I signed up with MotheringDotCommune's forums a while ago so I could access their childbirth professionals section.
I get an email from them about once a week, with highlights, chat updates, etc. In this last issue was a book reccomendation that they said "wasn't a usual Mothering book since it was oriented toward doctors and hospital birth" but had good information anyway.
I consider myself mainstream - we did the full schedule of vaccinations, every well-baby visit, and you bet your sweet ass I take Freyja in to the doctor if she's under the weather. In general, I trust allopathic medicine and doctors. I don't think the hospital is the safest place to have a baby, but I think taking my child to see a doctor is a good idea. If we had naturopaths around that the insurance would cover, I'd happily consider going to one.
That said, why is it so damn hard to get people to understand that just because I happen to be mainstream in the majority of my thinking, it doesn't mean I don't understand their choices in childrearing, childbearing, infant feeding, bla bla bla bla you name it, or that I can't hold a few "crunchy" ideals too?
For example, I work full time out of the home. My husband also works full time out of the home. I don't LIKE to stay home. My child goes to daycare with a wonderful home provider who treats her like family. Does that in some way impugn the choices and rights of families who DO have a parent at home? No! My choices for my family are going to be different than your choices for your family.
I didn't "succeed" at breastfeeding, yet I think that breastfeeding is something that you should do if you can. However, I'm not going to accost you in a mall for feeding your child with a bottle. If you prop the bottle, I reserve the right to give you a dirty look. Other than that, do what you like. Did you know it's almost illegal to mention that you can still practice "on-demand" infant feeding using formula? (you can - I did - it works but SHHH don't tell anybody) WHAT?! NO! ALL formula babies are scheduled and left in baby buckets with propped bottles and you know their mammas don't love them because they are TOO SELFISH to breastfeed - at least that's what the crunchy folks want you to believe.
And what is up with the random guilt trips for women who had c-sections after failed inductions? Maybe if our culture was better oriented toward woman-friendly birth those failed inductions wouldn' t happen. Woman-friendly and baby-friendly birth is my main crunchy soapbox, yet the majority of doula clients I have are in hospitals to give birth. If they get a shot of Nubain, does it make them less of a woman? That's the idea I get from a lot of my professional colleagues and random natural birthers in general.
What I'd like to do is change the landscape of crunchiness. There's got to be a decent term for us middle-of-the roaders who like the idea of homebirth or birth center birth but didn't quite get there themselves, who wanted to breastfeed but either got bad advice or no support, who work or attend school and actually enjoy their time out of the home, and who do other various sort of crunchy hippie things in regards to childbearing and childrearing yet don't quite subscribe to the elitism that I tend to see. Can we rise up against the elitism? I sure hope so.