to be honest about childbirth...

(171 Posts)
burgatroyd Mon 28-Jul-14 17:34:44

If first time mums ask me I am honest. One was so shocked she avoided contact me for awhile. I'm not gross, just honest.
Should one lie to first time mums?

fluffyraggies Mon 28-Jul-14 17:39:50

I am careful with the truth tbh.

In my NCT group i was the only woman there with DCs already - the other 7 were 1st timers. I bit my lip allot. One of the men had DCs already, with an ex., and he was pretty quiet at the session where we all chatted about expectations and pain relief too! I did say it hurts more than the books let on ...

But what good does it do scaring the crap out of people?

kimswan1985 Mon 28-Jul-14 17:40:47

As a pregnant person, for the first time, yes. Lie to me.
It'll be bad enough when the time comes without panicking about it for the next however many months!
Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows all the way, ignorance is bliss.
Although in fairness I'm deliberately not asking childbirth questions cos I don't want to know the truth, I suppose if people seek u out to ask then they get what's coming to them! smile

Silvercatowner Mon 28-Jul-14 17:42:16

Yes but your experience is your experience. You cannot generalise to say 'childbirth is horrific' just because you found it so (if that is what you are doing).

picnicbasketcase Mon 28-Jul-14 17:42:22

I think you should be honest, but not frighteningly so. They don't need to know every single detail. I think I may have been too honest after my first DC was born and scared some of my friends who hadn't had children yet.

Also, every birth is different and yours may have been more difficult than someone else's so they wouldn't have the same experience as you.

JellyStrawberries Mon 28-Jul-14 17:42:33

I'm honest. I had a not-very-painful water birth the first time around with no need for any pain relief and an induction the second time with gas and air that was more painful and I would have had an epidural if it hadn't been so fast.

When I was pregnant the first time around, some people delighted in telling me awful stories about birth and scoffing at the idea that it could be anything other than excruciatingly terrible. That wasn't helpful and bore no resemblance to my experience.

So YANBU to be honest but I think pregnant women should be given a calm and balanced picture and be encouraged and supported to approach birth with confidence, not fear.

BadRoly Mon 28-Jul-14 17:42:41

I too am careful as in my limited experience, no 2 child births are the same!

However I did suggest to sil when she went out to get pale grey pjs for hospital after the birth that she might prefer a darker colour or a nightie grin

ReallyTired Mon 28-Jul-14 17:43:08

I think that every women's child birth is different. Just because you had a traumatic experience doesn't mean that another woman will. Both my birth experiences were very different. One was a 33 hour nightmare and the birth of my second child was easy and over in 3 hours.

There is little you can do if you are unlucky enough to have a horrible birth experience. There is no point in worrying a first time mother about something that she has no control over. I was unlucky with ds and very lucky with dd. I was lucky to have good midwives both times.

Thankfully the UK has excellent midwives and doctors. Although childbirth is not fun, it is far safer than it ever was in the past. We are lucky to have access to pain relief in most cases.

I feel that first time mums can get access to gory birth stories over the internet if they want. There are some lovely birth stories too, but they get less coverage.

Gusthetheatrecat Mon 28-Jul-14 17:43:55

I think you have to be measured in how you talk about childbirth. And judge what you say and change it depending on the audience. That works both ways. I wouldn't go on about how I did my births on gas and air if I knew there was someone around who had not had a straightforward birth, for example. But if a nervous first time mum asked me, I would tell her.
I don't think you have to lie about birth. I think as long as you're not an arse (which does involve often keeping quiet, both about good and bad births) then you'll be ok!

burgatroyd Mon 28-Jul-14 17:44:38

But I didn't have a traumatic experience!

ArgyMargy Mon 28-Jul-14 17:46:45

If your experience was not traumatic, why are these women so shocked? Is it the way you tell 'em?

awsomer Mon 28-Jul-14 17:46:50

Sorry to go off topic a tiny bit but this thread made me think: how realistic do you think one born every minute is as a portrayal of childbirth?

PogoBob Mon 28-Jul-14 17:48:33

Depends entirely on what you mean by 'honest'?

Picklepest Mon 28-Jul-14 17:48:47

It isn't the truth. It's just your (one or two) experiences. Those are your truth, not THE truth.

The 1st time mum unfortunately has to walk her own path. Not something one can explain very well until one has done it tbh. Which is why people are nice pleasant and leave out stuff.

<sticks fingers in ears>
<la la la la la la la la la la>

I'm going to give birth to a cloud that will magically transform into a baby as soon as it's out and it will suckle on unicorn milk for the first year

That's right, isn't it?

burgatroyd Mon 28-Jul-14 17:50:10

I am a little descriptive yes, am employ the use of simile. Let's say I'm more humorous. People often laugh but she didn't find it funny.

MorphineDreams Mon 28-Jul-14 17:50:58

I think it depends what your honesty is going to entail. Women as a whole have such a fear of childbirth and that fear can really have an affect on the birthing process.

I think it's important, as others have said, to point out that no birth is the same. One of my friends said it wasn't painful at all and that she'd had worse period pains than contractions shock

LittleBearPad Mon 28-Jul-14 17:51:18

If I was asked if it hurt I would say yes

I would not however talk about the specifics. A first timer doesn't need to know and their experience might be fine.

I would not however say that it was easy. It isn't, no matter what happens.

burgatroyd Mon 28-Jul-14 17:51:56

Ohfour! You will get high off gas and air. Your baby will slide out. Your bits will immediately snap back. In fact you may even be revirginised!

burgatroyd Mon 28-Jul-14 17:52:34

Has anyone read Caitlin Moran's description of childbirth?

x2boys Mon 28-Jul-14 17:53:12

I had two horrible labours inductions going on for days lots of intervention etc my friend however her first labour was/an hour and a half from start to finish and second fourty minutes start to finish you can't generalise.

burgatroyd Mon 28-Jul-14 17:54:47

Well yes, you can't generalise. But should one be honest about own experience?

picnicbasketcase Mon 28-Jul-14 17:58:20

If you tell people it'll feel like their fanjo is about to burst into flame and that it's like pushing a bowling ball through your nostril, be prepared to get some shock faces, that's all I'm saying.

DoJo Mon 28-Jul-14 17:58:26

I always just say 'It really hurt, but it was worth it and I would do it again for the same result.' Sums up the important things for me and if someone really wants more detail then I let them ask.

Teddybeau1988 Mon 28-Jul-14 18:00:20

When I was expecting dc1 I remained blissfully ignorant, so much so I almost convinced myself the whole pain thing was a big conspiracy and everyone was overreacting.

It's pointless scaring first timers. Last year I went to an active birth class, someone asked how bad it really it, I said early labour was the hardest and once things get started you will just cope. I think DH told her partner the truth over the refreshment table though

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