How many times have you heard that about birth? And women’s birth experiences?
I was out for a glass of wine on Friday night with the school mums and as always, my “work” is discussed - something that happens EVERYWHERE I go. Women are obsessed with birth and very obsessed with their own birth experiences. In fact, I reckon if I let it happen - it would dominate the whole night of discussion because that’s how obsessed women are. I hear stories from women about their births 40 years ago…
One of the mums said to me, by the time she got to her third birth, it was such an AMAZING experience that she’d CHOOSE to do it again… How amazing is that… but tell me - how many times have you heard that?
I’ve heard it numerous times with women I’ve worked with so I am so AWARE of how often it CAN happen. Sadly, though, it’s not something I hear often ENOUGH.
And in fact, that mums first birth was like that - a difficult experience of an induction ending up with forceps. When I hear about a forceps birth, one of the questions I might ask mum - is were you induced? Or the same for an emergency caesarean… And this isn’t no reflection on them - birth is so often something that happens TO US medically. And often we don’t feel we can ask any questions whatsoever.
“I was told that I needed to….”
“I wasn’t allowed to…."
“I felt like I was on a conveyor belt…”
“Nobody listened to me…”
“I was frightened but all that matters is my baby is ok…."
How do you think these make us feel?
I asked my friend, knowing what she knows now - would she have chosen that induction first time round? And no, it would have been a very different experience.
Now there are ALWAYS times for medical interventions/inductions/caesareans - they without a doubt, save lives. And women have every RIGHT TO CHOOSE to birth using induction, epidurals and caesarean - when they choose to out of information not fear or compliance.
What we are experiencing at the moment, however, is too many interventions too soon, with procedures done for no medical reason (i.e. there is nothing wrong with mum or baby but because of the protocols). The protocol are often out of date, not based on evidence and leave women feeling very traumatised, weak and as though they’re not in control.
At the time where we should be feeling strong and powerful as we transition into motherhood - so many of us feel weak and powerless. More that 70% of women have a medical procedure done to us through birth, more than a quarter of us end up as a caesarean and around half of us feel traumatised and disappointed with our birthing experience. I am part of these statics - feeling birth was something that happened to me - where all my choices and decisions were slowly but surely taken away from me.
I believe it can be so very different, and I believe women can OWN their birth experiences - REGARDLESS OF WHAT HAPPENS on the day. And with that, I believe women can reflect so differently on their births and they can improve not only their birth experiences but their parenting experiences. We need to start our experiences from LOVE and FEELING BRILLIANT - not starting from a place of RECOVERY - birth can massively influence our mental health.
With the right support you can find the strength to be 100% of your choices and call the shots on your birth. With the right support you can develop the right mindset meaning that you can cope with any scenario. With the right support you and your birth partner know exactly what to do when you understand how the brain and body are connected through birth.
Birth is a life changing, momentous time where are about to meet our babies and become mums. We need to feel AMAZING. We can make it better. And that’s why I’ve set up the Birth and Baby Academy as I believe strongly that it can be SO MUCH BETTER for the VAST majority of us. I’m so excited to see the women that have joined the academy and how they are changing birth for themselves and for all the future generations.
Birth is a life changing moment for us. So let me ask you - how do you want to feel about your birth?
Much love, Tricia x
The Birth and Baby Academy goes live on the 1st October 2017 with a Birth Bundle Online Course and Breastfeeding Bundle Online course. Future courses will be around support for Caesarean Birth, New Baby Care, New Mum Care, Twins and Multiples Care and so much more…. You can download our FREE Resources Bundles, join our FREE Community Group or complete our FREE online Birth Plans Course - details are available from www.birthandbabyacademy.com
Tricia Murray is a Fertility, Birth and Parenting Coach, EFT Therapist, Doula and Birth Trauma Specialist supporting mums and dads to enjoy birth and early parenting and feel confident and calm throughout. She is Founder of the Birth and Baby Academy and has worked with hundreds of parents over the last few years.