally for Change. By their own description, it will be “the biggest women’s rights event in decades!!!!”
Funny. Where are the rights of the women arriving at the hospital to give birth? Do they not have the right to enter the building without a loud mob of women pushing their own natural birth agenda?
Time and place are everything.
Is it a bad thing to know your birth options? Are c-section rates too high? Is it okay to ask your caregiver why an induction is necessary?

foetus in transverse position

Of course these questions are valid and worth asking. But is a picket line, accosting women on their way in to have a baby, for crying out loud, an effective way to get a message across? I can imagine heavily pregnant women, exhausted and vulnerable, faced with this as they begin one of the hardest, but most important days of their life. Imagine the woman with a baby in the transverse position, walking past women shouting at her to “know her options.” Yep. Options for transverse position are caesarean or death. Or the woman, arriving for an induction, who has the knowledge that her baby inside has already died and will be stillborn that day. She sees signs saying “question your induction!” Should she imperiously question it and walk around with a deceased baby inside her until her body begins spontaneous labour?
Of course, these are examples that would not be common, but my point is: no one knows anyone else’s situation. It is personal. Stuff might be going down that they have no idea about, but these women still deem it acceptable to get up on their sanctimonious, judgemental high horses and demand that pregnant women question everything. Empower themselves. Get edjumacated!
When the commenters on that photo asked Guggie if this particular method employed was effective, or just hostile and misogynist, she redirected and evaded the question. She rallied back with the natural childbirth party line:

“Generally, I imagine if someone is truly confident in her decision, she isn’t apt to feel ruffled by a photo like this. If you aren’t questioning your induction, then you aren’t on here rambling away about it. You feel good about it and aren’t threatened or shocked by others.”

Uh, no. I have no idea why these fanatics, especially ones that call themselves feminists, can’t understand how some of us, no matter how confident and satisfied we are with our experiences, feel a responsibility to call this behavior what it is: Alienating. Antagonistic. Cruel. Lacking understanding and compassion. Why can’t they see that you don’t have to have some deep guilt or dissatisfaction trigger in order to have a reaction to this photo? Why do they insist on playing armchair psychiatrist with anyone who dares to confront their method? I sit here, typing this, and yes, the picture invoked feelings of anger and disgust when I looked at it. The feelings came from a place of being aware of the deep injustice and inappropriateness of the photo. Of sympathy for women who had to endure the mob that day. My own experiences didn’t even come into it. My births were years ago now and how I felt about them was totally irrelevant to how I feel about this picture.
One very smart and astute woman points out:

“’If you are ok with your birth choice then this photo should not bother you.’ This is not true. Repeat after me, this is not true. This is something you all pull out when you don’t have anything else to say. I am happy with every choice I have made in that area. More than happy. I gave birth to my children on a cloud with a unicorn for a doula, and this still bothers me.”

But, you know, why address the real issue here, which is appropriate ways of delivering a message, when you can project in order to make the other party seem like they have the problem?
Guggie wants women to be informed and educated about birth. Look, so do I. The difference between me and Guggie is that:
1. I respect women who have made a different choice to what I might think is the right one.
2. I recognise what at birth choice is all about. It’s NOT about choosing certain options that the natural birth extremists push so hard for (no pun intended). It’s about having knowledge of the range of choices available and making the right choice for YOU.
3. I am not so narcissistic that I expect everyone to take what I say as gospel.
Questions on the thread appeared:

If I educate myself and know my options, and choose a caesarean delivery over a vaginal delivery, what happens? Do I get supported in my choice?

Who am I to judge who is educated on the matter? How do you know who is ‘educated’ and who isn’t?

According to Guggie, you are not educated if you agree to a caesarean or induction. Even if you are 48 weeks pregnant. Education and empowerment are only synonymous with a birf pewl, and no one else but a midwife present.
Instead of answering, she replied cagily with:

“I’m so glad to hear all of you women feel confident and empowered by your educated decisions or justifiable reasons. What ways could you use that confidence and happiness to ensure women who feel hurt/lied to/pressured/violated or downright abused find healing, education and empowering feelings, too?”

Well, call me clueless, but how exactly does an angry picket line accomplish that either? I’ll say it. They are no better than memebers of the Westboro Baptist Church protesting at military funerals.  Funnily, natural birth advocates have a  catchphrase: “My Body, My Baby, My Choice.” They don’t want anyone taking away their rights or choices.

However, It is perfectly acceptable to stand outside a hospital and involve themselves in the lives of the women entering, and the birth day of their baby. If they truly believe in the saying “My Body My Baby, My Choice”, then they should get out of there and let that poor pregnant woman order her epidural in peace.
If only their minds were as open as their vaginas.

If you liked that you might want to read Vaximom’s post Guggie You Make me Gaggie

*Vaximom is  is a mother to two beautiful boys who has taught countless other beautiful children the value of critical thinking and the scientific method. She spends her free time debunking sloppy thought and scientific denialism in order to make the world a safer, smarter place.

For much more on the dangers of home birth visit Hurt by Home birth and the Skeptical OB



  1. It makes no sense to me to hold a protest like this when women are coming into a hospital to give birth. It’s not just offensive; it’s useless in terms of impact. I mean, I remember showing up the hospital to give birth. After 12 hours of overnight labor, I was exhausted, in pain, and barely standing up. I was going into REM sleep between contractions. It wasn’t a moment when my mind was open to much of anything except getting through the next contraction without fainting.

    If I’d been faced with the question of a C-section six or eight or twelve hours later, would a protester with a sign really have had an impact on me at that point? Am I really going to think, “Gee, I never thought to question my doctor on a C-section before, but now that I’ve seen that stranger holding a protest sign, I think this will be the moment”? Of course not.

    I understand what they’re trying to accomplish, but it’s not enough that they’re right about the questions they’re asking. Sometimes, it’s more important to be sensitive and effective. This is one of those times.

  2. That is unfortunate that these women thought it was okay to picket outside a hospital. I agree with you that women in labor don’t need to see that kind of negativity. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar, that is for sure.

  3. What a gaggle of bitches.

    Seriously – if someone elects to have a cesarean, that’s their business. I HAD to have one with my son – he wasn’t coming out any other way – and you know what, I wasn’t willing to risk HIS life (or mine) so I could feel like I was an “Earth Mother” or any other New-Age neologistic bullshit.

    I’ll gladly take the c-section and associated pains, etc and a happy, healthy son than have empty arms and a wonder of, “How big would he have been now??” had I kept trying for a natural delivery.

    That’s assuming I survived it.

    1. What a gaggle of bitches.
      Hey! I object to such a huge insult. I don’t think that female dogs of any species have ever done anything to deserve having their name applied to the type of women that Guggie Daly and her ilk seem to be.

  4. Forty-two years ago, during my first pregnancy, I fully *intended* to deliver my baby *naturally*. When I went to the delivery hospital I had been in non-progressive labor for hours. It turned out that my daughter was a transverse lie with a shoulder presentation, with no possibility of a a vaginal birth.

    I was quickly knocked out with powerful drugs and two additional obstetricians along with a slew of staff from the neonatal ICU were called in. The obstetricians assisted my physician to do an internal version to allow her head to enter the birth canal and she was a high forceps delivery.

    Like Darwy, I never felt that *I missed out* by not delivering my daughter *naturally*. I was, and remain, eternally grateful to have a live infant who survived the birth and that I was alive to take care of my beautiful healthy baby girl.

    Guggie and her Gaggle of Geese are as thick as planks when it comes to obstetric care. They need to stop their feeble attempts to superimpose their colossal ignorance about childbirth on pregnant women.

    1. absolutely and I speak as someone who chose not to have my breech baby turned and elect for a ceasarian. That was my informed and educated choice and one I had to kick up a stink about. It is a choice that was absolutely the right one for me and one I’m glad that I made. Women should have birth choices and the choice to have a ceasarian, for whatever the reason, should, in my opinion, be one of them.

  5. @ Autismum: I didn’t have a choice for an C-section or internal version/high forceps delivery…remember, this was 1970! 🙂

    The emergency internal version/forceps delivery was discussed with me, once I recovered from the Demerol, Seconal, Scopolamine (“twilight sleep”) and anesthetic gas wore off. I only remember being wheeled out of the recovery room and asking if the baby was a boy or a girl. Coming down off my drug-induced stupor after about six hours, I finally held my precious baby girl.

  6. If only their minds were as open as their vaginas

    Ha! That is brilliant. Sums up the NCB movement perfectly.

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