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Victoria Derbyshire today - sharing birthing experiences online are scaring other women

(131 Posts)
JoggerBottom Thu 13-Sep-18 10:16:29

Hi all,

VD is due to discuss that online sharing of your birthing experience is frightening to women and pregnant women to the point of developing a phobia.

I have shared my experience on here and came to MN for advice from others when pregnant with DD2. I went overdue and, I have to admit, became pretty scared. I read loads of overdue / induction threads and I think it did add to my fear a little...but the fear was already there IYSWIM?

What are your views on this? Did reading other birth experiences affect you when pregnant?

Glitteryfrog Thu 13-Sep-18 10:26:46

I'm scared of being pregnant, giving birth and being in sole charge of a small baby.

But I have been since I was young and having a baby has never been on my agenda because of this.
I absolutely will not watch one born every minute and child birth in films/tv shows makes me look away.

JoggerBottom Thu 13-Sep-18 10:30:22

I have never, and couldn't watch OBEM either. Too graphic for me.

I see MN as more of a source of info and my choice to go searching for a thread.

I am glad that those threads are here as it gave a sense of 'it's not just me' who is fearful. You can hear these things IRL too.

ShowOfHands Thu 13-Sep-18 10:33:54

I am glad people are honest online. It's always dismissed as a "horror story" but it's not. It's just the truth. I spent my first pregnancy with my fingers in my ears and when I ended up with an intervention heavy birth, I was utterly unprepared and unable to move past it.

Women don't need to be silenced about their experiences of their own biology. There's enough of that going on already.

JoggerBottom Thu 13-Sep-18 10:37:57

Yes, ShowOfHands.

I didn't really know anyone who had recently given birth and took it for granted that it would be ok. MN helped me with birth/pregnancy language too. I didn't even know what an induction was until DD2 went overdue!

Xiaoxiong Thu 13-Sep-18 10:39:02

I heard far more horror stories in person than I ever did online. Often from total strangers who would try to touch my bump as well angry

MsJuniper Thu 13-Sep-18 10:39:36

I've found MN unbelievably helpful and supportive around the subject of childbirth (and also, sadly, miscarriage) - what to expect, how to prepare and cope with recovery, funny stories that lighten the moment and serious ones that make you realise how lucky you are or how hard you may need to fight for what you need or want.

cakesonatrain Thu 13-Sep-18 10:41:12

Every group of women I have been friendly with has shared birth stories. At baby groups it's practically the first thing you tell anyone!
Sharing birth stories online is just an extension of that.

JoggerBottom Thu 13-Sep-18 10:42:35

The show is using MN examples now if anyone is interested in watching.

Sandstormbrewing Thu 13-Sep-18 10:43:49

Actually I found the opposite!

It made me really positive about the birth. Turned out to be a crock of shit but at least I went in to it positively! I find in real life people are a bit more scary.

MeadowHay Thu 13-Sep-18 10:47:50

I can see their point of view but the thing is I think this is an example of the medical profession and society in general trying to tell women that they're being silly and explain away their anxieties regarding childbirth etc and then blaming other women for it (by complaining about us posting about it online). If we can't post about it online where can we talk about it to process our often traumatic experiences? And the thing is I don't think having a crippling fear of childbirth is actually irattional or anything. It is bloody scary, ther is so much that can go wrong, and it often does go wrong, for many people. It can be painful, stressful, scary, the recovery can be protracted, etc, I actually think it's a perfectly rational thing to be scared about!!

I had what I consider to be a traumatic birth 12 weeks ago - 30 hour labour, I was only 3cm when I arrived at MLU where I was left in a room with DH for 6 hours before I was re-examined, by which time I was 8cm - told it was too late for an epidural, gas & air made me vomit, so diamorphine was my only option - told I couldn't labour in the pool because I had a growth scan booked so I had to be continoiusly monitored and thus moved to delivery suite. I was in horrendous pain until the diamorphine, literally screaming, probably for hours, I don't remember it properly because of the trauma and pain. I then had a very painful and traumatic ventouse delivery with episiotomy. I remember clearly the medical student being brought into the room with the consultant whilst the doctor was beginning the procedure - nobody asked me if I consented to them being there (they were male, which I think is particularly notable). I had stitches which were extremely painful, as painful as the labour and birth part. I was discharged the next day still in severe pain and hardly able to walk. It took me about 3 weeks to be able to bend down enough properly to change my baby's nappy on the floor or pick her up/put her down into her cradle etc because the pain was so bad. I was continually told my wound was healing well etc but yet I was still in so much pain and I was constantly told it would feel much better in a few days etc, and it didn't, which was very scary and stressful. I didn't feel a lot better until I was about 7 week post-partum and even now at 12 weeks I still sometimes have pain in my episiotomy scar. I'm terrified about the prospect of trying to have sex but I don't want DD to be an only child. I was almost certaintly be requesting an elective c-section next time because there is no way in hell I could deal with the stress of a vaginal birth again.

BarrackerBarmer Thu 13-Sep-18 10:52:47

Which examples did they use from mumsnet? Did anyone get a screengrab?

Babdoc Thu 13-Sep-18 10:53:35

It’s always a difficult balance between warning/preparing women and scaring the shit out of them/putting them off altogether!
Every birth is different, ditto every mother’s pain tolerance or need for intervention.
Some mums like to do a lot of research and hear a lot of other’s experiences, others prefer blissful ignorance or know that it would just worsen their anxiety to hear “ horror stories”.
However, I do think all mums should be aware that things can go wrong very quickly and unexpectedly with a birth. If they’re planning something like a home birth, they absolutely need to know how long the delay in transferring them to hospital would be in the event of life threatening haemorrhage, amniotic fluid embolism, or severe fetal distress, and the risks of a brain damaged or dead baby, or dead mother in those circumstances.

JoggerBottom Thu 13-Sep-18 10:55:08

flowers to all who have / are experiencing a phobia or have had a fear before / after birth.

The segment basically concluded that accessing online tales of childbirth could be a contributing factor. It sounded as though the research looked at stories in general though - real life / online.

I agree with previous poster that watering down the experience of childbirth does no favours either. I had little to no information provided by my midwife (even though she was very understanding and caring) so HAD to come to MN to understand potential outcomes and to understand birth language.

JoggerBottom Thu 13-Sep-18 10:56:45

Barrac - I will try to rewind now.

JoggerBottom Thu 13-Sep-18 10:58:21

I didn't see any user names, but just text. Im glad the midwife mentioned Netmums too. VD just used MN as an example.

HopeGarden Thu 13-Sep-18 10:58:26

I saw this story on the front of a newspaper this morning. Blaming Mumsnet for making women scared of birth hmm

The most horrific birth stories I heard were from people in real life, not online.

colouringinpro Thu 13-Sep-18 10:59:46

This subject was also discussed on Jeremy Vine on 5. RowanMumsnet was on the phone. She was fab, talking about the huge amount of positive support there is, and ultimately women telling the truth about their children's birth is just that (not scaremongering). I agree with her.

OrchidInTheSun Thu 13-Sep-18 11:01:51

This story is on the cover of the Times too. It really annoyed me that women discussing their honest experiences of childbirth is being portrayed as scaremongering.

I think a lot of women's expectations about perfect births are why so many of us feel hugely cheated when that doesn't happen. Truthful accounts are really helpful and it's infantilising women to tell us not to talk about it

JoggerBottom Thu 13-Sep-18 11:02:01

I don't like how MN is being seen as a source of fear at the moment. As I've said before, it is a site for information and it has helped countless women to access info that they may not be able to IRL.

ADrabLittleCrab Thu 13-Sep-18 11:03:45

God, us bloody women daring to talk about our experiences. Maybe we should go back to the days when women had no idea - my Nan shared her story with me, she was pregnant with her first, around 8 months, when she finally plucked up the courage to ask he landlady how the baby came out. She said she felt like dying when she was told, very bluntly, it comes out the same way it went in!!!!
Heaven forbid we are actually a wee bit educated about what will/could happen, terminology, the fact that we can refuse things and that things can go badly wrong before we get anywhere near a delivery suite.

tenbob Thu 13-Sep-18 11:07:18

I think there are two sorts of people when it comes to brith

One type wants to know everything, and feels in control knowing all the possible scenarios and what might happen with each

The other wants to stick their heads in the sand and not hear any horror stories so they can't worry

If you're the latter sort, you can't complain that the info is out there for the first sort

(I was the first sort. I wanted to know every horror story)

Fatted Thu 13-Sep-18 11:07:39

As someone who experienced a difficult birth first time around, I've found it incredibly helpful in helping me recover mentally to share that experience with others. And I actually found out it was quite common and felt less of a failure because of that.

I didn't read or listen to any birthing stories before hand. I didn't really have an idea of what I wanted apart from no c-section. (Can you guess how both of my babies were born?!). I do like to share my experience because I want to show people that there is a positive from a negative. I recovered and went onto have another child with a more positive birth experience. I wish someone would have told me that was possible when I was struggling with PND and generally feeling crap about having a c-section.

elena7475 Thu 13-Sep-18 11:08:59

Open your eyes. Look how many children around. There are birth after each child. If birth is so traumatic women wouldn't go for second, third .. child. Stories which you can hear it is most exceptional once. It is so boring to say everything was fine after x hours.

Fatted Thu 13-Sep-18 11:09:46

It does feel a little bit like women are being told they can't have a voice or an opinion about these things. Even women of my mother and grandmothers generation have horror stories to tell. But it wasn't really talked about back then until someone went through the same thing. Surely it's a good thing we are having these discussions to help women get better after birth care?!

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