Last weekend I came across an op-ed article in the New York Post written by Naomi Schaefer Riley titled “Having a baby isn’t a miracle and doesn’t make you a goddess.” With a photo of Beyoncé during her recent Grammy’s performance at the front and center of the article, I had to read it.
The title alone was incredibly off-putting — having a baby isn’t a miracle? A woman is literally growing another human inside of her. If you ask me, that sounds like a miracle. The author makes valid points about Beyoncé’s past performances and their sexualized, theatrical nature. This performance was different. In this performance, a very pregnant Beyoncé donned a goddess-like costume and her performance celebrated her pregnancy and the miracles of which the body of a woman is capable.
“Our cultural imperative to elevate motherhood to both the most important thing in the world and the hardest thing in the world is getting out of control,” Riley writes.
But is it really? Motherhood should be celebrated. Women struggle yearly to have children. In fact, 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriages and in a survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control, it found that 1.5 million women in the United States are infertile. With statistics such as these, why shouldn’t pregnancy be viewed as a miracle?
Riley’s stance on pregnancy has degraded the miracle of life to nothing more than something a woman does. Last year, model Chrissy Teigen opened up about her struggle to conceive and her decision to undergo in vitro fertilization. Teigen received loads of backlash after revealing she chose this route and chose the gender of the baby. She received even more backlash this year after revealing that she will do in vitro fertilization again to continue building her family. While the route is not an easy one, the decision to open up about something so taboo in American society is a brave one and the backlash is not necessary.
With all the struggles women face yearly and the options they have to eventually conceive, why do people feel it is necessary to put women down for using alternative routes? Why shouldn’t pregnancy be viewed as a miracle?
Over the last few summers, I taught a “Baby and Me” class in which parents come with their children as little as six months old to acclimate them to water. In one instance, a mother brought her child to my class while she was pregnant with her next child. The following summer, the mother enrolled in the class again, this time with both of her children.
To me, that is a miracle. It’s amazing to know the babies I teach are the same babies that were being carried the previous summer.
Pregnancy is a miracle and should be celebrated among all women whether they are celebrities or not.