Debrief after difficult labour

(17 Posts)
EeyoreIsh Sun 16-Feb-14 18:51:50

I had a traumatic birth three weeks ago, ending with a forceps and ventouse delivery in theatre after dd got stuck.

I'm having a debrief with a midwife tomorrow, as I'd like to find out exactly what happened and what the implications are for any future labour. I keep having flashbacks to certain points and I'm hoping that talking through things will help.

I'd be interested to hear from others who had debriefs, were they useful?

Are there any particular questions I should ask?

PumpkinPie2013 Sun 16-Feb-14 19:05:29

Sorry you had a bad time sad

I did too 11 weeks ago and I'm also considering asking for a debrief as I would like another baby at some point but can't face the thought of another birth at the moment sad

Watching your thread and hoping your debrief goes well x

EeyoreIsh Sun 16-Feb-14 19:37:31

Sorry to hear you also had a difficult birth sad I'll let you know how I get on.

KatharineClover Sun 16-Feb-14 21:49:15

I had a debrief at 4 months. I realised I needed one when a friend (who gave birth the same day as me) said she had done enough talking about her birth, but I couldn't stop talking (and welling up) about mine and having flashbacks too. I think it was my way of working through the experience. I had some sections of time where I had no memory (due to losing consciousness from blood loss) and I wanted to find out what had happened. What was most reassuring was how the head midwife talked me through each part, explained what was normal, why certain things happened etc. She also discussed contingencies for a future birth. It really helped me lay some emotions to rest. I hope your debrief is equally as helpful xx
It's now nearly 3 years on and I am pregnant with no.2 smile

cravingcake Mon 17-Feb-14 07:34:19

I had a debrief after my DS birth as it was extremely traumatic for both me & DH (long labour, extreme pain as epidural wasnt well sited, forceps delivery, 4th degree tear, shoulder dystocia, pph). I found it very helpful to get the timeline of events and piece together what happened. The midwife was really good in explaining the medical terms and we were able to know why certain things were recommended at certain times based on the situation.

It wasnt a magic cure but certainly helped. It would be worth you getting some counselling through your gp as well. Its possible you could have post traumatic stress disorder, but its still very early days.

My only other advice is to talk things through with your DH, he was there with you and went through it as well so should be able to help you with this. I questioned if having an epidural was the right thing and DH reassured me that i needed it as he was able to tell i wasnt coping with the pain.

Good luck.

ElBombero Mon 17-Feb-14 07:43:20

thanks Sorry you had a bad time.

I had a terrible time with my DD, never offered a debrief sad suffered till I got pregnant again, had feelings of being a failure etc, used to often get a tear in my eye when I saw pregnant women as I pityed them so much sad

Had a debrief whilst pregnant with DS 2 years later. Didn't help, she just kinda shrugged saying its common. What did help was reading around relaxation, hypnobirthing, other women's experiences

Gatorade Mon 17-Feb-14 07:46:34

I had a debrief after my first labour ended up with a crash section (GA). It was a slightly different situation as I didn't feel overly upset about the birth, just massively grateful they got DD out alive (she had to be resuscitated but was fine afterwards). I wanted the debrief as I wanted to understand what went wrong and what chance there was of it happening again. I also wanted to hear about the actual delivery and exactly what happened to DD afterwards as I was asleep and DH wasn't allowed in the room so I felt we missed out on the first hour of her life.

I think finding out what went wrong and realising that there most likely was nothing you could have done differently can be quite reassuring and help with the negative feelings towards the birth. I would also ask about future births (chances of it happening again, what the midwife would suggest in the future etc).

Good luck with it all, it is still very recent for you and you are allowed to feel traumatised by it all. Enjoy your little newborn and get counselling if you feel you need it to come to terms with it. I always found focusing on the fact that the interventions (no matter how horrific) saved my DDs life very comforting.

EeyoreIsh Mon 17-Feb-14 07:48:34

Thanks craving and ElB. Always sad to hear others had difficult births too, but good to hear you have been able to move on.

DH has been wonderfully supportive and will be at the debrief with me. I think he'll also benefit from it as he can remember more but doesn't fully understand either why things happened they way they did.

It'll do me good to bear in mind that the debrief might not resolve everything.

MotherOfInsomniacToddlers Mon 17-Feb-14 07:52:07

Im sorry you feel like that , I had two very difficult births one ended in ventouse and one in forceps, I didn't even know you could have a debrief, I'm so scared of giving birth again

EeyoreIsh Mon 17-Feb-14 07:53:17

gatorade and Katherine, thank you. I have been trying to focus on the fact that the interventions meant that we both survived the birth okay. I feel angry though as I asked for a c section when things started to go wrong and was refused, and things then escalated and got more complicated. I'd like to know now why they didn't do a c section earlier and if it actually would have helped our not.

Just writing this down is helping me to process it all, thanks.

baskingseals Mon 17-Feb-14 07:53:41

Eyesore, I had an awful time with dd. I soldiered on and eventually saw a counsellor who was trained in birth traumas which I found very helpful, my midwife organised it. If you still feel upset about what happened, I would recommend seeing somebody.

Congratulations, I hope you are enjoying your baby now.

Gatorade Mon 17-Feb-14 07:59:35

I'm sorry they didn't do the c-section when you requested it, hopefully they will be able to shed some light on that at the debrief, it may have been that your DD was too far down the birth canal for it to have been a safe procedure, at least you will know one way or another.

It's great that your husband will be involved too, in some ways I think my DH found my first birth more traumatic than I did, the debrief helped him a lot. It also helped us to decide that I would only ever give birth by csection in the future (and did for second DD).

really1234 Mon 17-Feb-14 08:27:01

I saw a midwife counsellor for a few sessions when considering a second baby. I was never offered a debrief after ds1 but had to request a birth review from GP who sent me to consultant who then passed me on!

I spent two years stewing about the birth, very long painful induction, very quick labour, failed forceps then crash section under general anaesthetic.

I found it very helpful to go through the birth in detail, I also to be fair found it very upsetting as at the time I didn't realise how close DS was to not making it. It was definitely a useful thing for me, even though I am not normally one to talk about emotions I had three sessions I think and found they really helped to move on and feel I was able to get pregnant again.

Good luck, my only tip is to ask as many questions as you can. If you feel you haven't covered it all as well as you would like then ask for another session.

really1234 Mon 17-Feb-14 16:36:04

How did it go OP?

EeyoreIsh Mon 17-Feb-14 17:49:40

It was really useful, helped by the fact that the midwife doing it is really good and she's the one we've regularly seen since leaving hospital.

It helped to get clarity on what happened and why. Although we still have some questions as the notes were not completely conclusive. I now have more confidence that the decisions taken at each point were the correct ones, even if in hindsight it would have been better to have had things done differently.

GoshAnneGorilla Mon 17-Feb-14 17:53:18

OP - how did you request a debrief?

EeyoreIsh Mon 17-Feb-14 18:31:23

I just asked my community midwife at one of my post natal appointments. We do have an excellent community midwife team where I am.

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