Often it is not pain that is discussed when women talk about birth trauma (although it may have played a part) it is what was happening around them, especially with regards to whether they felt vulnerable and unsafe. It’s normal to feel vulnerable but you also want to feel safe which will have an impact on your experience. The questions to consider are:
Did the birthing mum feel listened to?
Was she informed about what was happening?
Did she have the knowledge to make informed decisions?
Did she understand what was happening?
Did she have people around her that made her feel safe?
Did the birth partner feel empowered to support her?
How was she treated by medical staff?
Did she feel disempowered?
Was she asked for consent before being touched or treated?
Did she feel patronised?
Did she feel belittled with her wishes?
Of course there can be trauma related to the event too, but as I’ve touched on it’s not so much how baby enters the world, whether ‘natural’, ‘normal’ or ‘assisted’ deliveries (interventions), it’s often the questions above that hold significance to your FEELINGS surrounding your birth experience.
How are women being spoken to and how much flexibility is being given to their wishes?
Your birth experience matters, we take it with us through our lives. You have the right to a positive birth experience and your wishes deserve to be respected. Your birth partner can support you to ensure you are treated well throughout your labour. We will discuss the BRAIN acronym soon which they can use too. I also recommend The Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services (AIMS) which was founded by Sally Willington in 1960. This association offers a helpline and books to support you to have the birth you want and to know your rights as well as providing a wealth of information in many areas such as interventions and inductions. You can check their website out at aims.org.uk